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Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 7653
Experience:  Proven Professional 48 years Experience
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Multiple outlets 't have power. All breakers are on and have

Customer Question

Multiple outlets don't have power. All breakers are on and have power. Connections to outlets are good. I'm baffled. Any thoughts?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 2 years ago.

Hi, I'm Mike G and I'll be glad to assist you. Do you have a 2 wire voltage tester?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 2 years ago.

I want you to test one of the dead outlets as follows.

1) hot to neutral for voltage

2) hot to ground for voltage

3) neutral to ground for voltage.

If none of those tests indicate voltage, test the neutral to ground for continuity. Let me know the results.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I used a non-contact voltage tester and got no reading on the wires connected to four uncorking outlets. I used same tester to make sure hot wires from all circuit breakers had power. None of the outlets or light switches had any loose connections. I went into the attic to see if I could find any loose connections and there was nothing. I'm really lost for understanding why or how this would happen. Nothing electrically has been done in the house in several years. Outlets, according to tenants, just quit working.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 2 years ago.

Your request for a phone contact failed. If you want one accept the additional service request.

A non contact tester isn't the tester required for this type of problem. You'll need a 2 wire voltage tester. I need voltage and or continuity readings.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will try that when I'm there tomorrow. I will be in touch.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 2 years ago.

Very good. Let me advise you that the loose wire or bad connection doesn't have to be in a dead outlet. It could and 50% of the time is in a working outlet ahead of the first dead one. Make the test so we'll know what we're looking for. The non contact test is only good for telling if there is a hot wire, but could pick up a false signal from adjacent wiring. I call it a fools tool.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
A fool's tool. Haha. Thanks for the help Mike. Like I said, I'll get back to you.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 2 years ago.

Glad you appreciate my humor. One thing I should mention. If you have outlets that are wired using the push back connections and not the screws, that will no doubt be the reason for the failure.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hey Mike, I tested all of those items you mentioned from each non-working outlet and got no reading for anything. Does that mean there's most likely a disconnect between them and their power source. Do I just have test every single outlet? Thanks.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 2 years ago.

Tell me the readings on each test.