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Old 08-21-2009, 09:30 PM   #1
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Why can't i figure this out???


Ok, i'll try to make it short (no pun intended ha, i know i'm lame). This house 17 years old, has an outlet and light near the back door, with a switch just inside the door. Well she said that the outlet and light hasn't worked for about 6 years, and she finally called someone out to fix it.

So i found there is no power coming to the area, so went to the basement... and i flipped all of em off and on. Still no power. But it can't be a bad breaker because everything in the house (outlets, appliances etc) work. And there is no specific breaker for this outlet. So what i can deduct is that some where from the panel to the outlet, something has gone wrong. And i don't feel as though a solid 12 gauge could 'break' or a mouse chew it or something like that...

any thoughts would be appreciated.. hope everything makes sense.
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:39 PM   #2
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Why can't i figure this out???


Loose wire somewhere
Or a sawzall gone bad
Screw thru a wire
No hidden GFCI ?
outlet is inside or out?
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:59 PM   #3
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Why can't i figure this out???


So, just so we're clear and I understand the situation, a homeowner has an electrical problem with a light and receptacle and she called you to investigate. Is that correct?
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Old 08-22-2009, 12:32 AM   #4
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Why can't i figure this out???


inphase..that's shrewd! but your right...lady should call an electrician.

_Pete

oh...and to answer the OP's original title......."because you didn't go to trade school"
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Old 08-22-2009, 02:04 AM   #5
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Why can't i figure this out???


Inphase.. it was my grandmother

and pete, of course i didn't go to trade school, otherwise i wouldn't be posting on the DIY forum
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Old 08-22-2009, 02:26 AM   #6
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Why can't i figure this out???



Ns, Good reply, and welcome to the forum

You are going to have to trace the wiring to the source after first exploring Scuba Dave's points that question any precipitating event that occurred six years ago.
  • Major Repairs?
  • New addition?
  • Big Storms?
  • Plumbing changes?
  • New Installations? (6 years ago)

Keep us informed and we will help
.
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:28 AM   #7
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Why can't i figure this out???


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nshihhsieh View Post
Ok, i'll try to make it short (no pun intended ha, i know i'm lame). This house 17 years old, has an outlet and light near the back door, with a switch just inside the door. Well she said that the outlet and light hasn't worked for about 6 years, and she finally called someone out to fix it.

So i found there is no power coming to the area, so went to the basement... and i flipped all of em off and on. Still no power. But it can't be a bad breaker because everything in the house (outlets, appliances etc) work. And there is no specific breaker for this outlet. So what i can deduct is that some where from the panel to the outlet, something has gone wrong. And i don't feel as though a solid 12 gauge could 'break' or a mouse chew it or something like that...

any thoughts would be appreciated.. hope everything makes sense.
How did you determine no power comes into the switch or outside light? Use a voltage tester? Did you check in both the fixture box and the switch?
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:28 AM   #8
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Why can't i figure this out???


Yes, i tested with a multi meter and there is no power coming to anything

and we've added no additions, no remodel etc nothing like that.



So what has stumped me now is, maybe i have a bad breaker and don't know it, but i can't figure out which breaker it goes to because i can't test for power.

And another question, if one gfci outlet trips in the house, that effects all the outlets correct? so i need to find all of them and reset them correct?


thanks
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:35 AM   #9
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Why can't i figure this out???


First, check hot to neutral, then hot to ground. Also, check your meter on a known live circuit to make sure it is working. Check power at the nearest receptacle to the problem. Pull it out and inspect the wiring there. Test at the light switch.

Then move to the panel, and test each breaker. I'd recommend turning the main off while removing and installing the panel cover. Do not stand in front of the panel while testing, stand to the side. Ground one tester lead, and move from breaker to breaker making sure you get 120 V at each.

And yes, a GFCI could be the culprit, so test and reset all of them.
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Old 08-22-2009, 04:11 PM   #10
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Did you check in the outside light fixture junction box for power? I just spent a lot of time with the same problem and found the feed was thru the junction box outside and the neutral was being switched. Someone had changed the light fixture and a burned out bulb stopped all power to the switch and the receptical.
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