Outlet Zero Voltage, Breaker not Tripped

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by madrussian, Sep 10, 2018.

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  1. Sep 10, 2018 #1

    madrussian

    madrussian

    madrussian

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    25 year old home, owned it for 10 years now. Yesterday one bathroom outlet stopped working (not a GFCI outlet).

    What I know so far:
    • Looked at breaker box, was not tripped.
    • Opened the outlet up and found both hot and neutral wires had melted sheathing (there was no evidence of arcing/burning).
    • Other outlets on same circuit were also out.
    • Checked voltage on the breaker itself - was fine and had 120VAC coming out of the breaker.
    I am not aware of any GFCI on this circuit, but I need to verify all outlets.

    If there is no GFCI on this circuit, what else could it be? is it possible that one of the other outlets has a wire that completely came off?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
     
  2. Sep 10, 2018 #2

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

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    It's a process of elimination.
    GFI's can be in the oddest places, like in a garage, or in a sink cabinet.
    1st, turn the breaker off.
    You can start at what you suspect is the first recep. away from the breaker and if it is a "back stab", change the connections to the screws, if there are conductors joined in wirenuts, make sure they are twisted together and check for voltage at each occasion.
     
  3. Sep 11, 2018 #3

    JoeD

    JoeD

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    Were the wires attached to the receptacle using the back stab pushin connection or the screws? Back stabs have very common issue of burning up like you found.

    If your receptacles are connected using the back stabs, move the wires to the screw terminals. If fixing the burnt one you found does not resolve the issue then check other receptacles on the circuit for similar overheated connections.
     
  4. Sep 11, 2018 #4

    joecaption

    joecaption

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    And change the outlet to a GFI!
     
  5. Sep 12, 2018 #5

    kok328

    kok328

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    May have lost a neutral or hot. Test the outlet from hot to neutral and then hot to ground. If 120 hot to ground then you lost the neutral and can start looking at the circuit from there. You tested the breaker and know that it is putting out 120V, so check each junction/outlet.
     
  6. Sep 13, 2018 at 1:21 PM #6

    afjes_2016

    afjes_2016

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    Opened the outlet up and found both hot and neutral wires had melted sheathing (there was no evidence of arcing/burning)

    This is where I would first start. Did you check the voltage on either of the hots to neutrals on this receptacle? If so was there any voltage. It is possible that this receptacle has "worn" over time and the receptacle does not hold the prongs of the plug tightly enough causing "heat" to develop while using something like a hair dryer, curling iron or some other device that uses a lot of current. The "clamps" inside the receptacle that hold the prongs do tend to weaken over time and the plug is not held in as tight as it should be. If you do get voltage at this receptacle then change the receptacle. If the receptacle is bad but voltage is coming to the receptacle then this receptacle and others down the line may not work. If you do not get any voltage at this receptacle at all then it is further up the line where you problem may be. This receptacle may not look burned etc but I have had the same thing happen in the past. Go to take the receptacle out and disconnect the wires and it falls apart in my hands. Start here by checking the voltage. If none then it may be a GFCI somewhere in the house; another bathroom, garage, basement, kitchen etc. If there is voltage at this receptacle just change the receptacle using the screws and not backstabbed if they were.
     
  7. Sep 14, 2018 at 1:52 PM #7

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

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    Receptacles are not expensive . Any / each one you take apart , I would replace and side wire it .

    Any lights out ? The circuit feeding the receptacles may pass through a light or switch .

    Wyr
    God bless
     

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