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camdenkid 07-26-2012 01:57 PM

Open Circuit
In my kitchen, I had two 20 amp receptacles that opened somewhere in the run during a storm. One is used for the microwave and the other is used for the fridge. There are 2 runs of romax in each receptacle. One outlet feeds the other outlet which accounts for two romax ( one run per box ) which leaves one run coming in or going out of each outlet but I cant seem to find any other receptacle that isn't working properly and all breakers in the main panel are hot. These circuits opened at the same time and I tried everything I could think of to trace the dead circuits out but to no avail, then one day they started working again for a couple of weeks; then showed dead again. I have checked all I know to and was wondering if anyone may have any idea what may be going on with these receptacles.I really started getting concerned when the circuit showed hot again without me correcting any problem. Since then, I changed out both receptacles as well as the breaker that could possibly be the feed to the circuit. Does this sound like an open or loose neutral?


freedomlives 08-06-2012 03:39 PM

What do you mean by two runs of Romex? How many Romex cables in total go through each box?

Depending on who wired your house and how "creative" they were, the next outlet on that circuit could be in a different part of the house.

Is it possible that shaking from the storm loosened a splice somewhere? It sounds like something is loose somewhere. Is your wiring copper or aluminum? Aluminum is notorious, when used with the wrong connectors, for working its way loose and corroding. Anyway, it is a potentially dangerous situation, since if a conductor is loose, then it can be arcing when loosing contact and starting a fire. If you can't find the problem quickly, then it would be prudent to get an electrician in to figure it out.

MisterZ 08-06-2012 04:18 PM

any junction boxes on this circuit? Some DIYers simply wire nut connections together.
It is important to understand when splicing, pigtailing, etc, that wire nuts are not enoughto hold wires together.
Check any connections in outlet boxes and j-boxes. Make sure the wires are twisted together.
Twisting conductors together helps stop wire separation.

You could also go thru with a volt meter and check everything on this circuit to narrow down where power stops.
If both outlets are dead, then its likely to be whatever feeds these outlets first.
It aslo helps to know everything that is on this circuit. Some may be hot, while others are not.

camdenkid 08-07-2012 02:47 AM

Open Circuit
Thank You for your replys freedomlives & misterz. I have 2 cables coming into each box which are next to one another on the same wall. One box jumpers to the other box, which leaves one romax cable feeding out of each box. It is all copper wiring. The house was built in 1986, if that makes a difference. I found ( when the circuits came hot ) that the "electrician" used a 3 wire with ground romax one red, one black, one white wire and ground. The black wire is fed from one breaker and the red wire is fed from another breaker just below that one. He used one run to feed for two circuits, which complicates the troubleshooting. I know a pretty good deal about wiring (ALTHOUGH MY WIFE PROBALLY WOULDN'T AGREE) SHES THE ONE THAT FOUND THE RECEPICLES REENERGIZED-THE HARD WAY, but I've never ran a circuit in this manner. Is this even code in Tenn? And yes I got really nervous when it suddenly came hot again and I did think about a junction box but haven't found one yet. This is on the bottom story on a 2 and a half story house.

camdenkid 08-07-2012 04:50 AM

Open Circuit
After reading a few posts that are related to the problem I am having; it would seem that I dont know as much about wiring as I thought I did.:eek:It would seem that running two circuits from one romax isn't uncommon, the problem is: if a problem arises; such as my case; I will have to replace the wire from my A/C panel to where it splits in two seperate circuits since both circuits started with one 3 wire with a ground wont I? Also I didn't mention in my last post that I have replaced both recepticles and associated breakers. I have checked a lot of the other recepicles (since the wires are just pushed in from the back) but since I haven't any other dead recepticles, its kinda hard to figure out which direction it runs.:whistling2:

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