No announcement yet.

too broke to hire electrician


Forum Top GA Ad Widget

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • too broke to hire electrician

    Problem began as no power to 2 bedrooms. Ceiling fan/light in bedroom1 works, also bathroom on same circuit works. Replaced every outlet & switch that don't work in both bedrooms. Then used a little 'testor'-(2 probes & a light bulb) to check for power. On each of the outlets we now get a light when inserting the probes into the sockets, but nothing we plug in will work.
    We just learned that one of the outlets in bedroom 1 has been working off & on for some time.
    We just installed shelves, which required drilling & mollys, on the wall of bedroom2 (common wall). Don't think that is significant, but thought maybe something was jarred loose. Nothing appeared loose when replacing the outlets, though.
    We don't know how to determine the order of outlets on the line, and not quite sure if we need to. (Saw that referred to on another post).
    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    The neon tester turns on with as little as 90 volts, maybe not enough to operate a motor device but a lamp should turn on.
    Find the circuit in the panelbox and the wire that exits. Trace this as best you can along the joists and see where it goes up in the wall. Then determine what room it is in and go from there. It may go to a switchbox first, make a splice then go to an outlet in the room - or - it may go to an outlet first then is daisychained to the next outlet and so on, then maybe go up to a switchbox.
    Wiring can be frustrating, just take your time and reason things out.


    • #3
      Is the receptacle in the bathroom part of the same circuit or only the bathroom light? If the receptacle is on the same circuit then make sure the GFCI is not tripped. Push in the reset button on the receptacle.

      If that doesn't work then I would check the last working receptacle on this circuit, that may be the bathroom one, Make sure the wires are all tight under all wirenuts and under all screws.

      When you have a power light at the receptacles but they won't run anything, this means you have an open neutral wire somewhere on the circuit. It could be anywhere on the circuit, including working devices that feed onward power to the rest of the circuit. If any recepatacles have the wires pushed in the little holes in the back of them, remove the wires from the holes and wrap them around the screws on the sides. These backstabbed holes are the cause of lots of loose connections.

      Un plug all devices on this circuit and then see if you still get a light when measuring across the slots on a receptacle. Probably won't.

      And you could of drilled into a power cable in the wall. Is there a receptacle directly beneath your drill holes or is there a switch or receptacle on the opposite side of the wall.


      • #4
        Thanks for the help! The GFCI is not tripped. Thank you for explaining the open neutral wire. I will go back and check each one. I thought I checked them all while changing outlets, but some of the wires were on the backs of the outlets, so I'll change that.
        The power cable is definitely a possibile cause. There are outlets on both sides of that wall, though not directly below the holes. But if that were the case, would there be any power to those outlets at all?


        • #5
          It depends on how the circuit is routed, I'm guessing there's probably a loose wire on the working receptacle that feeds power to the non working one. Or you could of broke the neutral wire in the wall on it's route from the working to the non-working recpetacles. But lets hope that's not the problem just yet.

          You should get one of those 3 light testers that plug into a receptacle. It will show an open neutral if that is what I think you have. Remove the light bulbs and anything plugged into this circuit when testing it.

          It could be anywhere on the circuit. You should really start with the devices closest to the main breaker panel and work out from there, light fixtures included. It's like finding a needle in a haystack and will be really time consumming. Trace the entire circuit, noting each and every device and junction box. Write down every device on a piece of paper that's on this circuit and systematically check each one, marking them off as you go. Make sure all wires are tight and secure under screws and wirenuts, pull on them, look closely for a broken wire or loose connection.

          Make sure you open the breaker before doing this. Let us know what you find.


          • #6
            How old is the house? In older houses, the main power for the room was ran to the ceiling light box, then to the switches and outlets. Newer houses are ran to outlets & switches then a switchleg to the light box. Easy way to tell w/out removing fan/light is at the switches, older houses they used the black & white of the same romex wire (aka backfed).