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kirp1968 05-30-2012 10:05 AM

No power in house
We just purchased a previous rental house that had the electrical wires removed by bad tenants. Previous owner had wires replaced and a new breaker box installed outside. Looks like a professional job. We had the power company turn on power today, but nothing in the house has power. The main switch is in the on position, as are the switches for specific rooms. The AC, stove, furnace, and dryer are not on as those systems are not functioning now. Why don't the outlets and lights work? We don't see any sign that anything in the house works. Thanks.

k_buz 05-30-2012 10:11 AM

It sounds like one of two things

1) There is no power coming from the meter to the main breaker
2) The previous owners/tenants really f-d up the wiring

First thing I would do is turn the main breaker to the off position then turn it back on to make sure the breaker is really on. Then flip all the branch circuit breakers to the off positions and turn them back on.

If nothing changes, call an electrician.

gregzoll 05-30-2012 10:13 AM

Your best thing is to call the power co, to come back and look at their side, and have an electrician look at the inside. Something is wrong, if there is no power and all of the breakers are on.

Of course, there is a chance that there may be a main breaker disconnect outside that needs to be turned on.

k_buz 05-30-2012 10:18 AM

That is a good that I assumed the POCO would at least check if there was power to the main breaker. They have always done that around here, but that doesn't mean that everyone does the same thing everywhere.

JulieMor 05-30-2012 12:12 PM

Sometimes, to shut the power off, the electric company will install insulators on the stabs on the back of the meter, then reinstall the meter. That way they know if it's been tampered with because you have to break the seal to remove the insulators. Maybe the boys who turned your power back on missed this.

They should have tested the load side of the meter before they left.

dmxtothemax 05-31-2012 04:54 AM

Do you know how to use a tester ?
If so start at the main switch/breaker,
Is there power there ?

gregzoll 05-31-2012 07:19 AM

Well, either their battery ran out, or another one post wonder. Me thinks that we should start giving newb's at least 24 to 36 hours to allow them to come back and bump their post, before answering.

kirp1968 06-06-2012 03:37 AM

several outlets and lights not working
50 year old house, still has two wire receptacles. Some have one plug burned out (the front plastic part is completely burned out, but the other plug works). Some outlets and lights work fine, others don't show power when I use a tester. Could it be that some connection in an outlet or outlets is bad? I plan on installing new receptacles and switches in the whole house, and making sure each wire is secured properly. Could this get all the lights and outlets working again? Thanks a lot.

biggles 06-06-2012 06:48 AM

go to the circuit breaker panel cover off and check all the breakers to ground in the ON position for 115Vs this will verify the panel is feeding the rooms...if the house and wiring is that old adding 3 prong sockets will be a waste is you don't have a ground wire within the boxes back to the panel

rjniles 06-06-2012 07:03 AM


Originally Posted by biggles (Post 937477)
go to the circuit breaker panel cover off and check all the breakers to ground in the ON position for 115Vs this will verify the panel is feeding the rooms...if the house and wiring is that old adding 3 prong sockets will be a waste is you don't have a ground wire within the boxes back to the panel

It is also a code violation.

rrolleston 06-06-2012 07:38 AM

If the wire was replaced then there should be grounded receptacles. It seems you were not told the whole story.

kirp1968 06-06-2012 09:09 AM

more info
The wiring was replaced from the new breaker panel to somewhere around the old fuse box. When I pull out a receptacle it has old looking copper wire attached to screws on the sides. Half of the house lights and receptacles work. The nonworking ones are all on one side of the house. Does this clarify anything? When my wife was in a room with a light on, she said the light went out and the outlets nearby no longer worked. I tested the light, and it was not getting power. I'm thinking it is a situation of a several bad connections in at least two, maybe three circuits.???

kirp1968 06-10-2012 03:42 AM

some changes
Yesterday I started changing receptacles. 17 done so far. Now the light that went out when my wife was in the room is working again. But bathroom and other outlets and lights still aren't getting power. Is it possible that putting in new light switches would get some outlets working? Would changing out the lights possibly help as well? I didn't find any bad connections, but many of the copper wires had green corrosion from prolonged moisture. They appeared to be many years old, possibly original from 1962. Thanks.

rrolleston 06-10-2012 05:51 AM

Hopefully you bought ungroounded receptacles for all your replacements. And just replacing them may not help you have to find out where the bad connections are. Possibly between the new panel and old fuse box.

oh'mike 06-10-2012 06:08 AM

You are in over your head on this one---do you have a tester and do you know how to use it?

By changing out switches and outlets without knowing why the circuits are not working,you are compounding the problems.

Get a tester--trace the circuits from the panel and find the problems before you start swapping parts--
You might overlook snapping off a tab on a switched outlet--and end up with a 220 volt dead short--

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