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Troubleshooting Electrical Circuit Problems

Category Electrical
When the breaker is not tripped, but your circuit is not working, it can be a serious problem. It may be best to consult an electrician. This guide is about troubleshooting electrical circuit problems.
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Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

January 4, 20171 found this helpful

Installing a light switch.

This is a guide about no power to circuit after changing switches. Replacing electrical switches may best be left to a professional electrician to make sure it is done properly.

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January 3, 20171 found this helpful

Electrical outlet with a green cord plugged in.

This is a guide about outlets in one room don't work. Identifying the various circuits in a room can help you troubleshoot electrical problems when some outlets stop working.

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March 18, 20170 found this helpful

A hand ready to plug a cord into an electrical outlet.

Troubleshooting electrical problems on a circuit can be challenging. This is a guide about using one outlet in a room disables the other.

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March 1, 20170 found this helpful

Black cord plugged into a GFCI Outlet

If your Ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet is not working, you may need to contact an electrician to repair it. This is a guide about GFCI outlets not working.

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March 1, 20170 found this helpful

Man checks fuse box in the dark.

If half of your home does not have power, you may have a breaker that is getting overloaded. Contacting a certified electrician to troubleshoot and repair your electrical issues is often recommended. This is a guide about half of house electrical not working.

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January 4, 20170 found this helpful

Newly installed garage door opener.

This is a guide about new garage door opener trips breaker. While many homeowners can complete easy electrical projects in their home, when problems result diagnosis can be daunting.

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January 4, 20170 found this helpful

An electric stove turned on.

This is a guide about power only works when stove on. Troubleshooting unusual electrical problems can be difficult for a homeowner.

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January 4, 20170 found this helpful

Trying to turn the lights on.

This is a guide about power out in half of apartment. If the power is out is half of your apartment, there is a problem with the loads going through the breaker. Your landlord is responsible for this repair.

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January 4, 20170 found this helpful

Light Bulb Socket

This is a guide about light bulb socket sparked and smoked. Certain electrical problems are more disturbing than others and may require quicker action to determine the cause and make repairs.

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January 4, 20170 found this helpful

A new ceiling fan being installed.

This is a guide about no power after installing new ceiling fan. Small electrical projects are often done by homeowners, but when there is an issue it can be difficult to determine the cause.

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January 4, 20170 found this helpful

breaker box

This is a guide about breaker arced when installing new wire. An inexperienced homeowner can experience unexpected results when trying to work on a home electrical wiring project.

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January 4, 20170 found this helpful

Dim ceiling lights.

This is a guide about troubleshooting dimming house lights. When lights get dim or flicker, the trouble may go as far as the power company's lines to your house. It is best to get advice from a licensed electrician.

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January 4, 20170 found this helpful

Overhead Ceiling Fan

This is a guide about overhead ceiling fan light not working properly. When an electrical fixture does not work as expected you may need the help of an electrician.

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January 3, 20170 found this helpful

Turning on a light switch.

This is a guide about lights don't work in hot weather. Changes in temperature can have an effect on your electrical system.

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January 3, 20170 found this helpful

Pushing the start button on a microwave.

This is a guide about power goes out when using microwave. If your power goes out when you turn on your microwave the breaker is getting overloaded. It is best to have an electrician look at the issue.

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January 3, 20170 found this helpful

bedroom light switch

This is a guide about power out in one room. Trying to determine the cause of a power outage in one room can be confusing especially if the breaker has not tripped.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
December 23, 2016

I was using a small space heater and didn't think when I went to plug in my hair dryer to the same outlet. When I turned it on, the power to the outlets in the back of the house and bathroom light are now not working. We tried to flip the breaker switches off and back on, but it's not coming back on. Everything else in the house is fine. Any ideas what it could be?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
December 24, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

You've blown a fuse in the circuit that serves the bathroom and back rooms. You may have to get professional help if there is no obvious fuse system in your meter board.

