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Thread: Electric (AC) question

  1. #1
    SG DC Team Member lance-tek's Avatar
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    Question Electric (AC) question

    On Christmas eve, I suddenly lost power to half of a circuit. I thought it was the whole thing but found that some of that circuit is still getting power.

    So, the question is how do I find the culprit in teh wiring scheme? I don't know if a switch went our or an outlet, I pray it isn't a broken wire...

    I am using a power tester and finding that I am getting about 30 volts to the lights (that are working) which are on a 2-way switch. I pull the same reading at both ends. On the outlets (that aren't really working) I am able to pull about 3 volts. I also have a bunch of 1-way switches and on them I am pulling about 3 volts as well.

    something is killing the circuit I just don't know what the heck it is... I pray that someone can help me.

    Thanks,

    -lance
    A mistake does not become an error until one refuses to correct it

    Folding for the future

  2. #2
    Ohh Hell yeah.. Sava700's Avatar
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    are you killing any thing pulling from that circuit while your testing?

  3. #3
    SG DC Team Member lance-tek's Avatar
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    Nothing is getting killed... I learned that the 3vAC is just bleed over and has no bearing. I also learned that the reason I am only pulling 30vAC on the switches that are working is because I was going from a hot to a lead not a hot to a ground...

    I am looking for a loose wirenut now... I hope that something such as that is the issue or else I am nearly out of options...
    A mistake does not become an error until one refuses to correct it

    Folding for the future

  4. #4
    Ohh Hell yeah.. Sava700's Avatar
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    hmmm maybe I asked that wrong. Are you running anything else on the circuit when your testing like a lamp,microwave, fridge, anything?

    Also have you ever had the issue before or is it just all of a sudden and if all of a sudden have you done something recently to cause it?

  5. #5
    SG DC Team Member lance-tek's Avatar
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    it just suddenly happened on Christmas Eve. Nothing out of the ordinary was going on at all. There is nothing (NOTHING) running except 2 lights on this circuit (currently). It normally controls my garage door opener, a half bath, the main floor hallway, outside garage lights and porch light (same switch), and the family room (which we never use).

    While testing I have only the lights on. I can't find where the 'open' is at all...
    A mistake does not become an error until one refuses to correct it

    Folding for the future

  6. #6
    R.I.P. 2013-11-22 blebs's Avatar
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    Moisture in wirenuts? Same thing happened to me took out half the bathroom and knocked the computer room out completely. Found it at the light above the toilet.
    Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces people into thinking they can't lose. -Bill Gates

  7. #7
    SG Enthusiast Rainbow's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have an open neutral. check the outlets that you use most often on that circuit. Pull them out and check the connections on the back, I'm thinking you will find a white wire pulled out somewhere. A lot of people use these outlets as a "feedthru" and if a wire pulls out it breaks the circuit.
    A quick way to find out if it is indeed the neutral take a jumper go to an outlet and jump the neutral wire to ground. Neutral is the longer of the 2 blades. If this restores power then it is a bad neutral.

    It is Very unlikely you have a bad wire in the wall somewhere unless you had lightning hit recently or something like that.

    Also if it controls Outside plugs check the gfi's they can cause problems too.

  8. #8
    Like Rainbow mentioned, check your gfi's. By code, bathrooms are supposed to only have gfi's and not regular outlets. Since you mentioned a bathroom, that would be a good starting point. GFI's are supposed to only shut off power to that outlet when they trip, but I have heard of incorrect wiring causing a gfi to shut off power to an entire circuit.
    Last edited by ThaDude; 01-17-10 at 12:39 PM.

  9. #9
    R.I.P. 2018-07-16 RoundEye's Avatar
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    Iím curious if the problem has been resolved yet and what caused it.
    Sliding down the banister of life ..........................

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