How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Mike G. Your Own Question

Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 5646
Experience:  Proven Professional 45 years Experience
29848548
Type Your Electrical Question Here...
Mike G. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Thanks. An overloaded circuit? I had plugged a new 10K BTU

Resolved Question:

Thanks. An overloaded circuit? I had plugged a new 10K BTU portable a/c into room wall outlet & had it running, when I brilliantly plugged a lamp in the outlet that was switched on. Lost power in the room and others nearby. The other rooms lost just ceiling lights, & room with the a/c lost ceiling lights & power in all outlets. I checked the outside box, the main breaker switch was ok - it hadn't moved. I switched it back & forth a few times, still nothing. Fuses all ok. What can I do to fix this? We're strapped financially, and I'm hoping it isn't a really major expense or we're in further trouble. Thanks for your help. LR
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I'm Mike and I'll be glad to assist you. Please stand by and I'll give you a procedure to follow.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.

Wiggle Procedure

You have a circuit with dead outlets and maybe some dead lights on it or you’re experiencing flickering on a circuit. You will need a 2 wire voltage tester to check the outlet. A Multimeter or a Volt/Con are suggested. I prefer the Volt/Con because there are no settings to make, it does continuity and is audible. Success begins with knowing what you’re looking for.

1] No voltage reading between the hot and the neutral or ground indicates an open hot.

2] No reading between the hot and the neutral but 120V between the hot and ground and 120V between the neutral and ground indicates an open neutral.

3] No continuity between the neutral and ground – Check for tripped GFCI device first

4] If all the branch circuit breaker are on you have a bad connection on the hot or neutral wires. The usual cause is a bad connection, either a termination on a device or connection in a wire nut.

Over the years I’ve found the easiest way to locate the opening needing examination and correction is to wiggle the devices.

5] The first step in this exercise is to get a lamp to act as an alert. Make sure the lamp works and in the on position. You may also use something like a vacuum cleaner or blow dryer, for an audible alert. Don’t use anything electronic, like a radio.

6] Plug it into a dead outlet.

7] Now with a cube tester or any plug you will need to go to all the dead outlets and any live outlets in the area, insert the plug and wiggle the device side to side slightly. Watch the test lamp or listen for the other alerts as you wiggle the devices.

If the loose or bad connection is present the wiggle action may make it contact briefly and the lamp or the other things will alert you . Having found the suspected outlet all that is left is to correct the bad connection.

If the device is a push back wired device, this probably is the cause of the circuit failure. All wires must be terminated under the screws. Also you should never put more than one wire under a screw.

This troubleshooting procedure works in most cases and won’t have you open boxes un-necessarily. Keep in mind that the problem is in one of two places in the circuit, either in the first dead outlet or the live outlet just ahead of it.

Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 5646
Experience: Proven Professional 45 years Experience
Mike G. and 2 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

This sounds like something we can handle, Mike. We're certainly giving it a try. It will be absolutely wonderful beyond highest hopes if it does work, and we're back in business. You just can't imagine. Is there anything else for me to know?

Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
I've used that method for over 40 yes. I hate opening boxes unnecessarily. Just follow the direction. Good luck.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Say, Mike - Uh, I need to save this beautiful answer, but of all times, when bookmarking lately, my pc tends to lock up & I have to do an 'alt-ctl-delete' to exit the browser & come back in to function in the website. Do you have any ideas on how I can 'copy' the above text? It's a lot of print to hand copy, but I will if I have to. Just a wee little complication here. Don't give a second thought if you can't. And by the way - my feedback regarding your help will be 'beyond commendable,' and thanks so very much again. What an amazing way to help people. God bless! Smile Liz Russell

Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
If you can't copy it to your clipboard. Do what ever and come back for it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I got it to work this time! Everything's in order now. Mike, I'll be back at this site in the near future re another (more minor) matter. Will be noting your profile here before leaving, and hope to keep up with you. You're to the point and understandable. I'll try for you the next go-round as my guru of choice. Thx again! Liz

Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Glad it worked for you. I have quite a few tricks for troubleshooting. Just address your questions to me.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

 


With great pleasure I shall refer to you. And with recommendations, as well. You instill confidence and deserve an entry in the address book! Stay right where you are - we need you. Bye, Mike!

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here
View Full Image

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here

Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
You're too kind. Thanks.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
< Last | Next >
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Mike

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1425
    Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mikepettinato/2009-9-4_41145_DSC005132.jpg Mike's Avatar

    Mike

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1425
    Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/WI/WireitUp/2012-6-17_18212_Photo00006.64x64.jpg Jason's Avatar

    Jason

    Service Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    3278
    Over 15 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MI/MikeG2010/2012-6-7_192640_IMG01612.64x64.jpg Mike G.'s Avatar

    Mike G.

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    5318
    Proven Professional 45 years Experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AS/AssuredElectrical/2011-9-13_221243_me.64x64.gif AssuredElectrical's Avatar

    AssuredElectrical

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2149
    Contractor-40 Years in the ElectricalTrade
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/electrifier/2008-12-16_200429_headbob1.jpg electrifier's Avatar

    electrifier

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1454
    Electrical contractor and electrical inspector for over 24 years with phone and networking expertise
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/rich03dungo/2010-3-17_101556_tshirt2.jpg Rich's Avatar

    Rich

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1115
    Over 35 years residential, commercial, industrial wiring, install, troubleshoot, service, maintain
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UR/urelectrician/2012-9-28_223652_JustAnswerPic.64x64.jpg Kevin's Avatar

    Kevin

    Licensed Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    993
    27 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector
 
 
 
Chat Now With An Electrician
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
5601 Satisfied Customers
Proven Professional 45 years Experience