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chiefs1okie
12-22-2008, 03:19 PM
Hopefully I can explain this correctly and someone may have an answer....

I live in a 2 story house... have seperate heat/air units for upstairs and down. Recently the overhead lights and wall recepts quit working in the kitchen (on one wall only), utlity room, and garage... upstairs heat and hot water tank works, downstairs hot water tank works, but heating unit (downstairs) is in same closet and it doesn't. The kitchen, utility room, and garage are all in line on the back side of the downstairs part of the house. I am not an electrician by any stretch of the imagination, but I have checked the fuse panel and found none of the breakers tripped. Could I have a blown fuse? If so, how do I pull them from the fuse box, or even better how do I test them before pulling to see if one is blown? Any serious help would be appreciated.... it is getting verrrrry cold downstairs!!!!

blueballs
12-22-2008, 03:21 PM
your Christmas presents blocking the vents
sorry about the big screen

ClevelandBronco
12-22-2008, 03:22 PM
You have fuses and breakers?

EDIT: Wait. I had a fuse dedicated to my furnace go bad once (even though the house itself was governed by breakers), so you might have that problem. Look for a small fuse box in the furnace room.

And under no circumstances should you try to put a penny into that fuse box with a set of needle-nose pliers. You'll end up with half a penny, a ruined pair of pliers and temporary blindness.

ferrarispider95
12-22-2008, 03:23 PM
How old is your house or how modern is the electrical system?

Dinny Blues
12-22-2008, 03:25 PM
:popcorn:

Dinny

Brock
12-22-2008, 03:25 PM
Check your breakers again. Sometimes they don't look like they've kicked, but they have.

Boon
12-22-2008, 03:26 PM
E=IR

Brock
12-22-2008, 03:27 PM
Also, if you have a GFCI outlet somewhere, it will shut off an entire circuit if it's been tripped.

chiefs1okie
12-22-2008, 03:31 PM
Check your breakers again. Sometimes they don't look like they've kicked, but they have.

I thought the same thing, so I flipped every one of them and still did not find one that had tripped.

How old is your house or how modern is the electrical system?

The original house was built sometime after the turn of the century, I believe the upstairs was an add on, but couldn't swear to that. I do know the owner at one point had remodeled the entire home so I am not real sure how old the electrical sysem is.

ferrarispider95
12-22-2008, 03:31 PM
Also, if you have a GFCI outlet somewhere, it will shut off an entire circuit if it's been tripped.

Everything downstream from the outlet, unless you have gfci breaker on the entire circuit.

Code is for gfci in kitchens now.

Also to reiterate as posted above, lightly tap the breakers to make sure it is not tripped.

Be careful 120 probably won't kill you, but 240 will.

chiefs1okie
12-22-2008, 03:31 PM
Also, if you have a GFCI outlet somewhere, it will shut off an entire circuit if it's been tripped.

What is that and how do I check to see if I have one?

chiefs1okie
12-22-2008, 03:33 PM
You have fuses and breakers?

EDIT: Wait. I had a fuse dedicated to my furnace go bad once (even though the house itself was governed by breakers), so you might have that problem. Look for a small fuse box in the furnace room.

And under no circumstances should you try to put a penny into that fuse box with a set of needle-nose pliers. You'll end up with half a penny, a ruined pair of pliers and temporary blindness.

ROFLROFLROFL

That's hilarious... is that the voice of experience?

Brock
12-22-2008, 03:33 PM
What is that and how do I check to see if I have one?

It looks pretty much just like a regular electrical outlet. They will be situated in places where they might get wet, such as bathrooms, kitchens, etc. They will have either a pop-out indicator on them, or in the newer ones, a red LED light that indicates they've kicked.

ClevelandBronco
12-22-2008, 03:34 PM
What is that and how do I check to see if I have one?

Look for an outlet with two buttons on its face. One is usually red and one is white.

ClevelandBronco
12-22-2008, 03:36 PM
ROFLROFLROFL

That's hilarious... is that the voice of experience?

Well, uh, yeah. In fact it is.

Brock
12-22-2008, 03:36 PM
It sounds like your house has had the wiring updated, if it has a breaker box. A house as old as that one would have a fusebox if it hadn't been re-wired.

Boon
12-22-2008, 03:36 PM
Everything downstream from the outlet, unless you have gfci breaker on the entire circuit.

Code is for gfci in kitchens now.

Also to reiterate as posted above, lightly tap the breakers to make sure it is not tripped.

