Thanks again all. I did go out and buy a two-part circuit tracker and
am now in the process of mapping all of the circuits in the house.
Once I'm done doing that, I can turn off the ones that I think might be
going to the affected room, and pull down the overhead light. I'm
really thinking that I'm going to find the problem there...loose wire
or something to that effect. If not, then it's definitately time for a
pro (at least I'll have the house mapped!). Since it's starting to get
late today, and back to work tomorrow, I probably won't get much more
done until next weekend (luckily the problem is in a room that isn't
being used right now!). So, I'll post what I find next weekend. I
really appreciate all the help and words of advice...it helped point me
in the right direction. Hope everyone has a Happy New Year!
By the way, in case this hasn't occurred to you by now, wire nuts are one of
the worst methods ever invented for putting two wires together. If that's
where you eventually find the problem, and there's enough wire to work with
(in terms of length), consider using crimp connectors. They are legal/within
code in some municipalities, and who cares, anyway? Since it's nearly
impossible to separate a *PROPERLY DONE* crimp connection, anyplace which
prohibits it in the code is a backward town run by knuckle-dragging
neanderthals and you should ignore the code.
If it sounds interesting, pick up some crimps and a good tool at HD, Lowes,
whatever, along with some wire that matches the gauge you'll be working
with, and practice with that wire. The key is to make sure that *all* bare
wire is completely within the metal sleeve, with none showing through the
transparent plastic ends.
Crimps are NOT appropriate in places where the previous wizard has cut wires
too short. To remove crimps, you have to cut the wires, so each time it
happens, they get shorter and shorter. If you're sure that one or two cuts
will still leave enough to work with, then use crimps.
Wing nuts are just as good as the crimp method, the secret is getting
the insulation off the wires. A wire stripper that pulls the insulation
off in one clip without nicking the wire is the best. If the bare wire
is nicked then crimping or wing nutting might very well break the wire.
The absolute best method is not used very often and that would be to
remove the insulation without nicking the wire and then soldering the
connection and then insulating it. I must admit I 've never seen one of
these break apart !
Doug Kanter wrote:
OK Doug, you win, I've never seen wing nuts used on these either. I
frequently do wiring on airplane avionics and very used to running wire
with no splices and crimp ring terminals. Still it sometimes happens
that a wire will break somewhere. I know we don't use them in house
wiring but stranded wiring works best in cars, planes, etc. My mention
of soldering was mainly directed at stranded wiring...so house wiring,
crimp it shall be !!!
Doug Kanter wrote:
Soldered wires sometimes have sharp edges that will punch right through heat
shrink tubing. That leads some slobs to resort to trying to add further
protection using electrical tape, another abomination.
I agree with RBM. I had this happen once and was at a loss as to where the
problem was. The breakers were all OK but a hallway running past several
bedrooms had lost power, outlets as well as light fixtures. After a bit of
thought, I decided that there had to be a break in a string of lights and
receptacles. I started removing the closest receptacles that had power and
sure enough I found one of the chained receptacles where the hot wire had
obviously gotten hot and discolored the insulation. The person who had
wired the receptacle had elected to use the "push in" connections on the
back of the receptacle, rather than using a loop under the screws. The
connection with the push in had probably not been a good connection in the
first place and, when under power, exhibited enough resistance that it
created heat and eventually burned the connections inside the receptacle off
to the point that the rest of the circuit downstream lost power.
I've never been fond of the "push in" connections because when you push a
wire in you can tell that it's often not really tight and the wire can be
twisted around with ease inside the receptacle. This same thing can happen
with a wire under a screw, but it's not likely if the loop is formed
correctly and the screw tightened sufficiently.
Unless this one receptacle had been replaced, it's probable that most of the
rest of the house is wired in the same manner.
On 26 Dec 2005 08:56:53 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
More than likely the the hot wire is loose in the circut breaker .
Check that first. If not the case remove the circut breaker and take
it with you to home depot or your local electical supplier to get
replacement. This should solve your problem. I fnot then call a well
qualified electician. It may cost more now, but in the long run you
will be more satisfied. Hope this helped!
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It would be rare for any house built in '72 to have a bedroom on a dedicated
circuit, so a loose wire at the breaker would not be likely
Before replacing a circuit breaker, a simple volt meter or pig tail light
can determine if it is working or not
Are the light fixtures & all the wall sockets dead?
I'd suspect a broken connection in a junction box somewhere in the
house. See if you can physically trace the wiring back to the circuit
Hopefully the suspect junction box isn't behind a finished wall or
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