All circuit breakers off but still have power

I have only 1 circuit breaker panel. I was tiling and need to shut off the power to my counter outlet. I turned off every breaker but still had power. How is this possible? Can a breaker fail and continue to supply power to an outlet when powered off?
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snipped-for-privacy@shaw.ca wrote:

How did you test the power?
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Tony Hwang wrote:

Does it have a UPS? Are you measuring power using a digital meter?
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snipped-for-privacy@shaw.ca wrote:

The answe is yes cicuit breakers can fail in the on position and though the tripper appears off the contact are still being made. Rule No one. NEVER assume a circuit dead without testing it.
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And in case your TESTER might be dead, test before turning it off too. That could mean little or no extra work, such as plugging in an outlet tester (and making sure it works), then turn off the breaker and see it go out.
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snipped-for-privacy@shaw.ca wrote:

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first try turning off main breaker...........
you need to check if other circuits are powered when you believe they are off
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snipped-for-privacy@shaw.ca wrote:

Are you in a multi-unit building where the outlet could be wired to a neighbor's meter? Try running a high current appliance like a toaster and see if the meter disc spins faster.
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if you still have power at the outlet even after turning off the main breaker, have your electrician unplug the power company meter. if you still have power it's coming from the neighbor's house.
snipped-for-privacy@shaw.ca wrote:

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wrote:

Is this an apartment or condo? If it is, it could be you are getting power from the neighbors breaker panel. Not uncommon in older apartments. I once worked in an old building with 4 apartments. Talk about a nightmare. Everyone was paying for the neighbors power. I was able to separate all the outlets to the proper meters, but not all the lights. I could have done it, but the cost would have been outrageous for the owner and he told me his price limit and said to do the best I could.
Mark
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I am in a detached home, not sharing electrical with anyone. I tested by plugging in a radio and hitting every breaker. The radio never went off. So, lets assume I have a broken breaker. How do I locate the breaker for this circuit or test each breaker to find the broken one.
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snipped-for-privacy@shaw.ca wrote:

battery powered radio.
You could disconnect each breaker in turn. Or check the voltage across each breaker while they're all off (one will have 0 volts, the others will be 120 v -- unless they're ALL bad).
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Most battery-powered radios I've had anything to do with don't switch over unless the power cord is physically disconnected.

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wrote:

First, determine which breakers DO work (cut something off). The bad one isn't one of those.
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(1) leave all circuit breaker off and use a voltmeter (or a light bulb) to probe the output of all breakers. If you find 120V, that's the culprit.
(2) first eliminate all the working breakers, then remove the uncertain ones one-at-a-time until you find it.
(3) Froogle "circuit breaker locator".
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