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    No power to section of house. No tripped circuit breaker

    Asked Feb 9, 2008, 03:47 PM 19 Answers
    Hi, I am currently renovating a living room dining room area. I was done for the day and in the process of cleaning up. I had a compressor connected to an outlet on one side and was using it to blow off saw dust off my miter saw. No other tool or light fixture in the area was on. I then plugged a vacuum cleaner into an outlet on the opposite side of the room which is on a different circuit. I proceeded to vacuum for about 20 minutes. When I was done I went to turn the dining room light on but it did not come on. After a while, trying to figure out what was going on, I checked to see if a circuit breaker tripped and found that none had tripped. After some further checking I came to the conclusion that everything on that circuit was not working. Here are my questions:

    1) Does a circuit breaker trip when it fails?
    2) Is it possible for a circuit breaker to fail after you have stopped using anything on that circuit including lights?
    3) What do you suggest I do to correct the problem?

    Thanks,

    Robert

    Last edited by RJMAL; Feb 9, 2008 at 03:52 PM.
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    Morrowrj's Avatar
    Morrowrj Posts: 345, Reputation: 22
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    #2

    Feb 9, 2008, 03:59 PM
    Is it possible that the breaker tripped but you cant see it? In other words, did you manually shut off the circuit breaker and then attempt to turn it back on at the panel? Also, are you certain there are no sub panels?

    Morrowrj
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    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 75,727, Reputation: 7217
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    #3

    Feb 9, 2008, 04:49 PM


    Also in some older boxes here are two or three physcial fuses ( large) that are normally under the plate of the pannel. Sometimes one of those can go bad ( normally in a much older box)

    But yes, often you have to turn each breaker off and on and see about resetting all of them and you find one that you missed.

    You can check to see that all of the wires are tight and properly connected, to the breaker in the pannel box.
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    Stratmando's Avatar
    Stratmando Posts: 10,788, Reputation: 486
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    #4

    Feb 9, 2008, 04:52 PM
    Also, you can sometimes run your finger down breakers with slight pressure, it will expose a breaker that is tripped but not "Thrown". Resetting breakers can not hurt.
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    hkstroud's Avatar
    hkstroud Posts: 10,078, Reputation: 746
    Home Improvement & Construction Expert
     
    #5

    Feb 9, 2008, 07:41 PM
    Is it possible that this is a GFI circuit through the kitchen?
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    RJMAL's Avatar
    RJMAL Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #6

    Feb 10, 2008, 07:26 AM
    Thank you all for your answers.

    I did check each circuit breaker visually as well as turning each off and then back on. Still none tripped and still no power. Also checked to make sure there are no loose wire connections. This is really odd as nothing was on or connected to this particular circuit when the power to it went dead.

    Robert
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    Stratmando's Avatar
    Stratmando Posts: 10,788, Reputation: 486
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    #7

    Feb 10, 2008, 08:10 AM
    I would use a volt tester to verify all breakers have power out. Some fail, but don't indicate.
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    RJMAL's Avatar
    RJMAL Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #8

    Feb 10, 2008, 11:51 AM
    To all who have responded, here is where I'm at.

    Picked up a new 15 Amp circuit breaker. Checked to make sure the new circuit breaker is a good one. Located the circuit that is out and replaced it with the new one but still no luck. Also checked the old circuit breaker I replaced with the new one to see if it works and it does.

    Checked for loose wiring again and made sure everything was secure. Is it possible that for some reason I'm not getting any power to the circuit breaker? If so, how would I go about checking or is it time to call an electrician?

    Also, is it possible the outlet I was using burned out (however, no smoke, no smell, no nothing) and if it did would it kill all outlets and light fixtures on that circuit?

    Thanks,

    Robert
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    Stratmando's Avatar
    Stratmando Posts: 10,788, Reputation: 486
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    #9

    Feb 10, 2008, 12:29 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Stratmando
    I would use a volt tester to verify all breakers have power out. Some fail, but don't indicate.
    I agree with stratmando, use tester to verify power coming out of breaker, You can buy a $5-$20 tester or another breaker, A tester is cheaper than an Electrician.
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    tkrussell's Avatar
    tkrussell Posts: 9,638, Reputation: 722
    Senior Electrical & Lighting Expert
     
    #10

    Feb 10, 2008, 12:33 PM


    If you don't use a voltage tester to check breakers and outlets, you will need to call in an electrician.
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