Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


10:12AM | 08/13/05
Member Since: 08/12/05
1 lifetime posts

Hello All,

Came home from work, TV, fishtank already on, then they just stopped - no sound, smell, click, spark, nothing. Found that all outlets on Breaker 7 were dead, but Breaker was not tripped. Turned off power, set breaker to off, then restored power, turned breaker on - nothing.

Bought new Breaker at Home Despot, pulgged it in - nothing.

Turned off power, switched wire with circuit and Breaker that did work (Breaker 5) and still no power to the circuit that was served by Breaker 7.

Just as a TEST plugged hot cable from Breaker 7 onto Breaker 5 - still nothing - though when I plug hot wire from Breaker 5 into Breaker 7 the outlets on that wire DO work (the outlets formerly served by Breaker 5).

So Breaker 7 seems to work but no power to those outlets. Breaker 5 definitely works but no power goes to the Outlets on the affected circuit.

This is a 1905 house in Burlington, Vermont. Most wiring replaced at some point but still plenty of "two prong" outlets and inside the Breaker Box there are some wires, which I did not touch, that have very old "fabric-y" stuff on them.

Should I call an electrician or can anyone tell me why this is happening.

One odd thing is that all the WHITE (ground) wires attach at the TOP of the breaker box, so there is only one BLACK wire going into each Breaker.

Thank You, Oh Handy Handypeople!

Peter C.

Helpless Homeowner

Burlington, Vermont


11:45AM | 08/13/05
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
"One odd thing is that all the WHITE (ground) wires attach at the TOP of the breaker box, so there is only one BLACK wire going into each Breaker."

The white wire is the neutral. Technically is called the "grounded counductor" and it is bonded to ground at the main disconnect.

But it is a "ground wire". The ground wire will be bare or green.

What you have is typical. You have two hots and a neutral from the power company.

For 120 volt loads you have the hot connected, via the breaker to one of the 2 hots. And the neutral to a common bus.

For 240 volt a 2 pole breaker is used and one hot is connected to each terminal on the breaker. The 2nd wire might be while (but it is suppose to remarked with tape or paint to dark color, but often isn't) or a read wire.

Not as to your problem.

You can start by looking at the "first" receptracle on the circuit. In theory that will be the one closes to the panel. There is a good chance you will ffind a bad connection or back stab receptacles where used (where the wire is just pushed into a hole) and it has failed.

If that is not it you can check the others because the power might have been feed in a different part of the circuit.

WARNING - with a house that old with several wiring changes and possible remudeling along the way there is no tell what the problem might end up being. There might be hidden splice in the walls. The circuit might have been extened off a light fixture. The ligth fixture being removed 30 years ago, but it is still on the switch that is now in the back of a closet. The possible problems are unlimited.


01:14PM | 09/30/05
Member Since: 07/16/05
2 lifetime posts
What was the outcome of your problem?

I have the same thing

TV and coffee pot just "went off."

All other stuff on same circuit not working.

Circuit breaker didn't trip.

Turned it off and on anyhow, but no luck.


08:13PM | 05/08/17
I have a single circuit that goes to my master bedroom master bath and also hallway and front porch light. although only PART of that ONE circuit went out. only the bedroom and bath, not the hallway and porch light. also my box switch was still in the "ON" position. I did all the common sense things like flip the switch off then back on again. no result to fix bedroom/bath. I turned off the master power switch and switched it back on, no change, same symptoms. last time we had a thunderstorm my master bathroom light came on in the middle of the night, so I knew the power was back on, I also checked my ceiling fan in my bedroom(it gets hot in there when the power is off and I can't use it) :( and it worked. however, when I then plugged my TV and DVD player in, the power went back off, and it has stayed that way. it has been over a year since it had went off in the first place, and it has been a month since it had its little period of about 5 hours of working. I have a low attic, I have lots of ducts put in my the prior owners and it is inaccessible to me. electricians would charge extra just to rummage around up their what can I do?!

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