DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Electrical (
-   -   Fuses replaced, Circuit still dead (

oldcollegegal 08-06-2012 11:38 AM

Fuses replaced, Circuit still dead
Yesterday, I plugged my small vacuum cleaner into the same outlet as my small a/c. The circuit went dead. I went to the fuse panel and replaced the dead fuse (tested with a multimeter). The circuit is still dead. Not only that, I later discovered that everything on that side of the house is dead - outlets, ceiling fixtures and electric baseboards. I spent all yesterday evening testing every single fuse in the box, including the two main fuses between the panel and the mail switch. I still have no power on that side of the house. I was married to a contractor for awhile and so I understand the basics of electrical wiring, but this has me stumped. What else can I look at that might explain outlets and ceiling lights on two floors not working when all fuses test ok? I even went out and bought a second multimeter, just in case mine was not working properly.


Stubbie 08-06-2012 12:07 PM

I would take a look for a bad connection and test for power inside the outlet you plugged your vacuum into. It sounds like you blew your fuse protecting that branch circuit and replaced it but it did not restore power. All other fuses appear ok from what I can understand. I would suspect an open in the branch circuit neutral or hot conductor. That branch circuit has quite a bit of load on it when the ac is running so you probably ran the vacuum when the ac was operating and it blew the fuse from overload.
So take a non contact voltage tester and see if power is present at any of the outlets or light fixtures. If you show power but nothing works then look for a bad connection on the branch circuit neutral. It sounds like an open in the hot wire or neutral in the home run between the fuse panel and the first point where they junction the branch circuit to feed power to other points in the house. That could be the outlet you plugged your vacuum into or some place else.

Remember safety first so make sure you stay out of contact with any wiring until you deenergize that branch circuit.

gregzoll 08-06-2012 12:09 PM

Lost the leg that handles the circuits that are dead. Call a licensed electrician to look everything over, also may want to contact the Power company to look at their side. Most power companies will also make a visual of the panel, if they do not see anything outside, to see if the problem is inside. In turn, they will pull the meter if it is a danger to property or inhabitants, and require that a electrician fix the problem and sign off that it has been resolved.

Stubbie 08-06-2012 12:22 PM

Did you test for power at the main fuse block ? Continuity is fine but you must also check for power to eliminate a lost hot leg as Greg is mentioning. I made the assumtion that since your using a multimeter you also checked for power (voltage) at the main fuse block..

oldcollegegal 08-06-2012 12:51 PM

Thanks to both Stubie and Greg. You helped me understand that the problem could be much more than just a blown fuse.

As for testing for voltage at that main block, although I did test that, I think I think that is out of my league now. I do know when to call in the licensed people!

Your help is much appreciated. Thank you.:thumbup:

gregzoll 08-06-2012 03:13 PM

If you went out and got good fuses, they did not work, or you did a continuity before you put them in, or checked again, when they did mot work the first time, if they were on hand, and everything else looks good, it does not hurt to take the next step.

It does not hurt to call in the PoCo if you have power on one leg, and not the other. Especially with old wiring and still having a fuse panel, not breaker, things happen.

If you are renting, not own, let the building owner know what is going on. Since you are in Ontario, we have a couple of licensed professionals on here that are also in Canada/Ontario that can hopefully chime in.

dmxtothemax 08-06-2012 10:54 PM

It could be a burnt out connection somewhere !
Or you have taken out a service fuse !
Start at the beginning with a good volt meter, (main fuse).
and work your way along,
till you find where it goes amiss!

andrew79 08-06-2012 11:14 PM

Probably not the power company side. I would suspect you took out one of your main fuses. You have breaker style main with fusebox, push in fuses, or fusable disconnect? Keep in mind any 240v motor loads you have won't function. Such as a well pump and these fuses should be pulled to prevent damage to the equipment. I wouldn't use the baseboards or the oven either but the lost leg shouldn't harm them if they get turned on. They just won't work right.

camdenkid 08-07-2012 04:59 AM

Circuit Still Dead
Is it posible that the recepicle that feds the one that is dead then continues on through that part of the house could be a ground fault recepicle that tripped which would interrupt that supply?

andrew79 08-07-2012 05:57 AM

No not if one legs out.

oldcollegegal 08-07-2012 10:35 AM

Hello Andrew. I checked both the main fuses. They were ok. I replaced them anyway. Still have no power. I've been meaning to have an electrician come and replace that old fuse box with one that has breakers. Guess I might as well do that now! Thanks for your suggestions! :)

andrew79 08-07-2012 10:54 AM

Good plan. Check out the gov websites on grants sometimes they have a tax break or something for getting rid of a fusebox. Will save you a couple bucks maybe.

dmxtothemax 08-07-2012 06:18 PM


Originally Posted by oldcollegegal (Post 983446)
Hello Andrew. I checked both the main fuses. They were ok. I replaced them anyway. Still have no power. I've been meaning to have an electrician come and replace that old fuse box with one that has breakers. Guess I might as well do that now! Thanks for your suggestions! :)

Can you check for power on both sides of the main fuses?
Do you have a tester ?
Be super careful !

kontoose 08-08-2012 01:59 AM

What is the rating of the fuse?

I'm betting the fuse was overrated, and the overload - (using two high current appliances -- burnt out either a "hot" connection, or more likely, a neutral connection.

You can't fix this yourself...sorry:(

You may need to call a good electrician to fix the problem...:)

andrew79 08-08-2012 09:29 AM

It kills me that people are still replying to this after she's already said she's going to hire an electrician to put in a new breaker box. Problem solved folks, and in the best possible way.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:25 AM.

User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.