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Hello. Welcome to Just Answer.
When you pulled the outlets out of the boxes, did you notice how the wires were connected to them?
Were the wires pushed into the small holes on the back? Or, were they curled around the screws on the sides?
pushed in the back
OK. The push-in holes are known for causing the issue you are having.
It would be best to redo the connections, wrapping the wires around the side screws.
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?
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.
It will only do that if you have an open neutral, which means there is a bad connection on a white wire.
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?
only worked when I went to ground
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.
Were there any splices in any of the boxes you opened?
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?
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.
Most likely, there is at least one working outlet or light on this circuit, possibly more.
yeah - that was my last resort - start replacing all the outlet\switches - thanks - this was very helpful
You don't actually have to replace the devices, just redo the connections.
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.
There is no release on most outlets and switches, for removing the wires from the push-ins.
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
i know :)
Is there anything else I can do for you at this time? I really do appreciate the opportunity to help.
no thank you- you were very helpfull - thanks again - have a great day
Thank you. Happy to help. Take care.