Power outage

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Approximately 3 days ago, I noticed a few quick power bumps whenever I would turn on a light switch or my cable box or my computer, which are all on the same circuit. Everything on that circuit would shut down and start up instantly. Today, it did it again when the wife turned on the bathroom light (same circuit). Therefore, thinking it may be a loose breaker, I turned off then back on the breaker. Upon restarting my computer, the entire power within that circuit went out and this time, never came back on.
I tested the breaker which indicated good. I removed the breaker feed, turned the breaker on and read 120v. Therefore, I assume the problem is elsewhere in the field. I ensured all neutral connections were secured. I reconnected the breaker feed and turned on the breaker and still no power. The good part is, it's designated to one circuit and not the entire house. The bad news is my router and modem are on that circuit, but I am running an extension cord to another outlet.
Any suggestions what the problem could be? My guess is a wire, but uncertain and where.
Thanks
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Hi, Hi,
Meanie wrote:

Hi, First of all, have you removed every thing on the circuit and start plugging in one device at a time to narrow down the problem?
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Dear Tony, Dear Tony, Sounds like the entire circuit is not working properly.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Hi, Hi,
Meanie wrote:

Hi, First of all, have you removed every thing on the circuit and start plugging in one device at a time to narrow down the problem?
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Tony Hwang wrote:

Sounds fairly typical of a failing push-wire connection at a receptacle. Best to at a minimum remove each device and change it from push-wire connections to screw terminal connections. If the current devices are $0.50 specials, I'd recommend buying the bulk packs of the "spec grade" or "commercial grade" receptacles that run ~$2 and replace the devices as well, again using the screw terminals or the screw clamp option on some of the better devices. The push-wire connections are nothing but trouble.
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"Pete C." wrote in message
Tony Hwang wrote:

Sounds fairly typical of a failing push-wire connection at a receptacle. Best to at a minimum remove each device and change it from push-wire connections to screw terminal connections. If the current devices are $0.50 specials, I'd recommend buying the bulk packs of the "spec grade" or "commercial grade" receptacles that run ~$2 and replace the devices as well, again using the screw terminals or the screw clamp option on some of the better devices. The push-wire connections are nothing but trouble.
I'm uncertain of the outlet and switch grade since they were the originals ones when I bought the house. Though I will be checking each individual connection today.
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Better yet, get the type with the back wire clamps. They'll connect the same way (so you won't have to restrip and refold the wire in the box) as the "back-stab" outlets you probably already have, but have a screw clamp, rather than a flimsy metal knife-edge to hold the wire. They don't cost any more (<$20 for ten) than the normal screw-type outlets and are far easier to work with.
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Better yet, get the type with the back wire clamps. They'll connect the same way (so you won't have to restrip and refold the wire in the box) as the "back-stab" outlets you probably already have, but have a screw clamp, rather than a flimsy metal knife-edge to hold the wire. They don't cost any more (<$20 for ten) than the normal screw-type outlets and are far easier to work with.
========================================================================================Upon checking all outlets and switches, I discovered they are all screw clamp and all secure. None are back stab outlets/switches. Two of them even had old orange price tags on them and they both read $6.49. Therefore, I can assume they are decent quality.
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And with 120V measured on the wire at the breaker, you are not measuring 120V at any of them? No 120V between hot and neutral or hot and ground? If that is the case, either there is another switch or outlet that you aren't aware of, or else there is another junction somewhere in just a box. Or I guess the cable could be broken somewhere, somehow. You can also try to follow the cable, try to figure out how it gets from panel to the switches, etc, but that may or may not be easy.
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Yikes. If they have price tags on them, they likely weren't put in by the contractor so who knows what they are. Replace them with the $2 type from the BORG.
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says...

