Why Outlets and Lights Lost Power
How Can I find out why my lights and outlets do not work? How to Troubleshoot Why Outlets and Lights Have Lost Power.
Outlets and Lights Lost Power
Electrical Question: Gordie in California asks: How Can I find out why my lights and outlets do not work?
- I’m working on a ranch style house built in the 60’s.
- A group of outlets and overhead lights have lost power but other lights and outlets on the same breaker are working.
- There is not a GFI plug and I’ve tried to trip the breaker by individually loading each outlet or switch. No luck.
- Is there any way to trace the problem without crawling through the attic and checking each junction box?
This electrical wiring question came from: Gordie, a Handyman from Coarsegold, California.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Gordie.
How to Discover Why Outlets and Lights Have Lost Power
Application: Troubleshooting the Cause of Lost Power to Lights and Outlets.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on the personal level experience, ability to work with hand tools and electrical troubleshooting skills.
Precaution: Identify the circuit, turn it OFF and then Tag it with a Note before performing any wiring or inspections. Electrical troubleshooting is best performed by a qualified electrical contractor.
Why Outlets and Lights Loose Power
- When lights and outlets loose power it may not be necessary to crawl through the attic to check junction boxes.
- I would begin checking junction boxes in the immediate area of the affected circuit. The first place I would check are the ceiling light fixtures in the kitchen and the bathrooms.
- Ceiling light fixtures that have high watt light bulbs produce heat which can travel up into the light fixture and into the ceiling junction box where the heat can cause the electrical wiring and splice connections to break down and eventually cause the circuit to fail.
- This is a very common occurrence with older homes with original light fixtures that have two or more light bulbs.
- Other causes of lost power may be faulty wiring connections in an outlet box, or a faulty circuit breaker.
- If damaged wire or splice connections are discovered then replace the damaged wire and connectors with the appropriately sized materials.
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Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!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, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard 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.
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