Bad Circuit

A neighbor came over today and said she tripped the circuit and when she re-set it, the outlet did not work. I went over and checked the breaker on the meter and it tested good, but the outlet did not work. I pulled the outlet and it appeared good, I put the meter on the wires and nothing. I then replaced the breaker figuring that may be it and nothing. There are six outlets on this breaker and the one I pulled I believe is the first one in the line.
What am I missing?
Thanks for your help
Chris
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If there's power on the wire where it leaves the breaker, and not on the wire where it enters the outlet-box, then there's a break somewhere between them. It's possible that the wire itself is broken somewhere, but it's more likely that you're wrong about this being the first outlet on the branch.
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Sounds like a GFCI circuit. You fail to mention where in the home this is? Bathrooms? Kitchen? Age of the home? If you tested the breaker and it was delivering power why replace it?
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ChrisGW wrote:

I suggest that you look at all the GFCI's. Look in the Kitchen, bath, garage, basement and outside. I'll bet one of them is really upstream from the non-functioning outlets and is tripped.
I suggest that you mark all those outlets as being protected by a GFCI and where it is located. It happens a lot. I have even seen labels made just for this.
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Stop using the meter and test the circuit with a light bulb and pigtail socket. Are the wires on the receptacle stabbed into the back or are they tight around the screws? If they are in the back, replace the receptacle and connect it using pigtails around the screws.
You should also check for a loose neutral connection in the circuit breaker panel. Tighten all of the screws on the neutral bus bar.
Are the other five receptacles working? Is there anything else not working? How old is the house? Is there a possibility that this outlet is also protected by a GFI receptacle located somewhere else?
John Grabowski http://www.mrelectrician.tv

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John Grabowski wrote:

I checked the neutral bar already and everything was tight.

No GFI in play here. Just 5 receptacles on this circuit.

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ChrisGW wrote:

You are really sure of that????
Are these outlets all original? Could there be a switched circuit involved?

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Joseph E. Meehan

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Joseph Meehan wrote:

I just got back from the neighbors. Double checking everything. I found a ceiling light and switch in a closet on the same circuit. Hard to get to so I told her I would check that on Monday. (Striper Season (rock fish) is open and I have been up since 4am) That is the only thing left to check and by following the cable from the breaker panel into the house ( this is how I found the light) the light is first in line.
Thanks for your help. Any more ideas are welcome
Chris
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ChrisGW wrote:

Not good to mess with high voltage without sleep. :-)

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My thoughts are to open up the other five outlets to see what is going on. Another possibility is that there is another junction box somewhere that you are unaware of. Perhaps where a switch or light is located. The problem could be located in an outlet, switch, or light that is still working. If it is an older house, there could be hidden splices buried from past remodeling jobs.
What was your neighbor doing that made the circuit breaker trip in the first place? The answer to that question may provide a clue.

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John Grabowski wrote:

I opened the first outlet in the run and the last. Found nothing. As stated in my earlier post I followed the cable from the breaker panel and that is how I found the light. There does not seem to be anything else.
I re-checked the neutral and it is tight. The only splice that I found was in the first outlet in the run and that is just to extend to the new breaker panel when the house electric was upgraded years ago. Having said that it is hard to tell whether the ceiling light I found is first or second in the run, but I will know Monday when I check that.
Thanks for your help
Chris
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Chris:
C > A neighbor came over today and said she tripped the circuit and when she re set C > C > it, the outlet did not work. I went over and checked the breaker on the met r C > and it tested good, but the outlet did not work. I pulled the outlet and it C > appeared good, I put the meter on the wires and nothing. I then replaced th
C > breaker figuring that may be it and nothing. There are six outlets on this C > breaker and the one I pulled I believe is the first one in the line. C > C > What am I missing?
Where the open is! (I know: baaaad! <g>) I had a similar situation: got called because a friend's aunt's refrigerator wasn't working. Circuit breaker was fine - power coming out (used an analog meter). Tried tracing the conduit from the outlet -- opened up some junction boxes to test voltages -- dead. Kept back-tracing but got sort of lost -- whoever re-wired the house did a really strange job!
Started tracing from the circuit breaker towards the refrigerator outlet -- yup! it's definately a weird way to connect things! Ended up the first junction box after the circuit panel had a failed connection inside: the wire eventually feeding the refrigerator had slipped out of the twist connector (the wires were just shoved in, not twisted). I twisted together, capped, and the refrig has run since!
- barry.martinATthesafebbs.zeppole.com
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If the wires are in the "stab in" holes in the back, that's likely to give you all kinds of problems.
Like the other fellow said, follow it back. Also if it's getting power on the meter but not working, trace the wire from the breaker up to where it goes into the romex, and then trace back the white (neutral) wire. Make sure that's tight in the neutral bar.
I had a case the one time that was driving me crazy. Outlet reads fine on the testers, but would not run appliance. Finally the gal said she saw it sparking "up there" and I tightened all the neutrals. Problem solved.
--

Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Thanks, but I solved it. It turns out the light (see previous post) was where the problem was. Socket was completely burned.
Thanks to everyone for your help.
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Stormin Mormon posted for all of us....

Sparking "up where" in the sky? That's lightning - coming to get you.
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