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Old 10-04-10, 06:04 PM   #1
Allen
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Question for Foo Electricians

The power just went out to my living room outlets.
The fuse is not blown, I reset it anyway, no joy.
More than one outlet was affected so I'm guessing the circuit breaker itself has failed. Does this sound reasonable?
And does anyone remember how to swap out a circuit breaker? I haven't done it in 10+ years.


Much thanks,

--Allen

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Old 10-04-10, 06:09 PM   #2
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Do you have a fork lift? If not, I'm afraid I won't be of any help.
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Old 10-04-10, 06:15 PM   #3
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Do you have a fork lift? If not, I'm afraid I won't be of any help.
I have a Massey Ferguson with a PTO, 35 feet of heavy duty chain with tow hooks on both ends, an Eastwing three foot wrecking bar, and if all else fails a 50 caliber mussel loading musket to put the poor thing out of its misery.

I really don't want to shoot my house (again).
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Old 10-04-10, 06:44 PM   #4
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Oops, did I say fork lift? I meant a pair of plyers
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Old 10-04-10, 06:52 PM   #5
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Do you smell any cooking mice?
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Old 10-04-10, 07:01 PM   #6
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Do you smell any cooking mice?
Nope.
Nothing that smells like ozone or an Alabama BBQ.

And no suspicious fires. Only obvious ones, but they are well behaved--seem like nice kids.

Last edited by Allen; 10-04-10 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:03 PM   #7
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Do you smell any cooking mice?
With a hint of chianti.

Seriously, you're going to need a bucket of water to remove that fuse. Let me know when you're ready to start.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:08 PM   #8
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With a hint of chianti.

Seriously, you're going to need a bucket of water to remove that fuse. Let me know when you're ready to start.
As soon as I get the metal sheeting laid out across the floor I'll PM you.

Oh, on that note--I tested to see which outlets were working with a hair dryer.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:18 PM   #9
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Have you checked to be certain that there isn't a GFCI outlet that is tripped somewhere? I lived in a house that had random outlets connected together and each breaker had a GFCI on it somewhere. It was always "fun" to try to find the one that had tripped.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:19 PM   #10
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Now If only we had a wheelbarrow that would be something
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Old 10-04-10, 07:22 PM   #11
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Have you checked to be certain that there isn't a GFCI outlet that is tripped somewhere? I lived in a house that had random outlets connected together and each breaker had a GFCI on it somewhere. It was always "fun" to try to find the one that had tripped.
Yep. The only GFCI outlets are in the bath, and kitchen. Both are on separate lines than the living room.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:25 PM   #12
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Now If only we had a wheelbarrow that would be something
How about an old van. I have an old van.
And a telescope and a broken airplane propeller.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:32 PM   #13
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Assuming no GFI that's tripped somewhere in the circuit....

Do you own and know how to use a volt meter ?.

If yes: Test drive the meter by testing it on a known good outlet. Turn on meter and set it to test anything over 120 volts AC. Then take off the cover to the CB panel. Find the correct circuit breaker. With the breaker set to the ON position, place black meter lead wire against the panel casing, and/or against the neutral buss (where all the white wires connect), then place the red meter lead/wire on the breaker terminal. Do not touch any wires with your hand/fingers.

If the meter shows 115 - 120'ish volts, the breaker is putting out power. Then turn off the breaker to make sure the voltage reading goes to zero. If it doesn't you might have a breaker issue. If there's no voltage out of the breaker when it's set to ON, then bad breaker. If the breaker functions and shows voltage when ON and none when OFF, then chances are the breakers OK and the problem is in the wiring and/or outlets.

Trace down the wiring to try to find the first outlet or light. If the breaker kills power to the circuit when OFF, then turn it off and start opening up outlets/lights till you find either a loose hot wire, loose neutral wire, bad receptacle, loose terminal connection, etc... Then try to trace your way down the circuit.

BTW, is the hair dryer/tester good ?.

Steve B.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:33 PM   #14
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Extension cords.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:34 PM   #15
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Have you checked to be certain that there isn't a GFCI outlet that is tripped somewhere? I lived in a house that had random outlets connected together and each breaker had a GFCI on it somewhere. It was always "fun" to try to find the one that had tripped.
^yes,or press lightly on the circut breaker to see it is grabbing on the rear tab.If you're"afeared",turn the main off at the top of the panel box before you press on the breaker.
Are you sure you turned the breaker to OFF then ON?
Is there another(sub)panel in the house with CB's?
Check the non-functioning outlet nearest the electric panel (outlets are usually in sequence)to see if it's hot.Could be a loose lead on the first outlet.
You do own a $2 circut tester?Two paper clips with bare hands will also work if money is an issue(do not stand in water with this economy tester).


