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Danger mouse 07-04-2005 02:25 PM

Breaker/GFCI Help !?
I will try to explain this as best I can.

my fiance was blowdrying her hair in the bathroom with the lights and bathroom fan running.
Poof everything stopped.. lights, fan and the GFCI plug, now i figured it might be the plug.. reset it.. nope still no power, go downstairs check the breakers, nope breakers aren't tripped.
hmmm... use my livewire tester to check for any voltage running through the lines.. nothing.
I shut off the main breaker.. turn it back on.. nothing.
I replace the GFCI plug since i had another lying around, reset.. nothing.
now.. here's the dilema.. we just moved into this house.. it's a 200amp line.. all copper.. but the wiring isn't labeled and at somepoint i'm gonna need to do that but the previous owner has done alot of doubling up on breakers.. there are some odd wiring decisions and in general the box needs to be cleaned up but right now i just want to know how a series of lights can blow without either the breaker flipping..or the GFCI working.
do they sometimes fail and just not flip ?
also.. i do have a voltmeter but i don't know how to test the breakers with it.

thanks for any info.. or help

Teetorbilt 07-04-2005 10:19 PM

You have to start at the service box and work your way out. Sounds to me like your amature electrician may not of twisted the wires prior to installing a nut. Also sounds like you may want to hire an electrician, this is not something that you want to 'fool around' with normally and, if a homeowner has fooled with it, a pro is the safest way to get it sorted out. Housefires are not fun or economical.

jbfan 07-05-2005 06:17 AM

Sounds like they may be another gfci somewhere in this circuit. I would look for and reset all gfci's. If that doesn't work then it is time to map your system and find that loose or broken wire!

Speedy Petey 07-05-2005 10:52 PM

I'm voting for a bad connection or a breaker that is tripped but didn't move to the mid position.
A hair dryer, fan and a few lights will not normally trip a breaker, unless the dryer is huge (1600+ watts) and it is a 15 amp breaker. I would guess that there is more on this circuit than the bath, and that there is a bad backstab receptacle somewhere.
I concur, you'll have to check out the whole circuit. Turn every breaker off, and then back on again. Then work backwards from the dead receptacle. If it is a bad backstab receptacle the problem could be in a working receptacle. Sometimes the feed out goes bad but the feed in is still making contact.

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