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Electrical Wierdness

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by jeff in pa, Jan 27, 2008.

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  1. jeff in pa

    jeff in pa New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
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    All,

    Wife was vacuuming the other day. The lights in one of our bedrooms and the vacuum all went off. When I get home she tells me she thinks she tripped a breaker but couldn't find it. I'm thinking this will be quick and easy. Nope!

    Cycled ALL the breakers but no dice. The whole circuit seems to be dead but no breakers appear to be tripped.

    Any ideas? Can a breaker go bad and stay in the un-tripped position but not supply current?


    Thanks,

    JD in PA

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  2. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
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    Loc:
    Waxhaw, NC... Formerly North shore Mass
    yes they can.... try switching the breakers from on to off to on one more time to make sure......
    also sometimes I've heard of some electricians tieing a circuit into a GFCI in another room :shut: so look in the adjoining rooms and reset it.
    good luck...
  3. jeff in pa

    jeff in pa New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Messages:
    27
    Thanks for the reply!

    Yup, been checking all the GFI's for being tripped. This has happened before here. We have GFI's in individual rooms and in the panel!! So far I haven't found one tripped.

    Today I'll go through the whole panel and start by labeling everything. It's never been done / updated. In the process I'll cycle of of them again.

    Thanks,

    JD in PA
  4. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    How old / what brand is the panel? I've heard that some of the older panels (Zinsco / Sylvania) were noted for problems. It is also possible for a breaker to go bad and fail to turn on... IF you are comfortable working with electrics, take the cover off the panel, and carefully meter between the neutral busbar and the terminal on each breaker - you should see 110V between each terminal and the neutral bar if the breaker is on, and 0V if it's off...

    Be careful, remember the "one-hand-rule" and if you are not comfortable with this, don't try it, call an electrician instead...

    Gooserider
  5. bret4

    bret4 New Member

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    Jan 7, 2008
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    Loc:
    Connecticut
    I had old BX wire going to my oil furnace. One day the furnace just stoped working. That old 1950's BX wire shorted out some place inside. I replaced the wire and the furnace was up and running again.

    If you have any old wire maybe it went bad. Of course a breaker could have gone bad too.
  6. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    Loc:
    Lafayette IN -BoilerMakerCountry
    This can also happen if parts of the circuit have whacked due to burnt, chewed or poor wiring. It may require you to physically look at the cable if some of it is in the ceiling or crawl.

    Mice or Rats??
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