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  1. #1
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    Question for electricians, EEs

    My wife went to vacuum the master bedroom today, plugged it in, turned in on, and everything went out in master. One would think that she just popped a breaker, but not so much.

    I was gone when it happened, but checked it out when I got home. The breaker for that circuit never flipped to the off position- remained on. I flipped it back and forth with no luck, and did the same with several others. All of the breakers are in the on position, but we can't restore the power.

    Odd thing is there are a couple of things that are apparently on that circuit that still work: one outlet in the master bath and a fan in the family room. But nothing else-lights and outlets-work in the master.

    What gives? I've never experienced this, but we just moved into the home. I did replace the a fan/light unit in the master, but everything was fine for several days until the vacuum incident. I've done plenty of light fixtures and such over the years, and I'm confident in my install.

    I'm a bit lost. I thought about replacing that outlet tomorrow before calling an electrician, and I wanted to check here for advice as well.



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    Re: Question for electricians, EEs

    GFI circuit?

    bad outlet?


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    Re: Question for electricians, EEs

    Quote Originally Posted by TykeClone View Post
    GFI circuit?

    bad outlet?
    I've checked all of the GFCI outlets. I'm going to try replacing the outlet that the vacuum was plugged into.



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    Re: Question for electricians, EEs

    do other things work in the outlet the vacuum was plugged into and visa versa?


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    Re: Question for electricians, EEs

    Quote Originally Posted by psychlone99 View Post
    My wife went to vacuum the master bedroom today, plugged it in, turned in on, and everything went out in master. One would think that she just popped a breaker, but not so much.

    I was gone when it happened, but checked it out when I got home. The breaker for that circuit never flipped to the off position- remained on. I flipped it back and forth with no luck, and did the same with several others. All of the breakers are in the on position, but we can't restore the power.

    Odd thing is there are a couple of things that are apparently on that circuit that still work: one outlet in the master bath and a fan in the family room. But nothing else-lights and outlets-work in the master.

    What gives? I've never experienced this, but we just moved into the home. I did replace the a fan/light unit in the master, but everything was fine for several days until the vacuum incident. I've done plenty of light fixtures and such over the years, and I'm confident in my install.

    I'm a bit lost. I thought about replacing that outlet tomorrow before calling an electrician, and I wanted to check here for advice as well.
    Sounds like the outlet in the master bath and fan in the family room are probably before that outlet on the circuit.



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    Re: Question for electricians, EEs

    I would guess bad GFI...I would also kill that breaker for the night until you can figure it out. I have seen a bad GFI start on fire, electricity when not working properly is dangerous. Let us know what you find out.



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    Re: Question for electricians, EEs

    Make sure you know what is actually on the circuit. You said you just moved in, and used the word "apparently" when describing the circuit. The panel could be mislabeled.



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    Re: Question for electricians, EEs

    you could have a bad termination point at that outlet or another before it, (wirenut, solder joint ect.) where the wires splice, be sure to shut off power before working



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    Re: Question for electricians, EEs

    if its an older house they used to use the outlet as a way to splice wires, those outlets go bad all the time, and should not be reinstalled that way



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    Re: Question for electricians, EEs

    I doubt it is GFI, generally the GFI is located inside the CB panel as the CB for that room, or it is on the outlet itself, which would have a visible reset. The house if old probably has some issues, I would think that when she plugged in the vacuum it either overloaded the line (Amps wise), causing something to be fried on either an outlet or junction somewhere, I would check switches and outlets.

    Some things being affected and others not is probably because your house was wired in series, and it can be like christmas lights, one goes out and all the ones AFTER dont work. With older wiring check to make sure that you arent overloaded in your CB panel. It is common to find older homes with too much on a CB instead of split up to handle the Amps load for the house. If you have like 4+ outlets and a ceiling fan and a bathroom fan on a 15 amp CB for your room, then everything is fine until you plug in a vacuum that pulls 7 amps. Check and ensure you don't have too much on one CB..that is really common in older homes.



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    Re: Question for electricians, EEs

    Quote Originally Posted by CLONE22 View Post
    you could have a bad termination point at that outlet or another before it, (wirenut, solder joint ect.) where the wires splice, be sure to shut off power before working
    The part about turning everything off before you work on it bears repeating. I think the bad termination is also a relatively likely diagnosis. If the fan you replaced is on the same circuit, I'd start there.

    If you have a multimeter you can check voltages at the outlets to see if you're getting anything.

    Also might be worth swapping the breaker with another one (again, turn off the master first), or check resistance through the breaker with a multimeter.

    Beyond that, your best bet is probably to call an electrician.



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    Re: Question for electricians, EEs

    GFI's often feed a whole bunch of normal outlets. But bedroom outlets are generally not linked to GFI's. Some of the newer houses (post 2000 builds) may have them or the "short detecting" breakers, which would be on the circuit breaker itself.

    With all that said, I am guessing the outlet was not on the "Master bedroom" circuit, it is probably wired to a different circuit. Check all the breakers for being "soft," they don't normally flip all the way to the "off" position. They will appear to still be in the "On" position, or just slightly away from the on position. Check them by just pushing them towards the on position, if one moves or feels soft, its the tripped one.



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