Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


08:01AM | 02/01/03
Member Since: 01/04/04
84 lifetime posts
I'm remodeling my basement and several outlets are not working (weren't working before demolition). I recieved advice to run through it with a circuit tester to see where the wire has a problem, but I feel that's beyond my skill and courage. My question is this. Once that is determined, what will be involved in repairing the damage? I know it will depend on whether the damage was in the line or the box, but scenarios for either would be helpful. I'm trying to decide if I can afford to bring an electrician out right now.


06:15PM | 02/01/03
Member Since: 01/01/03
35 lifetime posts
OK, say you determine that there is a break in the wire between outlet 5 (which works) and outlet 6 (which does not). It might have been caused by improper installation, or by damage from something done after installation was completed.

The first thing to do is trip the circuit breaker, pull the out the outlet in outlet 5, and see if it has a good connection and is wired properly. If it's not, fix the installation propblem, turn the power back on, and see if everything works. It should, if you found some problem. It's also possible (although not likely) that the outlet itself failed, so replacing it and seeing if that does the trick might not be a bad idea.

If the outlet seems to be fine, you know it's the wiring that's the problem. You can attempt to pull a replacement wire along the path that the damaged wire ran, although that may not be possible as wiring should be secured close to each box (which may not be accessable) or secured somewhere in between. If you can manage to loosen the staples holding down the wire and pull a replacement wire, well, that's great and after you hook enerything up you should be good to go. Some minor destruction of the drywall will probably be required to do this.

If you can't pull a new wire and can tolerate this option, running a surface conduit between the two outlets can be done, although I hate this option. Those surface conduits can be pretty ugly. Run a conduit between the two outlets and leave the suspect wire in place, disconnected. If I were in this boat, I'd settle for pulling all the drywall between the outlets and running a new wire and replacing the drywall, making sure to secure the wire as required by NEC and installing any metal plates over where wire passes through studs so drywall screws won't damage the wire.

Hope this helps.



04:25AM | 02/02/03
Member Since: 01/13/03
50 lifetime posts
If you feel that it's beyond your abilities, it usually is. Get a licensed electrician. Electricity is not something to play with. Your problem could be anything from a loose conductor to bad wiring in the wall, either can be a safety or fire hazard.



05:14AM | 02/02/03
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
You never know what is involved until you find the problem. It could be a loose screw on an outlet. It could be wire damaged by a rat or a nail. It could have just been installed incorrect or disconnected for some reason. It could be a tripped gfci.


01:29PM | 03/03/03
Member Since: 01/04/04
84 lifetime posts
Thanks guys. Nothing was damaged. All I did was take out an old crumbling plug, but it was the plug that started the circuit. I capped each wire off seperately and broke the chain. It cost me $75 to figure that out, but I got a repaired 3-way switch out of the deal.


02:05AM | 03/05/03
Member Since: 11/05/01
98 lifetime posts
I am wondering how old the wiring is and did you bring it up to code when remodeling? I see so many people who worry more about what color paint they will choose rather than life and fire safety.


08:07AM | 03/08/03
Member Since: 01/04/04
84 lifetime posts
Well, the house was built in 1977, and the first owner of the house refinished the basement with a bunch of buddies after throwing a few back. I asked the electrician about code requirements and he suggested I redo some of the boxes. I decided myself to redo the plugs because they had used cheap screwless connections that ended up crumbling in my hands as I tried to remove them. The wiring itself is in good shape, but I am redoing the lighting fixtures and boxes before the rock goes up. In fact, these extra steps delayed my project for about a month. drywall means nothing if my house burns down.

[This message has been edited by TchrMommy (edited March 08, 2003).]

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