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Circuit with two outlets is dead. Circuit breaker is ok. Outlet themselve s are ok. Is there any device available that can give a precise location of the problem? W/O such a device I would have to remove an entire inside interior siding panel which is wrapped around a window and light. I would prefer to locate the location of the problem and remove only a small sect ion of the panel to access the problem.
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On Saturday, May 24, 2014 10:22:49 AM UTC-4, Frank Thompson wrote:

ves are ok. Is there any device available that can give a precise locatio n of the problem? W/O such a device I would have to remove an entire insi de interior siding panel which is wrapped around a window and light. I wou ld prefer to locate the location of the problem and remove only a small se ction of the panel to access the problem.
Most likely it's not behind a wall. There shouldn't be any wiring connecti ons there if it was done to code. Far more likely the problem is a wire com ing loose in one of the outlets, switches, etc that it's daisy chained through that then feed the ones that are out. Find the other outlets/switches etc that are on that circuit, then find the ones closest to the problem ones. Start looking there. If they used backstab type connections, those are one common source of problems like this.
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On Saturday, May 24, 2014 10:41:47 AM UTC-4, trader_4 wrote:

tions there if it was done to code. Far more likely the problem is a wire c oming loose in one of the outlets, switches, etc that it's daisy chained th rough that then feed the ones that are out. Find the other outlets/switches etc that are on that circuit, then find the ones closest to the problem ones.
No other outlets or switches are on that circuit. This is in a 16 yo struct ure. My guess is that pressure of one of staples attaching wiring to stud finally touched hot wire, caused heating & hot wire finally broke.
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On Saturday, May 24, 2014 11:59:06 AM UTC-4, Frank Thompson wrote:

ections there if it was done to code. Far more likely the problem is a wire coming loose in one of the outlets, switches, etc that it's daisy chained through that then feed the ones that are out.

cture. My guess is that pressure of one of staples attaching wiring to stu d finally touched hot wire, caused heating & hot wire finally broke.
I assume you've verified that voltge is present on the wire at the breaker, by actually measuring it? And that no voltage is present at the wire that comes from the breaker to the first outlet? Any access to the wire from where it runs from the panel to the first outlet, where you could test with one of the none contact testers to verify that portion? Are you sure there's no possibility that it runs to some other outlet with a GFCI before going to the other two? Maybe even outside? It's common for mysterious outlets going dead to be caused by a GFCI that you're not even thinking about.
Also, have you considered possibly just running a new cable? Depending on other access, eg basement, doing that could be easier than tearing openwalls.
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On 5/24/2014 10:59 AM, Frank Thompson wrote:

Seriously doubt that's the case IF the circuit breaker was not tripped.
To generate "heat" you describe means resistance. Resistance in that form would mean short to ground which takes you full circle to tripped circuit breaker.
Circuit breakers DO crap out from time to time. Is this, by chance, an outlet that gets tripped frequently? If so, I would definitely be checking the circuit breaker as others have advised.
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On Saturday, May 24, 2014 1:29:30 PM UTC-4, Unquestionably Confused wrote:

Not necessarily. You could drive a nail or staple through the cable, damaging it so that the conductor size is reduced to the point that it can't handle the current and overheats. That further damages it, and eventually it burns out, leaving an open. No tripping in that case. On the list of possibilities, I agree, it's far more likely something else.... A wire nut that is poorly fastened can do the same thing, heating up, ultimately failing open.

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On 5/24/2014 1:13 PM, trader_4 wrote:

There are probably a couple more POSSIBLE causes that we haven't even thought of. Go with the odds though...
When you hear hoof beats, think horses (around here, anyways) not zebras<g>
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On Sat, 24 May 2014 08:59:06 -0700 (PDT), Frank Thompson

It is more likely that you simply have a loose connection. It might even be in a ceiling box.
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On Sat, 24 May 2014 07:22:49 -0700 (PDT), Frank Thompson
99.99% the problem is at a connection which, by law, MUST be in an accessible box- so unless someone has really screwed around with the circuit you should not need to pull any panels. Get a "fox and hound" signal tracer. Shut off the breaker and trace the signal back.
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On Sat, 24 May 2014 08:59:06 -0700 (PDT), Frank Thompson

