Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


02:30PM | 09/19/01
Member Since: 09/18/01
1 lifetime posts
I recently plugged a carpet cleaner on one of my bathroom outlet. When I switched the power on the cleaner, it only turned on for about a second and it turned off. I measured the voltage on the outlet with a multi-meter and it read '0V'. I found that the outlets on the other two bathrooms were also dead. The outlet outside the backyard was also dead. The rest of the outlets and switches in the house we fine. I immediately suspected the breaker. There was a single black wire for each breaker in the box that goes in the house. The white wires (neutral) were all connected on a bus. I probed on each of breaker with one of the probe of the meter while the other probe was on the bus. I switched the breakers on and off to see the readings go from '0V' to '120V' since I didn't know which breaker belonged to the bathroom outlets. All of the breakers seem to work. I get '0V' on OFF and '120V' on ON on my meter. I left the breakers in the ON position then I came back in the house and carefully took the outlet off and measure the voltage from the wires themselves and it still read '0V'. There's no GFI outlets in the house to reset. I even bought a new outlet for the bathroom that I initially suspected but to no avail. Am I missing to check something else?


03:53PM | 09/19/01
Member Since: 09/01/00
312 lifetime posts
My first guess ,of course, would have been a GFI.Since you have none in the house,you'll need to find out where the power to the outlets is coming from.If they are fed directly off the breaker then you have a broken wire (probably unlikely).You probably lost a connection off of another outlet or switch.Turn-off the breaker for that circuit to see what else goes out,then check those connections.Come back if you still have a problem.

[This message has been edited by Matches (edited September 19, 2001).]

Jay J

04:26PM | 09/19/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
How 'bout this for a 'test'. Plug a light or something that draws a lot less power. It could be that the line is already drawing a lot of power (elsewhere), and when you put the vacume on it, it essentially overloads the circuit.

I bought one of those Circuit Testers that you plug one 'component' in the outlet and use the other component (a 'wand') to 'run past' each breaker until you find the breaker you want. It's a GREAT gadget! Except it doesn't work for things like ceiling lights. (I can't seem to find one of those old-fashioned, screw in outlets that you use to be able to screw into a ceiling light so you can use it as an outlet. I think for safety reasons, they don't make them any more ...)

Anyways, turn the breaker on and off a couple of times to be SURE it resets. You could possibly have someone stand at the circuit panel to see what happens.

My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: God Bless America!


02:10AM | 09/20/01
Member Since: 06/03/01
324 lifetime posts
Had this one myself. Outlets are typically 'daisy chained' from other outlets. One of those may have loose/bad connections. I had to track down all the outlets but finally found the one with loose connection. Good luck


06:22AM | 09/20/01
Member Since: 03/13/00
1674 lifetime posts
The fact that all the bathrooms and the outside outlet are "all and only" the problems, I'd bet my boots that there's a GFI somewhere that you don't know about.
It could be in any of those rooms, in the breaker box, in the garage or storage room, or even in the crawl space.
I do know of one case where a corroded wire on an outside light fixture caused the outlets in the bathroom to fail. That's worth checking.


05:02PM | 09/30/01
Member Since: 09/17/01
8 lifetime posts
Get a qualified electrician out to look at it. You've either lost the 120 volt supply from a bad connection or lost the neutral connection. Good luck,

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