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Causes of No Power to Electrical Circuit


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How To Locate and Repair the Cause of Circuit Power Loss: Here is a Procedure to Help You Find the Cause of Lost Power to an Electric Circuit.

Troubleshooting No Power to an Electric Outlet Circuit

Electrical Question: I have a single family home with two floors. Everything electrical works on the first floor but on the second floor, only one side of the house is working for electricity.

Thanks

This electrical repair question came from: David, a Homeowner from Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Additional Comments: It’s a great website and I hope to learn from it.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical repair question David.

Preparations
Application: Troubleshooting and Repairing Outlet Problems.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester or Volt Ohm Meter or plug-in circuit analyzer.
Estimated Time: Depends on the age of the home and the condition of the electrical wiring and access to the circuit wiring to be inspected, evaluated and repaired.
Precaution: Identify the outlet circuit at the electric panel, turn it OFF and then Tag it with a Note before performing any wiring inspections or electrical repairs. If an outlet or the electrical wiring is found to be damaged then repairs and replacement parts should be obtained with the same voltage and amperage rating.
Notice: Burnt or damaged electrical wiring and circuit components should be replaced with new electrical materials of the same voltage and amperage rating.

How To Locate and Repair the Cause of Circuit Power Loss

Procedure to Find the Cause of  Lost Power to a Circuit

  1. The circuit outlets and receptacles will need to be identified.
  2. The circuit should then be shut off.
  3. Each outlet should be removed and inspected for a burnt connection or a burnt splice.
  4. Begin by inspecting the outlet that the vacuum cleaner was plugged into, because vacuum cleaners require a high amount of electricity that may create stress on the outlet circuit wiring and components.
  5. The damaged wire will need to be repaired.
  6. New wire connectors installed as needed.
  7. New receptacle outlet installed as needed.

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2 Responses to “Causes of No Power to Electrical Circuit”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Roger,
    I haven’t seen a split buss panel in a while, however they are still quite a few around as you have mentioned. I believe the original design was to have two sections, one section for the smaller circuits and one section for larger 240 volt equipment such as air conditioning and heating equipment. The design idea may go back to how some of the old fuse panels had two separate cartridge fuse disconnects supplying power to the same types of loads, however the amperage was much smaller with the earlier electrical systems. As long as replacement parts are available and the panel is in good shape there is no need to upgrade if the panel is still within the load specifications.
    I hope this helps,
    Dave

  2. Roger Bousselot says:

    Could you provide some info on split buss load centers. They stopped making them in 1968 but there are still plenty installed and they are in code as to the six handle rule. I have seen electricians tell homeowners that the panel is defective and needs to be replaced but not explaining how the panel works. I was able to provide a customer with a diagram of his panel, far more than two electricians were willing to do. The original problem for the homeowner was a defective breaker which costs twenty five dollars instead of several thousand that he was quoted.