How to Identify the Cause of Lost Power
Why have I lost power to my lights and outlets? How to Identify the Cause of Lost Electrical Power, Common Problems that Cause a Tripped Circuit Breaker or Lost Power.
Troubleshooting Lost Power
Electrical Question: Why have I lost power to my lights and outlets?
- Three days ago the circuit breaker tripped off in the panel box.
- At that time we lost power to the lights and plug in my bedroom, the next bedroom, and the upstairs bathroom.
- The upstairs and down stairs, the kitchen lights, plugs and the dinning room all have no power.
- I checked the line from the panel box and the circuit wire has voltage but there is no power to any switches or plugs in any of the rooms.
This electrical question came from: Ken in New York.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Ken.
How to Find the Cause of Lost Electrical Power
Application: Electrical Troubleshooting Lost Power for an Outlet Circuit.
Skill Level: Advanced. This electrical project is best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester or Volt Ohm Meter.
Estimated Time: Depends on the type and age of the electrical wiring and the access to the circuits and wiring to be evaluated.
Precaution: This is a project that should be performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor and typically requires specific tests of the electrical components and circuits.
Notice: Repairs to Home Electrical Wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes and installing new or replacement electrical parts or equipment may require a permit and inspections.
Common Problems that Cause a Tripped Circuit Breaker or Lost Power
The following information will help the homeowner understand the probable causes of lost power, and describes the process an electrician will perform to identify the problem.
- Lost Power to Several Circuits
If several areas of the home have lost power then the problem may be in the electrical panel. Electrical testing, visual inspections and evaluations will be necessary to locate the problem and make the necessary repairs.
- Lost Power to One Circuit
If there is power from circuit breaker at the panel of the affected circuit then the circuit breaker is not the problem, therefore the next step is to begin inspecting the electrical connections at each junction box or device location of the affected circuit.
- When a circuit has lost power the problem is typically caused by a faulty wire splice or wire connection.
- Faulty Wire Splice or Faulty Wire Connection
The most likely locations of the circuit problem will be in a ceiling light fixture junction box where the fixture has incandescent light bulbs which create heat, or in a receptacle or wall outlet box where there may be a burnt wire connection to the outlet.
- Circuit Wiring Faults
A faulty circuit splice or faulty wire connection will prevent the electricity from continuing to the remaining devices of the circuit.
More about Electrical Troubleshooting Lost Power
How to Identify Lost Power
- Licensed Electrician Reveals the Secrets of Successful Electrical Troubleshooting Methods used to solve the majority of the home electrical problems and wiring failures encountered.
Home Electrical Circuit Breakers
- A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring.
- When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.
The following may also be helpful for you:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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