circuit dead

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This evening my wife went to turn on the front door light (outside fixture). She said it flashed brightly like the bulb blew out and wouldn't turn on... A few hours later we noticed that everything on that circuit is dead. Looking at the breakers on the fuse box none looked tripped, but I flipped them all off and on to make sure (I don't know what breaker goes to what area of the house). Still the circuit is dead. I checked every GFCI in/out the house and none were tripped. The only thing I can think of is that the breaker went bad?? Does this sound like a possibility? Any other ideas?? I'm going to call an electrician on Monday (so I don't need to pay weekend rates). Luckily it only affects outlets in mud room and some outside lighting.
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On Fri, 13 Nov 2009 20:27:34 -0800 (PST), grodenhiATgmailDOTcom

I would look around the mud room to be sure you haven't missed a GFCI and test the actual plug in each GFCI to be sure it is really "on". Trip them and reset them. The $10 GFCIs use a 10 cent relay on the output and the contacts can blow open.
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grodenhiATgmailDOTcom wrote:

When you reset most home circuit breakers, you must push the handle hard to the off position until you hear a click then back on. The handle position on breakers can fool you if you don't know this.
TDD
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I think I found the problem late last night. I was walking outlet to outlet on the circuit with one of those touch testers (beeps if you touch a live outlet simply by touching it (as you see, I'm no expert, no idea what its called). While pushing lightly on one of the outlets everything on that circuit came back on. So, now whenever I kind of push on/wiggle the outlet the circuit goes off and on. My uneducated assumption is there's a short in either the outlet or the connections to it? Since this was in the middle of the night I turned off the breaker (that must be a fire hazard) and will switch out the outlet later today. Does my assumption sound about right?
*Sounds like a loose connection at that receptacle. I would bet that the wires are back stabbed. When you change the outlet, pigtail the wires instead of having everything feed through the receptacle.
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And change the outlet. Don't just clean up the connections. I mean, the things are dirt cheap. Cut and restrip the wire ends that were connected.
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He said he was going to switch the outlet. If it were Briggs and Stratton, you'd "renew" the outlet.
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Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

You lost me on that one, but it's "proly" not important. Most explanations for "proly" say it came from lazy people on the internet, too lazy to write probably. I guess they are proly right.
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All the Briggs and Stratton small engine manuals I've read say to "renew" a part when any normal person would say "replace".
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Hmm, weird. Does it say were they were printed?
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Tony wrote:

Standard manufacturer talk, to cover up the fact that your shiny new toy will needs parts replaced at some point. 'Replace' is scary. Look at your repair tickets from garage when you get car repaired. If it doesn't say 'R&R', it'll likely say 'renew'.
-- aem sends...
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"Proly" is a dead give away for an AOL teenie boppers. They think it's cool and have no idea why people call "Rooms" newsgroups.
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Red Green wrote:

Yes, I think you're right.
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Sounds like good detective work. Being a detail man, I'll point out that a "short" is electrical connection where it's not supposed to be. Short circuits often lead to safety problems, or breakers that trip. You're describing an "open" which is something that should be connected, but isn't.
For me, a switch is a device that turns something on or off. To switch an outlet out is like to pizza a cheeseburger. Me, well, I replace outlets. That said, please be sure to turn off the breaker, and use your beeper gadget to make sure you turned off the correct breaker. (Mine says "volt sensor" on the back of it, I also don't know what they are called).
Some electrical sockets are called back stabbed. The wires can be stuck in the back. This is a bad design. Please wrap the wire around the screws, and snug down. Much better contact. Much more dependable.
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It does seem that most everyone uses the term "short" when there is anything wrong with an electrical device.
I work as an insturmnet technician/ electrician at a large company. Anytime something stopps when it should not stop, the call always says the motor 'kicked out'. I have never understood that term or where it came from so that it means the motor or anything else that quit working is 'kicked out'. Even lights kick out if the bulbs burn out.
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Ralph Mowery wrote:

I prefer the term "loose disconnection". <G>
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Ralph Mowery wrote:

I tell people that if it's a short it won't cost much because the electrician can just lengthen it.
Another expression I find odd here in east Tennessee is "It's all tore up". Someone could have a dead battery from leaving the lights on and the car "is all tore up". Even a flat tire can render a car "all tore up". First time I heard the expression I thought there was an accident and the car was totaled.... No, it's just all tore up.
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My wife is from North Ga, just barely across the line from Tennessee, she says that too. if ts really something bad it a "train wreck"
Jimmie
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And there's; Iss awl toe up.
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Thats WV
Jimmie
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And NC.
In this particular area, people conversate. "They was conversatin' 'bout how the yard got awl toe up when the poeleece was chasin' that crack head and ran the car up in it.".
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