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Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 2954
Experience:  30 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 6 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector
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Recently we had a power outage at my home, the generator

Customer Question

Recently we had a power outage at my home, the generator kicked on automatically per usual and everything seemed fine. However I now see that two sets of outlets on separate floors in our home are not working. Both included tv sets that also had surger protectors. Also, these are in areas without GFCI outlets. Could the power outage have fried those circuits? Any other explanations or ideas? Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

1) What part of the home are the dead receptacles located in?

2) Are any of the panel breakers a GFCI type with a "Test" button?

3) Do you have an AC voltmeter available to measure for voltage or lack of voltage at the dead receptacles?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. 1) One set of dead recepticles is on the main floor in the den, the other is in the basement quite aways from the den. 2) The panel breakers seem standard, not GFCI breakers there. The only GFCI outlets in the house are in the kitchen and bathrooms and one in the garage. 3) I don't have a voltmeter but I do have a circuit tester which I've been using to test the outlets.
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the replies.

1) In order to confirm voltage at the dead receptacles, you need an AC voltmeter to determine if you have a loose hot or a loose neutral wire. Any other type of tester will not work. Perhaps you can borrow a meter from a neighbor or friend? If not, you can purchase a good AC voltmeter for less than $25 at any Home Depot or Lowe's.

2) Have you confirmed that none of the GFCI receptacles have "tripped"?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, maybe I can pick one up tonight or tomorrow. I can check all the GFCI receptacles in other parts of the house but would they impact outlets from another breaker?
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

1) Yes, it is possible. For example, receptacles in an unfinished basement require GFCI protection. Not sure when the home was built, but up until the late 80's, it was common to have garage or basement or exterior receptacles protected from a GFCI receptacle located in the bathrooms.

Yes, once you can obtain a meter, just come back to this same question and we can take it from there.........Thanks............Kevin:)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK, Thanks
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

No problem, glad to assist:)

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Kevin - I checked the GFCIs and one in the kitchen was tripped. The problem in the basement is resolved which is great. Now what I have is a single quad outlet in the den that no longer works. The other outlets in that room all work fine. What do you think?
Expert:  Kevin replied 12 months ago.

OK, half of the problem is solved then due to a kitchen GFCI being tripped.

Most likely a loose wire termination or a faulty wire splice somewhere on the circuit for the quad. You can try to perform a visual inspection on the quad box, but a loose wire can also be located in another box. Thus, the reason to always have a voltmeter available.

If any receptacles were wired using the back-stab insert holes, those are always prone to failure and can easily come loose. Wires should always be terminated to the side screw terminals on devices.

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.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
ok, I'll check that after I get a voltmeter. Thanks
Expert:  Kevin replied 12 months ago.

Very good.

1) Once you obtain a meter, take the 3 following voltage measurements and reply back to me with the results.

A) Hot (short slot) to Neutral (long slot) should measure approximately 120 volts

B) Hot (short slot) to Ground (round ground hole) should also measure approximately 120 volts

C) Neutral (long slot) to Ground (round ground hole) should measure 0 volts or very close to 0 volts.

Expert:  Kevin replied 12 months ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks...............Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 11 months ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks...............Kevin:)

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