Troubleshooting Electrical Circuit Problems

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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January 3, 2017 Flag

Electrical outlet with a green cord plugged in.

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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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January 4, 2017 Flag

Installing a light switch.

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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 4, 2017 Flag

Light Bulb Socket

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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, 2017 Flag

Dim ceiling lights.

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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, 2017 Flag

Trying to turn the lights on.

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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, 2017 Flag

breaker box

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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, 2017 Flag

An electric stove turned on.

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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, 2017 Flag

Newly installed garage door opener.

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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, 2017 Flag

A new ceiling fan being installed.

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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, 2017 Flag

Overhead Ceiling Fan

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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, 2017 Flag

Pushing the start button on a microwave.

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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, 2017 Flag

Turning on a light switch.

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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, 2017 Flag

bedroom light switch

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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.

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February 12, 2017 Flag

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 12, 20170 found this helpful

The wiring in the back of the box may be worn. I would call an electrician if I were you.

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December 23, 2016 Flag

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?

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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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January 28, 2017 Flag

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.

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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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January 9, 2017 Flag

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!

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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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September 30, 2016 Flag

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?

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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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October 10, 2016 Flag

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.

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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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December 4, 2016 Flag

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 Flag
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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November 27, 2016 Flag

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?

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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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October 29, 2016 Flag

We had a neutral (theoretically hot) and bare ground coming out of wall and all are hardwired to the dishwasher. We disconnected these 3 wires and a number of outlet receptacles went out. Any ideas as to how this was even possible? A solution for the fix would be awesome.
Thanks.

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November 18, 20160 found this helpful

With a non contact voltage pen, check to see if you still read voltage at the non-functioning receptacles. My guess is you do.

The dishwasher needed a neutral to run as well as a hot. It is also my guess that the neutral to your dishwasher goes to the neutral in your electrical panel. (It may be the the bare ground goes to the ground in your electrical panel.) It should be both, my guess is you only have one.

The dishwasher may have had a jumper between the neutral connection and the metal frame which is not code legal.

The bare ground wire, if wired correctly, should read a short circuit to the neutral because they are bonded in your panel. My guess is yours do not. I believe your bare ground wire or your neutral wire is used to feed the neutral of the non functioning receptacles. The dishwasher tied the neutral and bare wires together to allow your other receptacles to work.

I would have an electrician fix this correctly for you.

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November 30, 2016 Flag

The other day, I turned on the bedroom light and shortly after it went out with all power to master bedroom. I replaced the circuit breaker switch in the panel box for the master bedroom, but still nothing. I tested the switch with a voltage meter and find I have no juice going to switch.

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Home and Garden Repair Home ElectricalJanuary 3, 2014
Guides
breaker box
Breaker Arced When Installing New Wire
Electrical outlet with a green cord plugged in.
Outlets in One Room Don't Work
Pushing the start button on a microwave.
Power Goes Out When Using Microwave
Installing a light switch.
No Power to Circuit After Changing Switches
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