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Old 09-01-2012, 11:41 PM   #1
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Some of my outlets are not working...what could it be?


Hi there!

I live in a one bedroom attic apartment and I know nothing about common electrical problems short of how to fix a tripped circuit breaker and how to change an outlet if it's jiggly.

Today, I had a very weird occurrence. My apartment is on 2 circuits: One for the appliances in the kitchen and one for the lights and outlets everywhere else. Today, nothing in my living room worked (no outlets, no ceiling light) but the rest of the apartment was unaffected and worked like normal. I've already chatted with my landlord who is going to call "the guy," but I am very curious to know what could have caused this problem.

Any thoughts from those that know a thing or two?

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Old 09-02-2012, 08:27 AM   #2
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Some of my outlets are not working...what could it be?


If the entire circuit is dead---tripped breaker---

If only part of the circuit is off----loose or burned wire---frequently the neutral leg of the circuit.

Some older installs used an outlet as a 'pass through' instead of twisting the wires together and using a 'pig tail ' to the outlet.

If the outlet goes bad---you loose everything down line from the bad outlet.

This method of wiring is no longer allowed in new construction,but is grandfathered in to existing homes.

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Old 09-02-2012, 09:28 AM   #3
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Some of my outlets are not working...what could it be?


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Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post

Some older installs used an outlet as a 'pass through' instead of twisting the wires together and using a 'pig tail ' to the outlet.

If the outlet goes bad---you loose everything down line from the bad outlet.

This method of wiring is no longer allowed in new construction,but is grandfathered in to existing homes.
Still allowed Mike with #14 wire. Not recommended but is compliant.
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:35 AM   #4
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Some of my outlets are not working...what could it be?


This is the landord's problem. It's ill advised and possibly illegal for a tenant to do repair work on a rental property.
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:44 AM   #5
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Some of my outlets are not working...what could it be?


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike
If the entire circuit is dead---tripped breaker---

If only part of the circuit is off----loose or burned wire---frequently the neutral leg of the circuit.

Some older installs used an outlet as a 'pass through' instead of twisting the wires together and using a 'pig tail ' to the outlet.

If the outlet goes bad---you loose everything down line from the bad outlet.

This method of wiring is no longer allowed in new construction,but is grandfathered in to existing homes.
Show me where its not allowed.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:36 AM   #6
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Some of my outlets are not working...what could it be?


Neutrals of a MWBC cannot be dependent on a device for its continuity. It doesn't matter the size of the wire, or the type of building.

You need to call the landlord. If you mess up one thing in your troubleshooting, there is a good chance you will end up footing the bill for the repair. If you should happen to cause a major problem such as a fire or damage to anything in the other apartments, you will be on the hook.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:47 AM   #7
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Some of my outlets are not working...what could it be?


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Neutrals of a MWBC cannot be dependent on a device for its continuity. It doesn't matter the size of the wire, or the type of building.

You need to call the landlord. If you mess up one thing in your troubleshooting, there is a good chance you will end up footing the bill for the repair. If you should happen to cause a major problem such as a fire or damage to anything in the other apartments, you will be on the hook.
Who said anything about MWBC's?
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:55 AM   #8
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Some of my outlets are not working...what could it be?


Quote:
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Who said anything about MWBC's?
Nobody. People were quoting a code incorrectly, and I was just straightening that out.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:52 PM   #9
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Some of my outlets are not working...what could it be?


I've already called the landlord (as stated in my original post) and he's going to call the electrician (also stated in original post). I was just wondering what could cause this to stop working. Due to the holiday weekend, I won't know until Tuesday and the suspense is killing me.
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:04 PM   #10
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Some of my outlets are not working...what could it be?


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Still allowed Mike with #14 wire. Not recommended but is compliant.
Still allowed with # 12 AWG too!
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Old 09-02-2012, 02:02 PM   #11
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Still allowed with # 12 AWG too!
Agreed.. I think he was referring to backstabbing.
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:33 PM   #12
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Show me where its not allowed.
Be nice---I'm not an electrician--- although I have worked for one off an on for years---he wants all circuits made up with pigtails----so I wrongly assumed it was code---I appreciate the correction--
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:20 AM   #13
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Some of my outlets are not working...what could it be?


Quote:
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Be nice---I'm not an electrician--- although I have worked for one off an on for years---he wants all circuits made up with pigtails----so I wrongly assumed it was code---I appreciate the correction--
I was being nice. We all miss things I just wanted to see if it was something I missed or just a misinterpretion

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