Unless a total idiot did the wiring. that possibility is about 1 in a million.
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Circuit with two outlets is dead. Circuit breaker is ok. Outlet themselves are ok. Is there any device available that can give a precise location of the problem? W/O such a device I would have to remove an entire inside interior siding panel which is wrapped around a window and light. I would prefer to locate the location of the problem and remove only a small section of the panel to access the problem.
+++++++++++++++++++
Are you sure there are only 2 outlets on that braker ? Check both sides of each outlet on the circuit. Often they have a bar between the screws that is made to break out if you want to use two circuits to the same outlet. I have had those bars to burn into. Seems they could not take the vacuum cleaner motor .
They do make tracers for circuits. You cut the power to the circuit and hook up a transmitter to the wire, then you use a hand held unit to follow the tone. They are usually used for under ground circuits and the hand unit is about like a small weedeater in shape and size.
There are other things that can be used, but cost a lot. A capacitor checker could be used to get a close idea. You take several feet of wire and measure it, then measuer the capacitance of the faulty wire. Then calculate the distance. Another device is like a closed circuit radar. You send a pulse down the line and it will read out the distance.
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Frank,
Why bother to trace the bad circuit? A waste of time and money. Just fish some new wire and be done with your problem. Making repairs inside the wall is probably a code violation. Cut off the old wire and leave it in place.
Dave M.
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On Saturday, May 24, 2014 4:26:36 PM UTC-4, David Martel wrote:

This is was the final conclusion of my electrician and I.
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<stuff snipped>

structure. My guess is that pressure of one of staples attaching wiring to stud finally touched hot wire, caused heating & hot wire finally broke.

Agreed. Highly unlikely with the wiring and staples I've seen used. I'd de-engerize the circuit and break out the fox and hound tester to try to determine where the wires actually go. Then, as trader suggested, I'd look for bad backstabs. Then I'd look for bad junction boxes.
I'd also use a standard $5 plug-in outlet tester on the circuit while energized to see if there's an open neutral or hot. As a last resort I'd suspect that the circuit breaker has failed and might swap it out to test it with an ohm meter or a known good device. I found it very useful to have spare breakers for the panel in the most common ratings since breakers always seem to fail when HomeDepot is closed. <g>
I do find it odd that one breaker is powering only one outlet. That's fairly uncommon in my experience.
--
Bobby G.



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On Sunday, May 25, 2014 10:35:42 PM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote: I'd

Dpne that... their route is known
Then, as trader suggested, I'd look

Done that

> energized to see if there's an open neutral or hot.
Done that

Swapped it out & replaced it with a new one

> fairly uncommon in my experience.
There are two double outlets on the breaker
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On Monday, May 26, 2014 6:34:36 AM UTC-4, Frank Thompson wrote:

Does that mean that there appears to be a direct run from the breaker to the first outlet and that while you have voltage at the wire end at the breaker there is no voltage at the wire end at the first outlet? How much of that wire can you see? If for example it runs through a basement and then goes straight up where the outlet would be, then I'd be fairly confident that's how it runs. If you can't really follow it, then my first suspicion would still be that there is another junction in a box somewhere that's the problem. Could be in the basement, attic, etc. And have you used a non-contact type circuit tester to see if there is voltage on it as far as you can follow it?
Do you have easy access to just run a new cable, eg through basement, and then up? If so, and you can't find a break, then that is likely the easiest solution.

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On Tuesday, May 27, 2014 9:39:56 AM UTC-4, trader_4 wrote:


yes

Yes

There is neither basement nor crawl space under the bldg. It is on a slab. There is no attic...only small crawl space up there. Wire runs from main junction box straight up stud to ceiling crawl space, across on horizontal top stud, down vertical stud to outlet.

yes

...... and then up? If so, and you can't find a break,

That is the plan.

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might swap it out to test it

Time to run a new wire and abandon the old cabling. You've done pretty much everything you can do without breaking open the walls which you may have to do to run new wire. I'd probably be sorely tempted to go after the old wire anyway just to find out what failed. If, as you surmised in your earlier posts, it IS is staple that's worked it's way through to the conductors then odds are that other cables stapled in the same way or by the same electrician when those circuits were first run will eventually fail.
Where are these double outlets? In the kitchen? How much power is routed through them typically? (i.e. hairdryers, toasters, etc. or much lighter loads?) I would want to know what other outlets I'd want to keep my eye on.
--
Bobby G.




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On Monday, May 26, 2014 7:11:18 AM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:

Yes, in the kitchen.
>How much power is routed

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On 5/26/2014 5:34 AM, Frank Thompson wrote: ...

Same location or different?
If different, have you pulled connection to the first one free from the outlet and tested cable alone? If it's dead there, you know which section is the bad one (actually, if it's live there then, you also know which is the bad one).
What is the wall covering -- is it some kind of paneling I gather rather than drywall?
--




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