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0 found this helpful
April 4, 2017

I've never had problems, but last night I came home and turned on the light switch in the kitchen and all of the power to the kitchen went out.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 4, 20170 found this helpful

Reset the breakers and each GFCI recepticle

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0 found this helpful
March 31, 2017

I am remodeling my kitchen and this includes replacing all the outlets. I had a built in oven and a counter stove and so I took all the extra electrical I didn't need and closed them off with wire nuts. I replaced the wired appliances with outlets and one of the light switches I closed off with wire nuts as well. Now all my 7 sockets aren't working. The breaker is fine that I can see and all the sockets are brand new. How can I tell where the problem is?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 31, 20170 found this helpful

Here is a step-by-step guide with photos:

https://www.fam  outlets/view-all

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0 found this helpful
January 28, 2017

Power in my home is lost randomly. Sometimes it happens during the day with no one at home. Sometimes it is at 2am in the morning. Sometimes, it recovers 5 minutes later by itself. Sometimes it never comes back. I need to reset the main breaker to bring power back. It happens randomly, no pattern at all. Sometimes it happens twice a week, sometimes 3 times in one day.
I checked the panel, but no breaker was tripped.

When it happened, I measured voltage in the panel. One leg reads 110v. The other reads zero. This explains why half of house lost power. But what is wrong?

When it happens, if I don't reset the main breaker, I have to reset one of 15A breakers, then it resolves the problem. I replaced that breaker. It didn't help. The power outage is still random.

Some forum mentioned checking the GFCI socket, how does that help?
When the problem happened, it's always the same, the feeding line read zero volt. And I confirmed, when the problem happened, no one tried to use the micro-wave oven, dryer, or any high power device.

What I am doing is swapping that breaker to a different slot in panel, which connects a different leg of feeding line.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
January 29, 20170 found this helpful

The water probably damaged the main panel. If there is a place where the water got in you need to plug it up first.

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2 found this helpful
September 30, 2016

In two rooms that share a wall, each light switch will not turn on ceiling lights and the outlet on the shared wall does not work. What could be the problem?

Answer Was this helpful? 2
October 3, 20161 found this helpful

It sounds like the lights and receptacle are on the same circuit which could be tripped. A circuit can be tripped at:

* the breaker

* a GFCI receptacle

* an AFCI receptacle

Check to make sure that no other receptacles are tripped that could be AFCI or GFCI. This receptacle could be the one feeding power to your circuit.

If you don't know how, have someone with knowledge of circuit breakers check your electrical panel to make sure the breaker is not tripped.

It is possible that someone wired another switch upstream of the devices you mentioned. If so you could check this by turning on the light switches for the ceiling light and turning on other switches.

If all this reveals nothing the something else has opened the circuit and it would be time to call an electrican.

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0 found this helpful
February 12, 2017

I have a fuse electrical panel. My power went out from the fuse box. I reset it, but part of the house is still without power. I replaced all the fuses except the 50amp main fuse, but that section on the house is still without power. What is happening?
Thank you.

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February 20, 20170 found this helpful

Do you not know what caused your power to shut down? Maybe a heater and another appliance cutting on at the same time or? Have you had problems before? Did one part of the house lose power or the whole house? I'm just asking some of the questions an electrician will ask as the answers may narrow the trouble down to one area.

Electricity can be a dangerous area for the inexperienced so either try calling a knowledgeable friend or you may have to call a professional.

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0 found this helpful
January 9, 2017

In my garage are 2 fluorescent light fixtures that suddenly won't turn on when I hit the single rocker switch that controls both fixtures (neither of them turn on now). I checked the circuit breaker, but it's on. There are 2 GFCI outlets in the garage, and they are both working (the red lights are lit). I tried changing the bulbs, but no luck.

Here's the strange part: When I turn off the circuit breaker, then flip it back on, both of those GFCI outlets POP off. I then have to manually push the little button to turn the red light back on. But if I flip the circuit breaker off then on again, POP, both GFCI outlets go out again. In the mean time, the 2 fluorescent light fixtures still don't work.

Anyone have any thoughts on what might be wrong?

Thanks!

