Isolating electrical problem.

Hi, one of the circuits of my home does not work. I replaced the breaker with a brand new one but still it trips. I have checked all the outlets and switches and all of them seem to work fine. I guess the problem must be somewhere along the wiring but I wouldn't like to replace it since I would have to break several walls and part of the floor. What is visible from the wiring looks fine. Nothing looks broken or burned. Does anyone have any idea how to get to the piece of the circuit that is discontinued with having to replace the whole circuit. Thanks a lot in advance. Ed
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Hopefully an electrician will speak up. I had something similar happen many years ago, it was a faulty switch.
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A bit hard to explain from here, but here's the basic premise:
1) Disconnect power 2) Disconnect ALL devices on that circuit (e.g. remove them from the boxes and remove the wires). MAKE SURE you remember which wire goes where -- that is -- label everything! Also make sure nothing is touching anything (that is, bare wires pointing into air and touching no other wires or the box). 3) Turn on power. Verify breaker doesn't trip (If it does, you either missed a device, or the problem is between the breaker and the first device. 4) Using a neon tester or multimeter, find the one HOT wire 5) Disconnect power. 6) Reconnect that device. 7) Reinstate power. 7a) Breaker trips? You've found the bad device (or the wire is bad between this device and the next in the chain). 7b) Breaker doesn't trip? This device is good. Go to step #4.
Hope that helps.
-Tim
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I'm confused. You say you have a circuit that doesn't work. Then you say all the outlets and switches work fine. What exactly is on the tripped circuit that doesn't work? Once you've determined what doesn't work, try unplugging and turning off all switches on that circuit to isolate appliances and fixtures, etc. then if the breaker still trips, you can begin to dig into the wiring

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First thing to do is to unplug everything from every outlet on that circuit, and see if the problem remains. I've seen *exactly* the symptoms you described caused by a floor lamp with a short at the socket.

--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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