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Old 12-30-2012, 11:23 PM   #1
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No power from electrical wires?


Ok, here is the scenario:

I replaced all the receptacles with new ones (nothing fancy, just regular ones with a ground) and the light switches ([1] 3-way and [1] 4-way and [2] standard single pole switches).

The dining room area has one of the standard single pole switches and I replaced it with a known working (new) switch, nothing. So, I moved onto the living room just to finish up before turning on the power and the three and four way worked as designed by turning on and off the ceiling fan and the light. The reason I needed a four-way is there is a common wire from the four way to a standard SP switch that powers the front porch lights, once again, all tested fine when I put the power back on EXCEPT the dining room. I went back to buy another new single pole switch just to make sure; however, this time not only does the dining room light not work the living room, front porch light and three receptacles in the living no longer work! These ALL tested working with a multimeter right before I left to buy another switch.

I pulled the wires out and tested at each switch location and none of the wires are "hot". I am stumped?

I replaced the breaker just to be sure and to no avail. I made sure to replace each switch one-by-one replacing the wires as they were originally setup in the old switch so there would be no confusion.

Any ideas?

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Old 12-31-2012, 06:35 AM   #2
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No power from electrical wires?


If you have power working but no fixtures work? It's the neutral---start checking the neutrals.

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Old 12-31-2012, 07:13 AM   #3
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No power from electrical wires?


Typically a 4 way switch will not have straight power to it. The only wires connected will be travelers.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:13 AM   #4
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No power from electrical wires?


Quote:
Originally Posted by envirocbr View Post
I made sure to replace each switch one-by-one replacing the wires as they were originally setup in the old switch so there would be no confusion.
This is not nearly a fool-proof way. Not all switch brands arrange the screws in the same fashion.

Sorry, no way I could even begin to help with all those switches and confusion.
Best bet would be to bring someone in for a service call to figure it all out.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:56 AM   #5
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No power from electrical wires?


Gotcha. I am bringing someone in for a second opinion; however, I pulled the switches out and left only the wires and there is absolutely no power to detected at the wires at any location
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:43 AM   #6
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No power from electrical wires?


try resetting breakers..you may have to push them all the way "off" then back to "on" for them to reset...if nothing then maybe your new breaker isn't seating properly..just a thought

Last edited by techpappy; 12-31-2012 at 10:44 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:34 AM   #7
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No power from electrical wires?


I made sure it was seated, numerous times. The problem is the labeling is horrible on the panel (go figure) so I went through them one-by-one to verify everything would turn off and when off and on when on. However, the one that appears to be the breaker for the receps that aren't working also controls the receps that are working in the same room :/
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:37 AM   #8
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No power from electrical wires?


What kind of tester are you using?
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:44 AM   #9
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No power from electrical wires?


A multimeter. With the switches and receps off (bare wires exposed) I am not getting any voltage; however, across the living room, there is one outlet that is working and I can the voltage readings off that.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:48 AM   #10
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No power from electrical wires?


Also, remember, I tested continuity on the switches to ensure that 1. they worked and 2. I had the wiring figured out, especially on the three and four way circuits. I also even put the wires into different positions; however, none of this mattered because I was getting NO voltage at the wires
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:50 AM   #11
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No power from electrical wires?


Have you tested each breaker for power? That's where to start---

I'm not a licensed electrician--
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:00 PM   #12
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No power from electrical wires?


yep, I get power there, tested that last night
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:01 PM   #13
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No power from electrical wires?


With no switches installed, you would not get any power at the 4 way switch, and could only have power on 1 wire at either 3 way switch.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:03 PM   #14
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No power from electrical wires?


jb: at least one wire would have power going to it and I tested across all wires and to no avail. The switch in the "dinette" room is just a standard SP switch (2 wire) and there is no power on those wires
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:08 PM   #15
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No power from electrical wires?


Looking back I see you have 1 3 way and 1 4 way.
The switches can not be wired like this.

What you need to do is try and trace the wire from the panel into the first box.
Do you have anything on that circuit that doesn't work when the breaker is off, but works with the breaker on.

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