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Reesh 08-07-2005 10:36 PM

Short circuit and circuit breaker
Hi All,

I have 3 outlets which I believe all run on a specific circuit breaker, that no longer work. The breaker did not trip, resetting it did not restore power to them. Coincidentally, about 1 month after noticing these outlets went dead, I had a heat alarm "short circuit", where it just went haywire. I initially thought I just may have a bad circuit breaker/replacement job, but now I'm thinking I might have a short somewhere in my home. I'm in a 2 year old condo apartment, thoughts anyone?


daman3178 08-07-2005 10:56 PM

I am not to trained on this but do know a little so I will try to help I am sure others will to soon. If you have a short circuit you might try some of these tips I found on this site to pin point it. Like I said, I am not an expert and I am sure others know more and will reply soon!!!

MgMopar 08-08-2005 12:02 AM

Hi Richard

I understand you have 3 outlets no longer working. I am not sure what you are referring to as a "heat alarm". You said the breaker did not trip. You may have a short but I am wondering how you know that you tried resetting the correct breaker. Breakers for outlets are not always labeled correctly. nor do they always show clearly that hthey have tripped. Is there any other fixtures or outlets not working? To find out if you have a "short" you would have to verify the breaker is functioning with a voltage checker (meter or light) in the panal. (if you are not familiar with this type of test it may be time to get someone to show you) If you do check for power and it's at the breaker then you don't have what is refereed to as a "short" it would be a "open circuit" To track either one down is test, test, test so. Lets start with just the breaker or breakers for now. If you don't have power at the breaker then you will have to start with the breaker, but use caution when reseting the circut (if the breaker did go bad it could of been from a short.

Reesh 08-08-2005 08:43 AM

In my laundry room, I have a heat/smoke alarm, which is interconnected with the other smoke alarms within my apartment. This alarm went berserk and went off, someone from our Fire Department took down the alarm and said it short-circuited. However, it occured to me that my this incident, combined with my circuits no longer working might be related.

I have attempted to reset each breaker, in case of mislabelling. None have re-tripped. The alarm and the outlets in question are supposed to be on separate breakers. I purchased replacement breakers and removed the control panel from my power box, but had reservations in actually performing the replacement, especially since I did not see a main power switch to turn off. I'm leaning towards just hiring an electrician, just wanted some opinions if this was a do-it-yourself job or not.

daman3178 08-08-2005 10:37 PM

You know the deeper you get into this problem the worst it seemd to be! If this was me and I was not sure like you are I would go ahead and have someone come in. You are messing with power here and it can get tricky and dangerous real quick if you are not sure what you are doing. The cost might be there, but you also have to look at other thinks like if you do get hurt what about a hospital bill. So my 2 cents is to hire someone that knows this stuff!!

MgMopar 08-09-2005 01:40 AM

Hi Reesh

I agree with daman you should be getting an electrician. There is not enogh room to speak of safety here and general diagnostic is an interactive type thing. However I can tell you my thought of what might of occurred. I have actuality found quite a few cases were a fixture is removed or replaced and strange other things happen. (i.e. you alarm removal). I many of these cases I have found that other wires passing threw a junction box were originally questionably connected. Just the action of disturbing the wires were enough to loosen a wire from the nut. I am not saying this is what you have happening. This would first be verified that the breaker is pssing power threw (with a testing light or meter) then the alarm junction box would be inspected Carefully (knowing that there may be loose and possibly live wires). Buy the way if your unit is only two years old I am pretty sure you will have a main somewhere. I recommend letting the electrician know the make and part number of the alarm the firemen had pulled down (it may save a service cal if he is able to install it for you). I also have to wonder if your condo association might have some repair responsibility for the heat/fire alarms. You may decide to check you association papers to see (note sure if I would contact them unless they for sure do. (associations can many times have a lot of red tape). I hope at least some of the input will help you understand what you might have happening and what steps an electrician most likely will take. Good luck what ever path you take.

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