What he said ^^^^
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I'd suggest next, to remove and replace the breaker several times. On and off the bus bar. I've seen cases where the bus bar gets a bit of corrosion, where the breaker snaps on.
Please let us know what you find.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Approximately 3 days ago, I noticed a few quick power bumps whenever I would turn on a light switch or my cable box or my computer, which are all on the same circuit. Everything on that circuit would shut down and start up instantly. Today, it did it again when the wife turned on the bathroom light (same circuit). Therefore, thinking it may be a loose breaker, I turned off then back on the breaker. Upon restarting my computer, the entire power within that circuit went out and this time, never came back on.
I tested the breaker which indicated good. I removed the breaker feed, turned the breaker on and read 120v. Therefore, I assume the problem is elsewhere in the field. I ensured all neutral connections were secured. I reconnected the breaker feed and turned on the breaker and still no power. The good part is, it's designated to one circuit and not the entire house. The bad news is my router and modem are on that circuit, but I am running an extension cord to another outlet.
Any suggestions what the problem could be? My guess is a wire, but uncertain and where.
Thanks
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"Stormin Mormon" wrote in message
I'd suggest next, to remove and replace the breaker several times. On and off the bus bar. I've seen cases where the bus bar gets a bit of corrosion, where the breaker snaps on.
Please let us know what you find.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will add that to my troubleshooting list.
Thanks
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It may be a break at a connection. Do you know what is on that circuit? If it is a series of connections, I'd start at the first one and work along. You may have the wires feeding a receptacle, then they go from that receptacle to another. If the first receptacle went bad or connection came loose, everything down line is out.
Also, are there any GFCI on the line? if so, check that first.
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"Ed Pawlowski" wrote in message
It may be a break at a connection. Do you know what is on that circuit? If it is a series of connections, I'd start at the first one and work along. You may have the wires feeding a receptacle, then they go from that receptacle to another. If the first receptacle went bad or connection came loose, everything down line is out.
Also, are there any GFCI on the line? if so, check that first.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Years ago, I made a diagram of my home's electrical connections corresponding with it's breaker/circuit. Unfortunately, I am unaware of the flow of the circuits. I plan to check every outlet and switch on that circuit to determine loose or back stabbed connection and repair. There isn't a GFCI on this circuit.
Thanks
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One more test that I would try is to swap the wires at the suspect breaker with another breaker. The breaker may test good with no load on it but fail once current starts flowing. I recently had intermittent flickering of all the lights on one circuit. I swapped the hots between breakers and the flickering moved to the other circuit. The bad breaker tested good, but obviously wasn't.
Since you are obviously comfortable around the breaker panel, it couldn't hurt to swap a couple of wires.
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"DerbyDad03" wrote in message
"
One more test that I would try is to swap the wires at the suspect breaker with another breaker. The breaker may test good with no load on it but fail once current starts flowing. I recently had intermittent flickering of all the lights on one circuit. I swapped the hots between breakers and the flickering moved to the other circuit. The bad breaker tested good, but obviously wasn't.
Since you are obviously comfortable around the breaker panel, it couldn't hurt to swap a couple of wires.
================================================================================ Good idea. I'll add that to the troubleshooting list.
Thanks
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On 1/12/2013 5:50 PM, Meanie wrote:

OK, you have an open somewhere on that circuit. The first thing I would do, is determine if it's the hot leg or the neutral that's open. The second thing I would do, is determine if all of the outlets on that circuit are dead, when the breaker is on. If some outlets remain live, I would try to determine the wiring sequence and look for the open circuit at the last live outlet in the chain, or the first dead outlet on the chain. Sometimes you can locate the location of the loose connection by plugging in a test light bulb, into one of the dead outlets, then tap on all the other outlets, and switches on that circuit. If you whack one, and it causes the light to flicker, look for your loose connection there. Don't overlook outdoor outlets, that may be on that circuit as well.
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"RBM" wrote in message
OK, you have an open somewhere on that circuit. The first thing I would do, is determine if it's the hot leg or the neutral that's open. The second thing I would do, is determine if all of the outlets on that circuit are dead, when the breaker is on. If some outlets remain live, I would try to determine the wiring sequence and look for the open circuit at the last live outlet in the chain, or the first dead outlet on the chain. Sometimes you can locate the location of the loose connection by plugging in a test light bulb, into one of the dead outlets, then tap on all the other outlets, and switches on that circuit. If you whack one, and it causes the light to flicker, look for your loose connection there. Don't overlook outdoor outlets, that may be on that circuit as well.
==================================================================================== ALL outlets and switches are dead with breaker on. No outside outlets are on this circuit. I like the suggestions. Will add to the list and troubleshoot.
Thanks
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By dead with the breaker on, do you mean that you're reading 120V at the breaker wire and you've at the same time reading that you don't have 120V between either hot and neutral or hot and ground at any of the switches and outlets?
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wrote in message
By dead with the breaker on, do you mean that you're reading 120V at the breaker wire and you've at the same time reading that you don't have 120V between either hot and neutral or hot and ground at any of the switches and outlets?
======================================================================================Originally, by dead, I meant the breaker was on but all outlets/switches were dead. I didn't use the tester to confirm that because things were plugged in but not on and the hall switch and bathroom switch have the inner light which can be seen when it's off. They were both off and I assumed there wasn't power.
BUT NOW.......I turned the breaker on and those inner lights in the switch were on. I metered the outlets and read 115v on all. Thus, I turned on the hall switch and nothing. That inner glow light went flickering and upon checking the outlets again, voltage was roughly 55 to 65v in the outlets. I turned the breaker off then on again and the inner switch lights are aglow and the outlets are reading 155v again. My conclusion is a bad neutral SOMEWHERE which is triggered when I hit the light switch and/or was triggered when I turned on an appliance (computer, tv, etc) when I had them all plugged in.
I'm wondering if it can still be in an outlet or switch. If so, I am considering the advice of purchasing a box and replacing all just for process of elimination.
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