Be careful 120 probably won't kill you, but 240 will.

The voltage doesn't kill you, but the current will sure f*ck you up.

chiefs1okie
12-22-2008, 03:38 PM
It looks pretty much just like a regular electrical outlet. They will be situated in places where they might get wet, such as bathrooms, kitchens, etc. They will have either a pop-out indicator on them, or in the newer ones, a red LED light that indicates they've kicked.

Ahhhh ok, I know what those are. Just didn't know what they are called, No I don't believe there are any of those in the house. I should mention that my fear is that it may be mouse related. My house sits on 2 1/2 acres and there is a field with two 10 acre ponds right behind me, and then nearly an entire section of woods and pastures behind that, I am wondering if by some chance a little critter may have been looking for a warm spot and got into the walls somehow and chewed into a wire? Like I mentioned earlier, all the problems are in one corner of downstairs, no other part of the house is affected.

chiefs1okie
12-22-2008, 03:41 PM
Well, uh, yeah. In fact it is.

I don't mean any ill will at all, but that is just funny as hell..... I just have this mental picture of a smoking penny, melting pliers, and hair standing on end....

nstygma
12-22-2008, 03:42 PM
a lot of time people push the wire into the back of the outlets instead of using the screw terminals. over time they arc and get crusty or pull away and disable the downstream connections.
are the downstairs water heater and heat unit wired into the same box?
what kind of heater is it?

PastorMikH
12-22-2008, 03:42 PM
It sounds like your house has had the wiring updated, if it has a breaker box. A house as old as that one would have a fusebox if it hadn't been re-wired.


Or possibly both - in different parts of the house.

'Hamas' Jenkins
12-22-2008, 03:44 PM
Hopefully I can explain this correctly and someone may have an answer....

I live in a 2 story house... have seperate heat/air units for upstairs and down. Recently the overhead lights and wall recepts quit working in the kitchen (on one wall only), utlity room, and garage... upstairs heat and hot water tank works, downstairs hot water tank works, but heating unit (downstairs) is in same closet and it doesn't. The kitchen, utility room, and garage are all in line on the back side of the downstairs part of the house. I am not an electrician by any stretch of the imagination, but I have checked the fuse panel and found none of the breakers tripped. Could I have a blown fuse? If so, how do I pull them from the fuse box, or even better how do I test them before pulling to see if one is blown? Any serious help would be appreciated.... it is getting verrrrry cold downstairs!!!!

I would recommend killing yourself.

ferrarispider95
12-22-2008, 03:44 PM
Ahhhh ok, I know what those are. Just didn't know what they are called, No I don't believe there are any of those in the house. I should mention that my fear is that it may be mouse related. My house sits on 2 1/2 acres and there is a field with two 10 acre ponds right behind me, and then nearly an entire section of woods and pastures behind that, I am wondering if by some chance a little critter may have been looking for a warm spot and got into the walls somehow and chewed into a wire? Like I mentioned earlier, all the problems are in one corner of downstairs, no other part of the house is affected.

You don't have a knobs and tubes system do you.

http://images.oldhouseweb.com/stories/bitmaps/2006/14214/knt1.jpg

chiefs1okie
12-22-2008, 03:45 PM
a lot of time people push the wire into the back of the outlets instead of using the screw terminals. over time they arc and get crusty or pull away and disable the downstream connections.
are the downstairs water heater and heat unit wired into the same box?
what kind of heater is it?

I don't believe thy are, like I stated earlier the hot water tank works fine. It is a gas heater. The overhead lights in order moving away from the breaker box are kitchen, laundry room, garage. None of the overheads work. The recepts on one wall of the kitchen are inop, then on the same facing wall in the laundry room, (in the laundry room the recepts on the opposite wall work) and the recepts in the garage are all out.

ferrarispider95
12-22-2008, 03:46 PM
Or possibly both - in different parts of the house.

Exactly part of the house could be old wiring, but just tied into with new fuse box

PastorMikH
12-22-2008, 03:47 PM
a lot of time people push the wire into the back of the outlets instead of using the screw terminals. over time they arc and get crusty or pull away and disable the downstream connections.
are the downstairs water heater and heat unit wired into the same box?
what kind of heater is it?


Our first church lost power at the outlets down one whole side and lights in the bathroom and my office as a result of the lazy approach of pushing the wire in the backs of the outlets.

