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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I'm hoping that someone will be able to help me figure out an issue that I have. I was replacing the lights (installing ceiling fans) in my master bedroom over multiple days and after I had completed 3 of the 4 lights everything was working perfectly in the room (unknown if one outlet was working as it was behind a mirror). The next day the AFCI circuit breaker had tripped and would not reset. I unplugged everything in the room and made sure the light switch was off and the circuit breaker still would not reset. Based on this, I thought that the AFCI circuit breaker may have gone bad. I opted to replace the AFCI circuit breaker with a new AFCI/GFCI circuit breaker (SquareD Homeline) and power was restored to the room and I finished replacing the 4th light without issue.

However, after replacing the circuit breaker, I discovered that one of the outlets that had always had something plugged into it was no longer functional. I checked all the other outlets in the room and found that 6 of 8 outlets were working normally and the other outlet on the same wall (but opposite a doorway to the bathroom) was not working (as noted, it is behind a mirror so I can't say if it was working previously).

When I first purchased the house (2006 construction) I went through the house and wrote down the circuit numbers on every single outlet by turning off circuits and figuring out where power was lost (and replaced almost all of them with tamper resistant receptacles) so I know that the 2 outlets are not on a different circuit with a GFCI. The outlets in the bathroom near the non-functioning outlets are GFCI protected but they are all working normally. While I doubted that anything would be wrong with the receptacles themselves, I did replace both outlets and they are still not working. One of them is an end terminal outlet (only 1 wire going to it - I suppose it is possible that another wire used to be there and slipped out of the box but that seems extremely unlikely and the AFCI should trip if there is a loose powered wire in the wall - all wires are 14/2 Romex). Just to be sure, I checked the wiring of the nearest outlets (especially the one closest to the non-terminal outlet) to see if there were any loose wires and everything is tight.

Any suggestions for what I might be missing?
Thanks in advance
 

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Naildriver
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You could have accidentally allowed a ground wire to touch a neutral wire in one of the boxes. That will cause an irretrievable trip on an AFCI.
 

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kitchen remodel
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Hi,
I'm hoping that someone will be able to help me figure out an issue that I have. I was replacing the lights (installing ceiling fans) in my master bedroom over multiple days and after I had completed 3 of the 4 lights everything was working perfectly in the room (unknown if one outlet was working as it was behind a mirror). The next day the AFCI circuit breaker had tripped and would not reset. I unplugged everything in the room and made sure the light switch was off and the circuit breaker still would not reset. Based on this, I thought that the AFCI circuit breaker may have gone bad. I opted to replace the AFCI circuit breaker with a new AFCI/GFCI circuit breaker (SquareD Homeline) and power was restored to the room and I finished replacing the 4th light without issue.

However, after replacing the circuit breaker, I discovered that one of the outlets that had always had something plugged into it was no longer functional. I checked all the other outlets in the room and found that 6 of 8 outlets were working normally and the other outlet on the same wall (but opposite a doorway to the bathroom) was not working (as noted, it is behind a mirror so I can't say if it was working previously).

When I first purchased the house (2006 construction) I went through the house and wrote down the circuit numbers on every single outlet by turning off circuits and figuring out where power was lost (and replaced almost all of them with tamper resistant receptacles) so I know that the 2 outlets are not on a different circuit with a GFCI. The outlets in the bathroom near the non-functioning outlets are GFCI protected but they are all working normally. While I doubted that anything would be wrong with the receptacles themselves, I did replace both outlets and they are still not working. One of them is an end terminal outlet (only 1 wire going to it - I suppose it is possible that another wire used to be there and slipped out of the box but that seems extremely unlikely and the AFCI should trip if there is a loose powered wire in the wall - all wires are 14/2 Romex). Just to be sure, I checked the wiring of the nearest outlets (especially the one closest to the non-terminal outlet) to see if there were any loose wires and everything is tight.

Any suggestions for what I might be missing?
Thanks in advance
And you're sure the outlet behind the mirror is on the same circuit as the other receptacles you were working on? You should start with your first circuit receptacle and go down the line in order for every receptacle on the load side to check wiring/connections. An end terminal receptacle should still have more than one wire. The power going to it still needs a path back to the panel.
 

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The end of the run receptacle does not need a cable to return current to the panel. The neutral handles the return current.
 

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The end of the run receptacle does not need a cable to return current to the panel. The neutral handles the return current.
Maybe I'm thinking of a different end terminal set up?
662359
 

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The diagram only shows one cable at the end of the run.
 

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The diagram only shows one cable at the end of the run.
"One of them is an end terminal outlet (only 1 wire going to it)"

He said "wire" not "cable" so I thought he meant literally one wire. Am I wrong? Seems like that's what he's talking about because he was wondering himself if one of them slipped out of the connection.
 

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Hi,
I'm hoping that someone will be able to help me figure out an issue that I have. I was replacing the lights (installing ceiling fans) in my master bedroom over multiple days and after I had completed 3 of the 4 lights everything was working perfectly in the room (unknown if one outlet was working as it was behind a mirror). The next day the AFCI circuit breaker had tripped and would not reset. I unplugged everything in the room and made sure the light switch was off and the circuit breaker still would not reset. Based on this, I thought that the AFCI circuit breaker may have gone bad. I opted to replace the AFCI circuit breaker with a new AFCI/GFCI circuit breaker (SquareD Homeline) and power was restored to the room and I finished replacing the 4th light without issue.

However, after replacing the circuit breaker, I discovered that one of the outlets that had always had something plugged into it was no longer functional. I checked all the other outlets in the room and found that 6 of 8 outlets were working normally and the other outlet on the same wall (but opposite a doorway to the bathroom) was not working (as noted, it is behind a mirror so I can't say if it was working previously).

When I first purchased the house (2006 construction) I went through the house and wrote down the circuit numbers on every single outlet by turning off circuits and figuring out where power was lost (and replaced almost all of them with tamper resistant receptacles) so I know that the 2 outlets are not on a different circuit with a GFCI. The outlets in the bathroom near the non-functioning outlets are GFCI protected but they are all working normally. While I doubted that anything would be wrong with the receptacles themselves, I did replace both outlets and they are still not working. One of them is an end terminal outlet (only 1 wire going to it - I suppose it is possible that another wire used to be there and slipped out of the box but that seems extremely unlikely and the AFCI should trip if there is a loose powered wire in the wall - all wires are 14/2 Romex). Just to be sure, I checked the wiring of the nearest outlets (especially the one closest to the non-terminal outlet) to see if there were any loose wires and everything is tight.

Any suggestions for what I might be missing?
Thanks in advance
Are these outlets pigtailed or daisy chained. You tell us what the end outlet looks like, but the other outlet, the possible problem you say nothing.
 

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"One of them is an end terminal outlet (only 1 wire going to it)"

He said "wire" not "cable" so I thought he meant literally one wire. Am I wrong? Seems like that's what he's talking about because he was wondering himself if one of them slipped out of the connection.
I took it that the one wire outlet was the end of the circuit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You could have accidentally allowed a ground wire to touch a neutral wire in one of the boxes. That will cause an irretrievable trip on an AFCI.
Thanks for your suggestion. This could make sense but the AFCI has NOT tripped and my understanding is that an AFCI trip should affect the entire downstream circuit and not just two of the 8 outlets. The AFCI is at circuit panel level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for everyone's help. It turns out that there was a wire that came loose from the light switch in the room and those two outlets received their power from that wire.
 

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Thanks for the update. It is always good to know how the problem got resolved.
 
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