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
January 10, 20170 found this helpful

I do not believe it could be the ballast as you say there are 2 light fixtures that are not working.

You did say you checked the circuit breaker and it was on - does that mean that you did not flip it off and then on again? My son always tells me that is the first thing I have to do.

I hope you can find an easy inexpensive solution but - if not - do you know anyone who "knows" an electrician that might have an answer as that might be your best solution - otherwise - you may have to bite the bullet and call an electrician.

I hope someone else comes along with a better answer.

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0 found this helpful
October 10, 2016

I have 2 outlets on opposite sides of the room, neither one has power, however, the light switch (on the same side of the room as one of the outlets) works. Also, there is an outlet in the hallway that does not have power, it is directly on the other side of the one of outlets in the room. I checked and all the breakers are on. I'm lost here, please help, thank you.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
October 22, 20160 found this helpful

The same thing is happening to me right now! I plugged up my vacuum and it worked and then it went off and everything in the dining room is not working but everything else is. My dad is at work and I don't know what to do. Please help.

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0 found this helpful
December 4, 2016

Everything works in our bungalow apart from the bathroom and bedroom lights. Nothing has tripped on the fuse box. I've reset it and everything is still the same. Nothing has ever happened like this before. Please help.

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Anonymous
December 6, 20160 found this helpful

You need an electrician. With just power in two areas off, it's unlikely to be a separate circuit. I would worry about this not blowing a fuse or setting off a trip. Sounds as if something is not connected up where it should be.

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0 found this helpful
November 27, 2016

Yesterday 2 downstairs lights on the ceiling in my living room would not work, everything else in the room turned on as normal. Today the lights started working again and I hadn't touched anything. Does anybody have any idea why this is?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
November 28, 20160 found this helpful

Electric lights should not go on and off at their own whims. If this was my house, I would call an electrician.

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February 1, 20150 found this helpful

Today my husband and I were watching TV and the lights and plugs stopped working in the living room. We had 2 space heaters plugged in so I'm worried they have messed something up. We tried unplugging everything and letting everything cool down then resetting it, but it didn't help. Please help!

By Lisa

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February 2, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would suspect that you have either thrown a breaker or blown a fuse. I am not familiar with fuses, as they have not been used in homes here since the 50's, but I believe they work the same, except you have to replace them instead of just flipping them back. It would not be uncommon to have all of the living room outlets on the same circuit, and you certainly couldn't run two space heaters on the same circuit. When a breaker flips into the off position, there is no need to let anything cool off. What you need to do is remove some of the things on the circuit, like one of the space heaters, and then reset the breaker. Sometimes the breaker doesn't look like it has tripped, but it will have. You need to flip it back firmly. Also, it may be that the breaker is worn out, in which case you have to call an electrician to replace it. This is very simple and costs very little.

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November 22, 2016

The furnace stopped working; so until the repair guy got there a couple days later, I used a plug in heater. The power went out in my baby's room and the adjacent bathroom. I flicked all the circuit breakers, but still no power. I plugged in an extension cord from another bedroom to bring in to the baby's room and the power went on. Later, i unplugged the cord and the power went off.

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January 22, 20170 found this helpful

I have had this problem many times. Some electric heaters use up more power than others, but the all do draw a lot of power. When things are drawing too much power, the circuit breakers go off. The last time it happened to me I had to leave the circuit breakers off for an hour or so before they would come on again. IF they are really not coming on at all, you might have no recourse but get an electrician.

To prevent this situation in the future, make sure that the heater is not on a circuit that's already being overpowered. IE do not use a space heater in the same circuit where you might use a large appliance, a hair dryer, DEFINITELY another space heater, etc. Any overworked circuit will die with a space heater plugged in.

I don't understand your whole situation in regards to the extension cord and the power going on or off, but I will say that you should never leave a space heater plugged into an extension cord. At most you could use one of those grounded outdoor extension cords, but even these are very dangerous. I almost set my house on fire when, unbeknownst to me, the plug was burning through the extension cord. I wish I had a picture to show you.

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