[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: living room lights don't work!!

Original poster: MShock8073-at-aol-dot-com 

In a message dated 6/8/2004 10:52:25 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
tesla-at-pupman-dot-com writes:
 > room lights and outlets no longer work. The breaker was not poped.

Been seeing alot of posts on this subject. All sorts of advice. Personally 
I appreciated Terry's immediate suggestion to hire a pro to fix the problem 
before your house goes up in flames. But, apparently you're trying to 
figure out the "why" rather than the "how to fix properly". Let me get the 
sitrep... The lights and receptacles quit working and the breaker did not 
trip. You reset the breaker by cycling it and the circuit still did not 
revive. You checked to see if the 120VAC is present on the output lug on 
the breaker? Or pulled the breaker and checked it to see if it was a 
continous circuit? I would check to see if the 120 was on the output. There 
are no GFCI receptacles on the branch either hidden behind furniture or in 
a crawl space that is tripped? If this is the case then IMHO I would say 
that you have had a back wired receptacle blow out a contact lug from 
overcurrent. I have seen it multiple times. Backwiring is the process of 
just jamming stripped wires into springloaded connectors in the backs of 
the receptacle devices. The friction based backwire ports on plugins do not 
have the surface area in contact with the wires as using the screw down 
lugs on the sides of the receptacles, are more sensitive to corrosion and 
movement, and are less capable of carrying current.

Do you know if the receptacles are back wired or not? I pulled my hair out 
over this problem once in my own home. I unscrewed a blown bulb and the 
base terminal had come loose. When the bulb was removed the switch was on, 
and it the bulb's base shorted the circuit. The branch went off, but the 
breaker didn't throw. Days later I found a bad back-wired plugin hidden in 
the crawl space that I didn't even know was there. I stripped back some 
insulation and screw-wired it back into the circuit and everything works 
now. I have been "fixing" the remaining back wired devices, as I get to 
them, ever since. You could also have a poor wire nut connection in a box 
somewhere in the circuit. Either way, if the circuit recloses suddenly 
and/or then opens under load, IT CAN SPIT MOLTEN METAL CHUNKS INTO THE 
HIDDEN SPACES IN YOUR WALLS, and therby burn your house down in short 
order. It needs to be identified and fixed properly.

Marc S.