DIY Home Improvement Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have posted threads about adding circuits to my garage and this forum has heloped me get the info so I am ready to start. I have also reported having 4 breakers that don't seem connected to anything - but I do have two outlets in my kitchen that are dead and I want to correct that before I starat my wiring project. The circuit went dead while I was using my shop vac so I heard it stop.

As far as I can tell the circuit is fed directly from the panel and I think I can trace it as it comes up the kitchen wall and across my attic to the panel wall. It is a BX cable that feeds one outlet and then the second outlet is fed via the second set of screws on the outlet to a short romex cable. There are no GFI ouitlets. I posted the problem in an earlier thread and it was suggested that I should check continuity between the neutral and ground to see if the whole cable is disconnected and there is continuity between the two. I have also checked the breaker by taking the over off the panel and checking that the breakers are feeding power across all circuits and that checks out. I also checked the wire coming out of the breaker in case there was a weak connection and didn't find any open circuits.

Any further advice would be grately appreciated.

Thanks,
Art
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,263 Posts
I have had to deal with an outlet that went "dead" and after a few 4-letter word irritation I found a GFCI hidden behind a bookcase. But also found that I had overloaded that circuit.

Sent from my Pixel 5a using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Hi, I know in some dwellings the contractor (designer) will route the electrical in the shortest route possible for GFI's. Example, if a bathroom is closest to the panel, it'll be a home run to that bathroom GFI, and then they'll hop over to the kitchen area that needs GFI protection and use a regular receptacle off the load side of the bathroom GFI.
This actual scenario bit me pretty good when I lived out west. I was troubleshooting a kitchen outlet and having no success when my ex "helped" me by asking why her hair dryer didn't work on the bathroom GFI. Reset it and voila!! This was 20 years ago. So as posted above from Chuck, one needs to check back on the circuit with a good circuit tester. Hope this helps.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,207 Posts
Hi, I know in some dwellings the contractor (designer) will route the electrical in the shortest route possible for GFI's. Example, if a bathroom is closest to the panel, it'll be a home run to that bathroom GFI, and then they'll hop over to the kitchen area that needs GFI protection and use a regular receptacle off the load side of the bathroom GFI.
This actual scenario bit me pretty good when I lived out west. I was troubleshooting a kitchen outlet and having no success when my ex "helped" me by asking why her hair dryer didn't work on the bathroom GFI. Reset it and voila!! This was 20 years ago. So as posted above from Chuck, one needs to check back on the circuit with a good circuit tester. Hope this helps.
Just a side note, but circuits serving both the kitchen and bathroom receptacles has not been code for mamy many years.
 
  • Like
Reactions: J. V.

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I understand a GFI could cause this problem. I just went through the effort to label every outlet, switch and any other receptacle in the house - over 140 of them. I also believe I am able to see the BX cable from the outlet to the panel which gives me a bit more confidence. I can't follow the BX into the box with any certainty. I even checked the wire at the outlet in case the connection was bad in the outlet but that wasn't a problem. All that being said I think I am overlooking are incorrectly reporting something. I believe the problem is at one of the 4 dead breakers and am considering disconnecting the neutral to each so I can see when it breakes the continuity to ground and I would at least have identified the cable. It would be be too difficult if it turns out not to be one of the 4 dead breakers. What would an electrician do? Is thee a tool that can trace a dead circuit?

Thanks again for your help.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,207 Posts
A dead circuit can be found using a fox and hound that sends out a tone a receiver will pick up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A dead circuit can be found using a fox and hound that sends out a tone a receiver will pick up.
I looked up a few and would like to lean towards the less expensive ones. The ones I have seen seem to be for network cables not mentioning electrical circuits. Would they still work? I guess I can try to use it to trace back my dead circuits into my house.

Thanks as always for your help.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,207 Posts
The low voltage tracers will work on dead line voltage wires. Klein has one for $70.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,789 Posts
Just make sure the circuit is actually dead. For instance if you are testing for a broken neutral wire by checking continuity between N and G, then if you are right and an appliance is on the dead side, it will be pulling neutral up to 120V. So you might end up reading more ohms than you bargained for! LOL!

I have had to deal with an outlet that went "dead" and after a few 4-letter word irritation I found a GFCI hidden behind a bookcase. But also found that I had overloaded that circuit.
I'm all in favor of junction boxes concealed by books in bookshelves, but that's ridiculous.

They ought to have some sort of gadget that warns you when you're overloading a cicruit :)

Seriously though, I jumped when my Kill-a-Watt screamed in pain when I tried to pull more than 15 amps through it. I didn't know the thing could make sounds! It apparently has a speaker for that purpose alone.

I know GFCIs aren't in the business of monitoring overcurrent, but that would be a cool feature for bathrooms and kitchens where the GFCI is by definition in the same room as the user.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top