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Old 03-01-2011, 10:02 AM
 
Location: N. Colorado
341 posts, read 444,743 times
Reputation: 257

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My home is 8 years old, bought it new, they did not list some of the breakers correctly as I have found out over time.
Anyway I had a microwave plugged into the one listed as "microwave" 20 amp single. The microwave which turned 9 recently died right in the middle of a cooking cycle. It also took out quite a few outlets so it clearly was NOT a microwave only outlet.
I replace the outlet the microwave was plugged into, replaced the breaker and plugged a lamp into that outlet, it lit, then I moved a few outlets down the wall, plugged the lamp in turned it on and the bulb blew. There again is no more power going to them.
Nothing is tripped, I see no loose wires nor blackened.

I have no idea what to do next. Husband is not handy at all and would electrocute himself. Every electrician I call claims I am too far out and needs to charge me $75 just to come here on top of any work/materials. That includes a guy who is 12 miles away

So I am trying to figure it out but beyond what I have done I am not sure what is next or why it lost the power again.
Thanks
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 55,166,325 times
Reputation: 16359
I think "20 amp single" means single throw versus double throw circuit breaker not single outlet (so yes it could take out multiple outlets)

Any possibility that bulb blew was a coincidence (a bad bulb just happened to blow during your test)? Try another one?

If neither of you is handy then I would call a licensed electrician. This doesn't sound trivial and might even be a challenge for those of us who are handy.

Besides circuit breakers in your breaker box there are GFI breakers at some wall outlets. Those could be tripped too.
You can buy an outlet tester to see if the wiring to the outlets is properly configured. They're cheap probably around $5 or $10.

Doing all this safe troubleshooting in advance may save you money when the electrician shows up - less for him to do - and you're likely to be able to have a technical conversation with him.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:26 AM
 
30,364 posts, read 18,688,189 times
Reputation: 14850
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
I think "20 amp single" means single throw versus double throw circuit breaker not single outlet (so yes it could take out multiple outlets)

Any possibility that bulb blew was a coincidence (a bad bulb just happened to blow during your test)? Try another one?

If neither of you is handy then I would call a licensed electrician. This doesn't sound trivial and might even be a challenge for those of us who are handy.

Besides circuit breakers in your breaker box there are GFI breakers at some wall outlets. Those could be tripped too.
You can buy an outlet tester to see if the wiring to the outlets is properly configured. They're cheap probably around $5 or $10.

Doing all this safe troubleshooting in advance may save you money when the electrician shows up - less for him to do - and you're likely to be able to have a technical conversation with him.
This is great advice.

1) I had the same problem in a bathroom where the sockets were "dead" but in reality were running through another socket that had a GFI breaker trip.

2) Definitely get an outlet tester. I went to do work in one bedroom I shut power off too and tested the outlet...it was still hot and for some reason had been tied into the breaker for an adjacent room. Glad I checked.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:28 AM
 
30,364 posts, read 18,688,189 times
Reputation: 14850
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
I think "20 amp single" means single throw versus double throw circuit breaker not single outlet (so yes it could take out multiple outlets)

Any possibility that bulb blew was a coincidence (a bad bulb just happened to blow during your test)? Try another one?

If neither of you is handy then I would call a licensed electrician. This doesn't sound trivial and might even be a challenge for those of us who are handy.

Besides circuit breakers in your breaker box there are GFI breakers at some wall outlets. Those could be tripped too.
You can buy an outlet tester to see if the wiring to the outlets is properly configured. They're cheap probably around $5 or $10.

Doing all this safe troubleshooting in advance may save you money when the electrician shows up - less for him to do - and you're likely to be able to have a technical conversation with him.
This is great advice.

1) I had the same problem in a bathroom where the sockets were "dead" but in reality were running through another socket that had a GFI breaker trip.

2) Definitely get an outlet tester. I went to do work in one bedroom I shut power off too and tested the outlet...it was still hot and for some reason had been tied into the breaker for an adjacent room. Glad I checked.

P.S. The OP might have some luck asking someone knowledgeable at ACE hardware etc? By describing the situation and buying the tester they might get some good personal advice. (I got some great advice when replacing my garbage disposal.)
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:31 AM
 
Location: N. Colorado
341 posts, read 444,743 times
Reputation: 257
Yes a single amp circuit breaker. They had listed it as microwave only, but on others they claimed bathroom when it was overhead bedroom lights. Otherwise I would have been more careful where I plugged it in.

