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Category: Electrical
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Experience:  Electrical Contractor
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The power in part of my house has gone out. I flipped ...

Customer Question

The power in part of my house has gone out. I flipped all the circuit breakers and it still does not come back on. This happened once before and after an hour the power returned. Do I need to change the breaker?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Inactive replied 6 years ago.

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1 – Go around to see if you have any GFCI’s on the circuit that may have tripped. Locate all the gfci’s you have in the home and push the re-set button to be sure it did not trip. If one has tripped, pushing the reset button will restore power. If this does not help – move onto step 2.

 

2 – Go back to your panel and double check to be sure it did not trip. Allot of todays breakers don’t show when they have tripped. However you can tell this by physically pushing on each breaker handle to see if there is any “play” in the handle. If there is – that’s your tripped breaker. In order to re-set it, turn it all the way off – then back on again in order to restore power. If this does not help – move onto step 3.

3 – If you know which breaker feeds the circuit, swap it out for another on to see if it helps. Periodically breakers will go bad. Replacing it will fix this problem. If this does not help – move onto step 4.

4 – While your in the panel, double check all your connections associated with the dead circuit to be sure none of the wiring came loose or broke. If this does not help – move onto step 5.

5 – If all that fails to produce results, you will need to go to your local home improvement center to purchase a plug tester like the one pictured here – it will cost you about $10.

graphic

6 – Go around to all of your affected circuits using the plug tester to locate any good outlets on the circuit vs bad ones. The reason you want to do this is because allot of outlet terminals will corrode over time and cause you to loose connectivity - just like your experiencing now. And if your outlets are utilizing the "push-ins" Such as the one pictured below - you will definately want to change it.

Please see pictoral diagram of and example of this testing method:

graphic

7 – Once you locate a bad outlet next to a good one, you will need to open up both outlets and re-do the wiring like I show here. This method is called “pigtailing” and will help to prevent occurances like this from happening again:

graphic

graphic

8 – When you do reconnect your devices (outlets and switches ) do not utilize the push ins on the back sides of the devices. Rather use the terminal screw on the side. See pics for examples of this:

Do not use this method:

graphic

Use this method:

graphic

 

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Hope this helps you out. If you should need anything further please don't hesitate to ask. Good Luck!!

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