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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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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

    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen
    I believe that in this case "solid meh" means "so 'meh' that it could never be anything more than 'meh', and yet also no less than 'meh' -- in a word, exactly 'meh'"

  2. #2
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    Do you have a fork lift? If not, I'm afraid I won't be of any help.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
    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).
    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen
    I believe that in this case "solid meh" means "so 'meh' that it could never be anything more than 'meh', and yet also no less than 'meh' -- in a word, exactly 'meh'"

  4. #4
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    Oops, did I say fork lift? I meant a pair of plyers

  5. #5
    Banned. ModoVincere's Avatar
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    Do you smell any cooking mice?

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen
    I believe that in this case "solid meh" means "so 'meh' that it could never be anything more than 'meh', and yet also no less than 'meh' -- in a word, exactly 'meh'"

  7. #7
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
    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.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen
    I believe that in this case "solid meh" means "so 'meh' that it could never be anything more than 'meh', and yet also no less than 'meh' -- in a word, exactly 'meh'"

  9. #9
    Found my way <3 2 Ride's Avatar
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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.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. - Jimi Hendrix

    Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans. - John Lennon


  10. #10
    Dumb@s$ Jarhead mrt10x's Avatar
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    Now If only we had a wheelbarrow that would be something
    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by <3 2 Ride View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen
    I believe that in this case "solid meh" means "so 'meh' that it could never be anything more than 'meh', and yet also no less than 'meh' -- in a word, exactly 'meh'"

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrt10x View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen
    I believe that in this case "solid meh" means "so 'meh' that it could never be anything more than 'meh', and yet also no less than 'meh' -- in a word, exactly 'meh'"

  13. #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.

  14. #14
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    Extension cords.
    My Bikes: 2009 Breezer Uptown EX | 1980 Miyata Six Ten | 1970 Hercules Three-Two-Speed
    Wife's Bikes: 2008 Globe City 7 | 1972ish Peugeot UO-18 (in progress)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by <3 2 Ride View Post
    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
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  16. #16
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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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

  17. #17
    location:northern Ohio
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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?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  18. #18
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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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.
    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen
    I believe that in this case "solid meh" means "so 'meh' that it could never be anything more than 'meh', and yet also no less than 'meh' -- in a word, exactly 'meh'"

  19. #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.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  20. #20
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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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.
    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen
    I believe that in this case "solid meh" means "so 'meh' that it could never be anything more than 'meh', and yet also no less than 'meh' -- in a word, exactly 'meh'"

  21. #21
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Did you pay the power bill in full?
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  22. #22
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    just power your house with a van der graaf generator that is bicycle driven.
    Are you a registered member? Why not? Click here to register. It's free and only takes 27 seconds! Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.
    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  23. #23
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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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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  24. #24
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    The only tool you need:

    "Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes

  25. #25
    Banned. ModoVincere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
    The only tool you need:

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

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