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Old 08-07-2011, 07:12 PM   #1
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Lost power to two Rooms and Cannot Get it Back


Hi there, I live in a newer home, built in 2006 I believe, and a few days ago, two of my rooms in my house lost power and I cannot get it back on. The two rooms are on the same circuit, which is on a 15 amp Arc-Fault Breaker. I had very little power being consumed on the circuit. One room is entirely not being used and the other room had only a few things consuming power. This has been working fine for the last year straight with no issues. The other night, the power just turned off and no matter how many times I reset the circuit breaker, it simply will not power anything. Nothing else was added to the circuit. Nobody was even in the rooms when it happened. I was in my room using my computer when I noticed my lights dim down real quick when my AC turned on. This normally does not happen so it caught my attention. I dismissed it as nothing but then my roommate told me the next morning that his room's power wasn't working. He noticed it a few hours after I noticed the dimming lights. To my knowledge, the AC is on a separate circuit and it's still working.

I have unplugged everything connected to the wall sockets in these rooms. The only things plugged in are the overhead lights but I made sure the light switches are turned off. There is nothing at all consuming power in these rooms. Resetting the breaker does nothing. The breaker switch does click off and on. I removed the panel on my main circuit breaker and it looks like all the cables are fine. I'm too afraid of killing myself to try and mess with anything in there.

Keep in mind that the breaker does NOT trip. The switch did not go to the middle at all. It was in the "On" position when I first checked it out. I reset it several times with nothing plugged into the rooms to no avail. I removed all the wall sockets and tried to see if there were any loose cables or any damage but it didn't look like it.

Any help on this matter would be much appreciated. I'm not an electrician and the basics I do understand don't seem to be helping me out. Thanks!

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Old 08-07-2011, 08:15 PM   #2
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Lost power to two Rooms and Cannot Get it Back


You made the comment about a room mate. Do you own this house?

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Old 08-07-2011, 08:49 PM   #3
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Lost power to two Rooms and Cannot Get it Back


A connection somwhere has probably come loose.

You snould measure the voltage between hot and neutral at various points along the circuit. Start at the panel, hot is the screw on the breaker and neutral is the strip with all the white wires.Note that the circuit wires or cable daisy chains from one outlet to the next. It is possible the the loose connection is where a wire connects to the last good receptacle along the daisy chain and continues on to the next receptacle.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:14 PM   #4
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Lost power to two Rooms and Cannot Get it Back


Actually, you need a guy to come in to find this problem!...Maybe an Electric type guy.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:16 PM   #5
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Lost power to two Rooms and Cannot Get it Back


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Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
A connection somwhere has probably come loose.

You snould measure the voltage between hot and neutral at various points along the circuit. Start at the panel, hot is the screw on the breaker and neutral is the strip with all the white wires.Note that the circuit wires or cable daisy chains from one outlet to the next. It is possible the the loose connection is where a wire connects to the last good receptacle along the daisy chain and continues on to the next receptacle.
It's an AFCI breaker.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:30 PM   #6
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Lost power to two Rooms and Cannot Get it Back


The fact that the heavy load made the lights dim,
Means you have a current limit somewhere,
Or you had, now its completely open circuit,
Look for loose connections or damaged cables.
If you know where the cables are routed,
Then check at each end of each run,
You will soon find where the O / C is.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:37 PM   #7
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Lost power to two Rooms and Cannot Get it Back


Wild guess here. Backstab outlets. tic-tracer should get to the last one with power.
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:41 PM   #8
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Lost power to two Rooms and Cannot Get it Back


From time to time I know the AFCI breakers can go bad which I have dealted before in state side before I went to France and most common cuprit to kill the AFCI breaers is surge. second common cuprit is loose connection on AFCI's

Before I can give you more testing on them what brand name the breaker it is due there is couple verison of the way to do the test on them.

However did you push the breaker to off postion and push it little more to set it in then back on if so when go on do it stay on or quickly trip off or make noise when you try to turn it on if stay on and did you try to hit the test button on the AFCI breaker to see that work ?

There is only couple thing you can do is check for loose connection at the receptale or switch box depending on how it ran.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:37 PM   #9
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Lost power to two Rooms and Cannot Get it Back


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Originally Posted by frenchelectrican View Post
However did you push the breaker to off postion and push it little more to set it in then back on if so when go on do it stay on or quickly trip off or make noise when you try to turn it on if stay on and did you try to hit the test button on the AFCI breaker to see that work ?
I did turn it all the way off. I mean, I jabbed it pretty hard to the off to make sure it would reset. I pushed it over to ON and it just stayed there. I didn't hear anything outside of the initial CLICK from it going to the on position. I did not try hitting the TEST button as I don't really know what that will do. I'm mostly worried about starting a fire by constantly switching it back and forth.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:13 PM   #10
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Lost power to two Rooms and Cannot Get it Back


Quote:
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It's an AFCI breaker.
Next increment in the test procedure would be measuring voltage between hot terminal of breaker and neutral terminal of breaker (where white wire of the circuit in question is attached).

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