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Breaker Tripped and Outlets Not Working

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My circuit breaker tripped while I was shampooing the carpet in the family room. This breaker has 2 switches on it which control the power in the family room and the garage. The light in the family room works, but the power outlet in the family room does not work, as well as, the power in the garage.

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By Osman D from Snellville, GA

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August 19, 20120 found this helpful

It could be that you didn't press the circuit breaker hard enough sometimes that's all it takes so don't be afraid to press it with all your might. Or, try shutting down the electric for the entire house by flipping the main switch and then turn it on again. It that doesn't work ask a neighbor if they know how to get the line up again and write down the instructions and tape it near the circuit panel for the next time this happens, As a last resort you might have to call an electrician because the shampooer fried the circuit breaker for that room or your electrical line is fried now that's an ouch $$$$. Good luck.

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August 19, 20120 found this helpful

It sounds as though there is a short between the two relays feeding the family room and the garage from the circuit box-you have a very, very, very serious problem and need to have it checked by a professional to prevent a whole house fire. Really. Ask a fireman.

You got lucky, that carpet shampooer may have saved your home and your life by overloading your circuit-two important rooms like a family room and a garage should NEVER be on the same circuit, it is not safe especially nowadays when the garage is where most people have several heavy load devices: freezer, clothes washer, (clothes dryer but that will usually be on a 220-240 circuit of its own), iron and ironing board, garage door opener, and sometimes other devices on top of that load like radios, computers, and stereos. Oh yeah, and then the kids plug in a guitar amp on top of all that...and a family room? Oh a family room has all kinds of goodies overloading it! Put the two rooms together and you are asking for a fire. Thank-goodness that shampooer flipped your breaker instead of a fire starting inside the walls at night. While you are sleeping.

All that load from those two rooms on one circuit is beyond dangerous, it's criminal and the electrician who did that needs to be sued.

The light that is working in the family room is more than likely on a completely different circuit and that's why it's working. Or more worrisome is the thought that some electricity (enough to power the light but nothing else) is getting through...I'm envisioning melted, frayed wires sparking away in your walls as I'm keying this. Yes, I'm trying to scare you. I'm scared for you and I don't even know you.

Get a licensed, professional, well recommended electrician in there now.

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August 19, 20120 found this helpful

I've had this happen before, plug something in and blow out a whole side of electrical outlets. First thing to try is to unplug everything on that circuit and then try to reset your breaker. If still not working, you probably have a faulty ground on one of your outlets, and it may not be the one you plugged the shampooer into, it could be anyone on that circuit. And that would mean calling an electrician to locate and repair it. I don't know why but outlets don't have to be hard wired to pass code.

Stupid if you ask me! But your outlet that is faulty would have to have the wires snipped and fixed correctly on that outlet. Last time mine did that I had the electrician fix several of my outlets that felt loose when I plugged appliances in so maybe I won't have to call him back out. I would also have him check to make sure you don't need to upgrade your electrical panel to prevent it from being overloaded

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August 19, 20120 found this helpful

Best answer, have an electrician check it. However the following is found on the net:

See NEC [NFPA 70, 2005 edition - National Electrical Code (c)] Article 210, sections 210.20, 210.21 and 210.23. The NEC does not specify a maximum number of outlets per circuit

Lights and outlets are normally wired on separate branch circuits

Generally speaking, most homes have 8 to 10 outlets per a 15 amp circuit. Not all outlets are used at the same time, a lamp here, a TV there, not too much. Regarding lights, you need to add up all the amps pulled by all fixtures on that circuit. The total amps pulled should not exceed 80% of the circuit breaker's maximum amperage.

In North America (Canada, United States, Mexico) a household 110V-120V outlet has three wires: hot, neutral and earth ground. If the outlet is mounted in a grounded metal box, the third wire (earth ground) may not be present, since the connection to ground occurs through the metal outlet housing and possibly metallic conduit that routes the wires from the circuit breaker panel to the outlet. Where metallic conduit isn't used, the earth ground wire may be connected to the metal box, and the earth ground pin of the outlet is connected by securing to the box with screws.

Refrigerators and microwaves should have their own breaker. Electric ranges and electric dryers must have their own breakers.

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