Where did my Electricity go?

Hello Gang,
Thanks in advance for any comments:
I was sitting in my office today, when the power in the room went off. To be specific, this means everything: No lights, no outlets--nothing. I assumed a neighborhood outage and was surprised when I walked into the hall to see that the rest of the house was fine.
Checked out the breaker and it was not popped. I reset just to be sure and came back in the room to check--still no power. (If I recall, that breaker controls not just the office, but the office, a bedroom and a bathroom anyway.)
Just for grins, I looked in the attic to see if any animals had chewed a wire or something like that--pretty novice, I know, but everything was fine and there were no traces of any types of animals being in there ever.
I came out of the attic, having not touched a thing, and found that the power was now restored to the office.
No history of lights flickering or anything else...where did my electricity go?
ER
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hall
and
breaker
fine
electricity
There are several possibilities; but one that I've experienced is the loss of one of the main feed lines into the house. Typically, your house is fed with three wires (the so-called "Edison" connection). There is a neutral and two 120 volt/neutral lines. Between the two 120 volt lines is 240 volts.
If you lose one of the 120 volt lines due to a fault, tripped breaker or loose connection anywhere between the local transformer and your room circuits, everything goes off. House loads are usually balanced, so one or more rooms -- about half your total load will be out.
In my case, the problem was a loose connection at the power pole; but there could be loose lugs at your panel, a corroded fuse or even a faulty distribution transformer out on the pole. Since your power came back on, it sounds like a loose connection that breaks when heated and reconnects as it cools.
Bet it happens again.
TKM
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<< "TKM" snipped-for-privacy@apk.net wrote: Since your power came back on, it sounds like a loose connection that breaks when heated and reconnects as it cools. Bet it happens again. >>
Adding to this possibility, aluminum wiring may be the problem, even a main feed. I'd ask a pro to go over meter/ service connections , add antioxidant paste or whatever is good for the junctions.and tighten them all. HTH
Joe
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wrote:

My guess: You have a bad connection somewhere in that circuit. If the other rooms fed by the circuit still had power and this room didn't then it is probably at the device right before it feeds in to that room. Figuring out which one it is can be a daunting task.
I would find all the things on this circuit then cut the power and pull the outlets/switches from the wall boxes. Check them for loose connections and/or burnt wires.
If you aren't comfortable doing this call an electrician. Don't just ignore the problem!! This can be a very dangerous situation that could easily lead to a fire.
Steve B.
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What he said.
You have to trace the circuit. Somewhere, between the last good device and the first device without power, there is a problem. It is probably a loose wire, but could be a lot of things. If you have back stab outlets, that is an excellent first guess. If the problem is intermittent, you are in for a very frustrating time. In that case, I suggest replacing every outlet that could possibly be a problem. It means wasting a few dollars, but beats the alternative. Good luck.
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You said the circuit also serves a bathroom. Is there a GFCI outlet in that bathroom? If so, the GFCI breaker may have tripped so check it and reset it if necessary.
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This is Turtle.
You got me here. How can a GFI receptical trip and turn the power off to a 3 room circuit and then turn the power back on again ? Your fixing to teach me something here.
TURTLE
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Thanks Bruce...
As some predicted...it happened again this AM. I went and found the breaker and actually it is the office and a bedroom on the one--no bathroom. I turned it off for now and will proceed this evening with changing switches/outlets.
ER
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Don't just change them out willy-nilly. As the man said, go the closest outlet that works to start; pull it out; inspect wires for tight connectons; then move on to the first dead outlet etc. Somewhere between the two is the problem. Could be a switch as well.\ Had the same thing happen in a bedroom. The ceiling fan and 4 of the wall outlets went dead. Turned out that apparently a splice inside the wall between two outlets went bad/loose. Had to pull baseboard and run new wire between last live outlet and first dead outlet.

breaker
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breaker
Circuit breakers have been known to fail with those symptoms too.
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