I am the handy one Had to learn to be, lol. Now I do not play around with electricty, I shut the entire main breaker off before I touched anything.

I did try a new bulb and also a small clock, neither received any power after that bulb blew. I tried a tester it said one outlet was getting power and the other was not but nothing worked in any of those outlets.

I checked all the GFI's including any hidden ones like under a sink and etc there are none that are tripped.

I have tried to shop around for one but they are all being jerks claiming I live far and HAVE to charge me a $75 fee just to drive here. It annoys me when one guy is 12 miles from me and if they are in my area will still charge me that trip fee. A couple told me they would have to re-do my steps so it would not save me a dime.
If it is something simple that I overlooked then I can save money which is already tight, if not then I wil have to suck it up and keep using extension cords till I have extra $$$ or maybe it will be $$$$$

I appreciate the ideas, I know I have overlooked something. If it is too techincal I will not attempt it even to save money.

**** forgot to say that the tester when plugged in on some outlets says, correct and on other it says " Open Ground" I am going back to Home Depot today and will ask them also what they think that means.

Last edited by gmm_24; 03-01-2011 at 10:44 AM.. Reason: **** added info
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 55,166,325 times
Reputation: 16359
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmm_24 View Post
Yes a single amp circuit breaker. They had listed it as microwave only, but on others they claimed bathroom when it was overhead bedroom lights. Otherwise I would have been more careful where I plugged it in.

I am the handy one Had to learn to be, lol. Now I do not play around with electricty, I shut the entire main breaker off before I touched anything.

I did try a new bulb and also a small clock, neither received any power after that bulb blew. I tried a tester it said one outlet was getting power and the other was not but nothing worked in any of those outlets.

I checked all the GFI's including any hidden ones like under a sink and etc there are none that are tripped.

I have tried to shop around for one but they are all being jerks claiming I live far and HAVE to charge me a $75 fee just to drive here. It annoys me when one guy is 12 miles from me and if they are in my area will still charge me that trip fee. A couple told me they would have to re-do my steps so it would not save me a dime.
If it is something simple that I overlooked then I can save money which is already tight, if not then I wil have to suck it up and keep using extension cords till I have extra $$$ or maybe it will be $$$$$

I appreciate the ideas, I know I have overlooked something. If it is too techincal I will not attempt it even to save money.
That $75 covers his drive out fee and probably an hour of labor in which time he'll probably determine the problem and fix it.
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:13 PM
 
22,669 posts, read 17,044,437 times
Reputation: 7409
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmm_24 View Post

I have tried to shop around for one but they are all being jerks claiming I live far and HAVE to charge me a $75 fee just to drive here.
Basic charge to cover expenses, suppose he shows up and it's something simple. What is he supposed to charge someone who never checked for tripped breaker? While he might only be in the house for 10 minutes it might be 2 hours total time. Noe it's a $37 an hour, lop off the taxes and expenses and he might be making $20 an hour take home if he's lucky.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:54 PM
 
1,655 posts, read 3,337,084 times
Reputation: 937
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
I think "20 amp single" means single throw versus double throw circuit breaker not single outlet (so yes it could take out multiple outlets)

Any possibility that bulb blew was a coincidence (a bad bulb just happened to blow during your test)? Try another one?

If neither of you is handy then I would call a licensed electrician. This doesn't sound trivial and might even be a challenge for those of us who are handy.

Besides circuit breakers in your breaker box there are GFI breakers at some wall outlets. Those could be tripped too.
You can buy an outlet tester to see if the wiring to the outlets is properly configured. They're cheap probably around $5 or $10.

Doing all this safe troubleshooting in advance may save you money when the electrician shows up - less for him to do - and you're likely to be able to have a technical conversation with him.
Sounds like GFCI problem.
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:43 AM
 
30,364 posts, read 18,688,189 times
Reputation: 14850
You might want to look at the socket you replaced and make sure you didn't have a wired get loose or crossed etc. when you put it all back together.

I had that happen, replaced a bad socket and sure enough one of the wires had popped lose and touched another.
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 55,166,325 times
Reputation: 16359
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanBev View Post
Sounds like GFCI problem.

Original Poster wrote this

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmm_24 View Post

I checked all the GFI's including any hidden ones like under a sink and etc there are none that are tripped.
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