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Why Several Electrical Circuits May Not Be Working

How to Troubleshoot Home Electrical Circuit Problems – If the full power is not restored then it is very possible that your electrical service may have lost one side or one leg of the electrical power to the electrical service panel.

Possible Cause of Multiple Circuits Failing

Electrical Question:I blew a circuit breaker earlier today and fixed it.

Background: Gillian, a Homeowner from Three Rivers, Michigan.
See more about Home Wiring for Michigan

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Gillian.

How to Troubleshoot Home Electrical Circuit Problems

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Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

Questions about Why Several Electrical Circuits May Not Be Working


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  1. Greg says:

    I have the old screw in fuses still and had one blow. I had an air conditioner plugged into an outlet and went to use a vacuum from another outlet that is on same circuit and it blew. I replaced it but only 3 out of 6 outlets on that circuit are working now. Also the new fuse is very hot in the panel. Is it possible a neutral got disconnected but at the same time the fuse blew?

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Air Conditioner Electric Circuit Repair
      Hi Greg,
      Depending on the size of the air conditioner, it may add quite a load to an outlet circuit, and that is why many AC units require a dedicated circuit. Vacuum cleaners can require upwards of 12 amps, which can also place a considerable load on a shared outlet circuit. With both of these items running on the same circuit the circuit will definitely become overloaded, and in the process cause the wiring and outlets of the circuit to overheat, which can cause faulty wiring connections at one or more outlets. The outlets where the air conditioner and vacuum cleaner were plugged into should be inspected and repairs made as needed.
      I hope this helps,
      Dave

      • Greg says:

        Thanks for the reply. I’ve checked the outlets and they are OK. I’ve checked power to the other outlets and they each are about 120v but zero on the other three outlets. All the outlets have been upgraded in the past so there’s no backstabbing. Not sure what else to check.

        • Dave Rongey says:

          Hi Greg,
          Typically I start troubleshooting at the last outlet that has normal circuit power, and there is usually a connection that is lost at that location. Make sure you are checking the neutrals as well. If you are testing from hot to ground with a volt tester, and you are not testing from hot to neutral you will miss a possible problem where the neutral has been lost, which will cause the circuit to appear to be OK, when in fact it is not.
          I hope this helps you,
          Dave

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