Call us back after you check the above items
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Old 10-04-10, 07:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightingguy View Post
Assuming no GFI that's tripped somewhere in the circuit....

Do you own and know how to use a volt meter ?.

If yes: Test drive the meter by testing it on a known good outlet. Turn on meter and set it to test anything over 120 volts AC. Then take off the cover to the CB panel. Find the correct circuit breaker. With the breaker set to the ON position, place black meter lead wire against the panel casing, and/or against the neutral buss (where all the white wires connect), then place the red meter lead/wire on the breaker terminal. Do not touch any wires with your hand/fingers.

If the meter shows 115 - 120'ish volts, the breaker is putting out power. Then turn off the breaker to make sure the voltage reading goes to zero. If it doesn't you might have a breaker issue. If there's no voltage out of the breaker when it's set to ON, then bad breaker. If the breaker functions and shows voltage when ON and none when OFF, then chances are the breakers OK and the problem is in the wiring and/or outlets.

Trace down the wiring to try to find the first outlet or light. If the breaker kills power to the circuit when OFF, then turn it off and start opening up outlets/lights till you find either a loose hot wire, loose neutral wire, bad receptacle, loose terminal connection, etc... Then try to trace your way down the circuit.

BTW, is the hair dryer/tester good ?.

Steve B.
But, but ... you forgot the water You youngin's and your high tech methods
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Old 10-04-10, 07:50 PM   #17
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Anyone remember when the Three Stooges Contracting Co hooked up the electric lights,turned on the switch,and water shot out of the light fixtures?
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Old 10-04-10, 07:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightingguy View Post
Assuming no GFI that's tripped somewhere in the circuit....

Do you own and know how to use a volt meter ?.

If yes: Test drive the meter by testing it on a known good outlet. Turn on meter and set it to test anything over 120 volts AC. Then take off the cover to the CB panel. Find the correct circuit breaker. With the breaker set to the ON position, place black meter lead wire against the panel casing, and/or against the neutral buss (where all the white wires connect), then place the red meter lead/wire on the breaker terminal. Do not touch any wires with your hand/fingers.

If the meter shows 115 - 120'ish volts, the breaker is putting out power. Then turn off the breaker to make sure the voltage reading goes to zero. If it doesn't you might have a breaker issue. If there's no voltage out of the breaker when it's set to ON, then bad breaker. If the breaker functions and shows voltage when ON and none when OFF, then chances are the breakers OK and the problem is in the wiring and/or outlets.

Trace down the wiring to try to find the first outlet or light. If the breaker kills power to the circuit when OFF, then turn it off and start opening up outlets/lights till you find either a loose hot wire, loose neutral wire, bad receptacle, loose terminal connection, etc... Then try to trace your way down the circuit.

BTW, is the hair dryer/tester good ?.

Steve B.
No joy on the volt meter.
I know all of the outlets are daisy chained on one line (and the only thing on that line) headed back to the circumspect CB.

Order of business tomorrow is head to the hardware store, buy volt meter and a new circuit breaker.
Test existing CB.
Replace if screwy.
Hope I'm not checking outlets.


And thank you very much.

Last edited by Allen; 10-04-10 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 10-04-10, 08:14 PM   #19
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Turn off the main disconnect before you poke your nose in the breaker box.
Make sure you buy the same brand as the panel GE,Siemens,etc. and amps.
Breakers are cheap,no need for an expensive tester yet,or you can drive over and borrow mine.
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Old 10-04-10, 08:52 PM   #20
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Gotcha.
Throw the big switch outside first.
Pull the dodgy circuit breaker and drive to the hardware store with it in hand.
Replace everything.
Throw big Igor switch on the back of the house on (this is where the bucket of water and sheet metal come into play) and see if I have power in the living room.
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Old 10-04-10, 09:16 PM   #21
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Did you pay the power bill in full?
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Old 10-04-10, 10:45 PM   #22
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just power your house with a van der graaf generator that is bicycle driven.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 10-04-10, 11:20 PM   #23
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Ummmm you know that the main circuit breaker to a house has line voltage going to it, right? 240V with wire from the mains that's 3/8" thick -- capable of carrying hundreds of amps. Normally electricians have to call the power company to physically disconnect power from your home to swap these out. And I don't understand why a poster suggested keeping with the same brand, this makes no sense. Fundamentally they're all about the same; there are standards that they all abide by. You might also see this as an opportunity to upgrade your panel to a higher amperage one. When my parent's failed, they upgraded from a 100 to a 200 amp breaker.
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Old 10-05-10, 03:01 AM   #24
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The only tool you need:

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Old 10-05-10, 06:27 AM   #25
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The only tool you need:

incorrect, son.
This is GA. The only tool you need is this:
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