I posted this already (I thought) but can't find. Here goes again.
One electrical circuit has gone out, comprising four outlets.
Typical So. Calif stucco house.
I checked the breaker covering that circuit but it didn't help.
Meantime I am working around by using other outlets (no, I am
not overloading), but would like to fix that circuit if I can
afford it (little low in the wallet right now).
Anybody have a clue what this might run (Los Angeles
Also, curious why a circuit would just go out like that.
No rain (wish we had some!); no apparent cause.
Checking GFIs is a good idea. I am
presently living in a motor home until
my house is finished (it actually is,
but we're moving things in slowly). The
other day a storm went through. We were
laying across the bed in the RV
and about a half hour later we came into
the main room and noticed the
computer and TV circuit were both dead.
Check breakers, all ok. Started
opening outlets and then I noticed the
kitchen GFI. It wasn't tripped. So I
went on tracing. Then I got this idea,
there is a GFI in the bathroom. It was
tripped. Resetting it restored power to
the entertainment system and the
computer. Why would they put the
entertainment system in the front of the
RV on the GFI in the bathroom .... just
plain crazy, but that's the way it
is. There are other outlets in the same
area that are not on any GFI, only on
the breaker. I'll rewire it someday.
If I would have checked the GFIs 1st,
I would have saved a whole bunch of time
tearing into tightly packed RV outlets.
I had a GFI breaker that would trip every time lightning struck within
50 miles. If I heard the faintest rumble of thunder I was ready to
reset it. No other GFI's in the house would trip unless the power lines
got zapped and the electric was going on and off. I replaced it with a
regular breaker and installed a duplex GFI outlet. I don't know why a
GFI breaker was used anyway since they cost more, and a duplex outlet
was the first thing in the circuit.
At a friends house while making room for a sliding door, he tore apart
some wiring and didn't know how to put it back together. I was greeted
by 5 or so romex wires and none of them were labeled. Slowly I figured
it out but I had one wire that had me baffled for a little while. It
turned out to be the feed for the outside outlet. I finally realized
that the feed came from a bathroom up one floor and in the front of the
house and yes, the GFI was tripped.
Cheap, ' back stabbed' outlets = bad news. Inspect and replace.
Even worse Aluminum wiring; when was house built?
And/or somebody not knowinbg any better used 'copper wire only'
compatible outlets/switches etc. with Al wiring.
On Sun, 9 Aug 2009 23:57:54 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson
It is not too difficult to request a few quotes. Have you tried
replacing the breaker ($5)? If you have already done that do some
continuity testing, with the Main OFF, to find the spot where the
mouse chewed through the wire. Check all connections.
A coupe of "ifs" , if the sockets are installed by back stabbing, & if
the first one failed, the circuit would be open. It is possible even
without back stabbed wiring the first socket could come loose or even
physical fail. The way to trouble shoot it would be: First pull the
breaker surround and test for current on the output of the non working
circuit breaker, if that is good, find the closest non working socket
to the breaker box, pull it, and see if you have current there. The
closest socket my not be the first in the circuit, but the odds are
good. if you aren't comfortable working around electricity & don't
have at least a test light, preferably a volt meter, call someone who
has the skills and tools.
Turn off the breaker.
Now see what else is not working.
Note the additional outlets that are not working.
Remove (not disco) most probable (closest) WORKING outlet next to an
always dead outlet.
Turn on power.
Test for power on both sides of the outlet.
If power only on one side then this is the bad outlet.
If power on both sides then see next.
Turn off power
Remove (not disco) most probable (closest) NON-working outlet next to the
previously tested outlet.
Repeat testing as above.
Repeat moving to next dead outlet.
Not foolproof that you find it doing this but a high probability.
Post back with results.
I hope you don't mind an overview.
The problem is most likelyto be found in: a) The last good outlet on the
daisy-chain or b) The first failed outlet on the same chain. These
instructions are designed to discover which.
The only similarity is an open circuit. Old Christmas lights (and newer
miniature light sets) feature a series circuit where the same current
flows throughout the circuit. If a lamp is removed the entire string
North American house wiring has the devices on a circuit connected in
parallel, daisy-chained through each device down the line. If
connection to one device opens up, everything downstream goes dark.
Often the cause of this is a "backstabbed" device with a loose connection.
Another difference is that Christmas tree lights were generally
multi-colored. And they were lights, not outlets. And you only sometimes put
them on a wall.
All in all, my example was a piss-poor analogy.
I'm going to sit in the corner and feel shame.
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