I have a house that is 3 years old and recently I discovered that 6 or 7 of
the outlets and a couple of light switches no longer have current. One of
the outlets and one of the light switches is near the main electrical box.
It is actually inside the garage directly behind the box. I opened the
electrical box on the outside of the house and tested each circuit against
the common and all circuits seem to have power at least at the box.
Additionally, it appears that my electrical fireplace is also impacted by
I have opened each outlet and switch to see if there is a loose wire and I
haven't found a problem.
I'm not sure where to go from here.
Thanks in advance.
Start by turing off EACH breaker, one at a time and checking each
light and outlet to see which breaker controls what, Write this all
down. It helps to have a second person for this, and use a small
light or electric drill to test outlets. When you get a rough idea of
which breaker controls the part of the house with a problem, start at
the main panel and be sure all wires are tight, even the neutrals.
Is there power at these outlets, but no neutral. Stick a test meter
in the outlet HOT SIDE (smaller slot), and put the other probe to a
good ground. (run a long piece of wire back to the panel ground if
necessary). If YES, you have a bad neutral, if NO, you have a bad
Did you actually put a meter on each breaker? Breakers do go bad.
Is there a GFCI inline? Test ALL GFCI's and meter them too.
One other thing. Have you attached anything to the walls lately,
inside or out? A nail puncture, drilled hole, etc, all can damage a
wire. One other thing to look for are hidden junction boxes in attics
and basements. Connections can get loose in them too.
It can take time, but be persistent, you WILL find it if you keep at
it. At least you only got a 3 year old house. I have worked on many
of the old 100 year old homes with knob and tube wiring that has been
spliced and modified 25 times. Now THAT's a nightmare....
On Tue, 02 Nov 2004 01:26:15 GMT, "John Grabowski"
Sounds like a loose neutral connection in the circuit. Could be a
faulty receptacle or light. Could be a loose wirenut connection of
the white wires. Could be a back-stabbed outlet, they are notorious
for bad connections. You'll pretty much have to check each device on
the circuit. Could even be a loose neutral lug in the service panel.
Don't forget to de-energize the circuit before you start probing
Mr Fixit eh
The EZ way to do this is to get an electronic circuit tracer from RS
etc. Normally you plug one part it into an outlet and use the other
part to find which circuit breaker corresponds. In your case plug the
item into a socket with alligator clips so you can clip it on to the CB
output and use the other part to follow the signal up the wires to the
bad box where the signal stops.
Free men own guns, slaves don't
It sure sounds like you have a circuit protected by a GFCI. Look in the
garage, baths and kitchen for the ground fault outlets. Press each test
button (you will likely hear a click) and then the reset. When you find
the right one, it will likely not click but when reset everything will start
Some of those are well hidden in places you would not expect. Check the
basement as well.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.