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Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 7535
Experience:  Proven Professional 48 years Experience
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I replaced a lightbswitch outlet combo in my basement. After

Customer Question

Hi i replaced a lightbswitch outlet combo in my basement. After inreplaced it only the light worked. Then nothing worked. I tried everything. I tried a different combo switch and tried the old one that always worked. I tried every wiring combo. Nothing. I used voltmeter and it looks like no power to these wires. I checked breaker and it is good. Everything else on the breaker works. I cannot there is 2 romex wires going into outlet . 1 connects to the light the other is the power. I cannot tell or see what outlet is before this outlet. I dont know what to do and i do not have money to call electricion
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I'm Mike G and I'll be assisting you. The first thing to do is disconnect all wires on the device. Test each pair for voltage black to white. If there is no voltage, go and flip the breaker. They sometimes don't show tripped when they are. Let me know if you then get voltage at the outlet.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Tried all of that and no voltage to these wires coming out of wall. The wires are 1 white and 1 black and 1 copper 2 sers of those. I tried flipping breaker numerous times and no voltage
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.

Open the panel and verify the voltage on each single pole breaker.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Everything else in the breaker works fine
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.

Troubleshooting is a step by step process. Please do as asked to eliminate possible reasons for the issue.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
120 v
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.

OK, go back to the outlet and test each wire to ground.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok i get nothing on these wires
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.

Testing indicates an open hot wire connection ahead of the outlet you're working on. Being a hot wire it will be a little more difficult to locate. You'll need to open and check connections in outlets in the area.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
can a bad breaker cause only one of the outlets to not work properly?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.

Only is it has only the one outlet on it. You said all the single pole breaker were 120V. Did you check them as asked or not? If you did, your problem is a bad connection. If your outlets were wired using the pushback terminations and not the screws, that would be the most common reason for this type of failure.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I checked. ok the oulet i replaced was the pushback and I replaced it with new one with screws. so it sounds like one of the wires in the next outlet has a loose wire? would that outlet still work if that is the case? I do not know which outlet is the one before it and I have no access to view the wires going into the bad outlet to see where it would be coming from.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.

If the wire leaving an outlet has the bad connection the outlet would work and the next one would not.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there a simple way to find where the next outlet is?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.

It's not the next outlet it's the one ahead of the dead one. Is your basement open? If so see where the cables come from.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
no its not open and i know that many of the outlets are in different it possibe that there is like a junction box in the ceiling that i cannot see or would it be coming directly from another outlet. I checked the closest outlet and all it was was 1 black and 1 white going into the oulet
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately as it is whit most electrical systems, at best you have a circuit directory at the panel. They are worthless for the most part. The only way to know what exactly is on a given circuit is to have a circuit map. A sheet of paper for each floor, all outlets shown in room sketches and numbered to relate to the breaker it's on. A map makes troubleshooting much easier. Not having one all you can do is keep looking.

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