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How to Troubleshoot Home Electrical Power Problems

Electrical Power will Go Out and Come Back On: How to Locate Home Electrical Power Problems, Most Common Steps for Electrical Troubleshooting for Power Problems.

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Guide to Home Electrical Problems and How to Fix Them

[ad#block] Electrical Question:I have been having some weird electrical problems in 2 different areas of my house.

This home electrical repairs question came from: Bob in Indiana.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical troubleshooting question Bob.

How to Locate Home Electrical Power Problems

Application: Troubleshooting – Testing Electrical Circuit Wiring.
Skill Level: Advanced – Best performed by an licensed electrical contractor who is has experience with electrical troubleshooting.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester, Continuity Tester, and Clamp on Amp Meter.
Estimated Time: Depends on experience and level of problem solving skills.
Precaution: Testing live wires is dangerous and should be done by an experienced individual only. Testing using a continuity tester should only be made after the circuit has been identified and turned OFF and Tagged.
DANGER: Working in electrical panels can produce electric shock and arc flash hazards, therefore is recommended for experienced electricians only.

Most Common Steps for Electrical Troubleshooting for Power Problems

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Dave's Companion Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

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  electrical wiring  

Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handy Women, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “How to Troubleshoot Home Electrical Power Problems”
  1. Keith Hogan says:

    The breaker in my den will trip with nothing on except the TV and cable box. I have unplugged them and reset the breaker, then plugged them back in and everything is fine for 3 or 4 days, then breaker will trip again. I just replaced the breaker the outlet and the power strip and the breaker has tripped again. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks for your time on this problem that is running me crazy.

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Keith,
    You have verified that the problem with this circuit is not the breaker, or the surge strip, so the next items to focus on would be the devices that are plugged into the circuit. I would suggest that you make sure that the incoming cable service to the home is properly grounded because an ungrounded cable service has been known to cause problems.
    If your cable service is not properly grounded and the cable box is in fact causing the circuit to trip off, then notify your cable service provider and ask them to come out and correct the problem by making sure the service is properly grounded. Be aware that problems with the TV can also cause problems with the cable system as well. Explain the history of the problems to your cable service company and they will perform a few tests to isolate the problem.

    If the TV or cable system is not the problem, then I would identify any other devices that remain on the circuit and examine them to see if there is anything that would contribute to this problem. You could carefully use an extension cord and plug one of the remaining devices into another outlet that is fed from a different circuit. Repeat this process one device at a time until the faulty device has been identified.

    If a device is not the problem, then the circuit wiring will need to be tested and evaluated.

    I hope this helps.