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Jason
Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3791
Experience:  Over 15 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
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ok - i have an area of the house with no poweer - tries turning

Resolved Question:

ok - i have an area of the house with no poweer - tries turning the breaker on and off - no luck - switched it with another 15 amp - no luck - took all outlets on the circut (at least all i could find) - no loose wires. created a homemade tester wih a bulb and 2 wires from a lamp. has a white and black. I tested all outlets and can turn the light goes on if I touch the black to ground and the white to white. It also works if i touch the white to ground and black to black. It does not work if i tocuh the white and black on either side of the outlet. This is true for all sockets on the circut. so - i know there's power to all the socket, but none will light a nite light
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

Jason :

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer.

Jason :

When you pulled the outlets out of the boxes, did you notice how the wires were connected to them?

Jason :

Were the wires pushed into the small holes on the back? Or, were they curled around the screws on the sides?

Customer:

pushed in the back

Jason :

OK. The push-in holes are known for causing the issue you are having.

Jason :

It would be best to redo the connections, wrapping the wires around the side screws.

Customer:

right - but seems odd that the entire circut was the same - there are about 8 oulets thruout the cirect and all have the same problem -could somthing blow al of them at the same time?

Jason :

No. With the symptoms you've described, there is actually a bad connection on a white wire somewhere. Touching a test light to white and ground should not cause the light to come on.

Jason :

It will only do that if you have an open neutral, which means there is a bad connection on a white wire.

Customer:

hmmm - i can redo the test again on all the outlets to see if I missed one - whcy woudn't the light come on if i touch white towhite and black to black on the screws - is that normal?

Customer:

only worked when I went to ground

Jason :

It's a normal symptom of a loose white wire. When you touch it to white and black, and the light does NOT come on, the white is loose somewhere between the location you are testing and the breaker panel.

Jason :

Were there any splices in any of the boxes you opened?

Customer:

yes - and I didn't open those up yet - also not sure how to test the actual light switches - so - just to be sure - if there was no lose wire, then my test should have turned the light on?

Jason :

Yes, black to white would have turned the light on. Since you plan to redo the connections to all outlets, using the side screws, I would verify the tightness of every wire in every splice, in every box you open.

Jason :

Most likely, there is at least one working outlet or light on this circuit, possibly more.

Customer:

yeah - that was my last resort - start replacing all the outlet\switches - thanks - this was very helpful

Jason :

You don't actually have to replace the devices, just redo the connections.

Jason :

When you cut the wires at the push in holes on the back, cut them as close to the devices as possible. Then, use a small screwdriver to push the cutoffs as far into the the device as possible.

Jason :

There is no release on most outlets and switches, for removing the wires from the push-ins.

Customer:

right - that was before I chatted with u - i just need to do some more hunting - you go to my main question - why did that light not go on - tht i what confused me

Customer:

i know :)

Jason :

Is there anything else I can do for you at this time? I really do appreciate the opportunity to help.

Customer:

no thank you- you were very helpfull - thanks again - have a great day

Jason :

Thank you. Happy to help. Take care.

Customer:

bye

Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3791
Experience: Over 15 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
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