I have a friend that is an electrician. He always uses the screw terminals. Says he knows the connection won't work loose if he screws it down tight.

chiefs1okie
12-22-2008, 03:50 PM
You don't have a knobs and tubes system do you.

http://images.oldhouseweb.com/stories/bitmaps/2006/14214/knt1.jpg

No, I don't believe so.

ClevelandBronco
12-22-2008, 03:51 PM
I don't mean any ill will at all, but that is just funny as hell..... I just have this mental picture of a smoking penny, melting pliers, and hair standing on end....

Home ownership. It's not just a job. It's an adventure.

PastorMikH
12-22-2008, 03:54 PM
Save yourself a lot of headache and just call an electrician. It will be expensive, but not as expensive as a hospital bill or replacing the house 'cause you burned it down messing with the wiring
.

Your hot water heaters are working because they either are gas and do not require electricity or are electric but on a separate circuit of 220 volts.

Do you have gas heat or electric?

If your heater is gas, it should just be 110 volts for the fan and such. If your heater plugs into an outlet (mine does as well as the chuch's parsonage though some are wired directly), you could temporarily get the heater going by running a heavy duty extension cord from that closet to a working outlet.

chiefs1okie
12-22-2008, 03:55 PM
Do breakers sometimes need to be replaced? Is this something it would be worth me troubleshooting or should I stop the Tim Allen impersonation and just call an electrician?

chiefs1okie
12-22-2008, 03:56 PM
Save yourself a lot of headache and just call an electrician. It will be expensive, but not as expensive as a hospital bill or replacing the house 'cause you burned it down messing with the wiring
.

Your hot water heaters are working because they either are gas and do not require electricity or are electric but on a separate circuit of 220 volts.

Do you have gas heat or electric?

If your heater is gas, it should just be 110 volts for the fan and such. If your heater plugs into an outlet (mine does as well as the chuch's parsonage though some are wired directly), you could temporarily get the heater going by running a heavy duty extension cord from that closet to a working outlet.

It is a gas heater, that is a good thought, I will try that when I get home.

PastorMikH
12-22-2008, 03:58 PM
Do breakers sometimes need to be replaced? Is this something it would be worth me troubleshooting or should I stop the Tim Allen impersonation and just call an electrician?


Yes breakers can go bad, though I can only remember one that I had to replace and it was at the church on a ciruit handling our power amps, if you turned everything on at once the breaker would pop. It poped so much if finally quit reseting.

Do you know which breaker runs that circuit?

PastorMikH
12-22-2008, 03:59 PM
It is a gas heater, that is a good thought, I will try that when I get home.


Dude this is a temporary fix at best and make sure it's a heavy duty cord. You may have to re-light the pilot too depending upon your heating unit.

Hog Rider
12-22-2008, 04:40 PM
You may have lost an entire phase coming in to the house. As if one of the knife switches at the utility pole is open! If you lose (sorry) - loose a ground wire things act really weird!

chiefs1okie
12-22-2008, 04:45 PM
Thanks for all your help and suggestions, I am getting ready to leave the office and go home to try the Tim Allen approach one more time (minus the pliers and penny!!!) before giving up and calling an electrician.

kstater
12-22-2008, 04:47 PM
You may have lost an entire phase coming in to the house. As if one of the knife switches at the utility pole is open! If you lose (sorry) - loose a ground wire things act really weird!

Good idea, but most homes run off of single phase.

cabletech94
12-22-2008, 06:12 PM
Dude, seriously. When in doubt, call a pro.

I had a wannabe electrician live in my old house previous to me. This guy was lucky he didn't kill me an my family. I had a situation like you. 2 story house. House added onto like 4 times. Covered up all entry points and junction boxes. If I knew the guy who did the previous work, I would probably kick him in the balls. 3/4 of my entire upstairs was fed by one outlet of romex (newer wire) that then fed miles and miles of know and tube. I actually had a junction box placed behind an upstairs bathroom mirror. It was the biggest mickey mouse POS I've ever seen in my life.
When in doubt pay the MAN!!!

tmax63
12-22-2008, 06:23 PM
Troubleshooting electrical problems can be a nightmare, even for the pro's. It's worth the money to get an electrician to do the looking beyond what you've done so far. They have neat little gadgets that they can put around wires and plug in outlets that help them identify the problem and fix it before you freeze off important body parts without getting electroshock therapy.

chief52
12-22-2008, 06:32 PM
Look for a "sub panel". If there has been work on your electrical system you could very well have a sub panel. You are going out and looking at the main panel for an open breaker. There could be an open breaker at your sub panel somewhere else which is being fed by the main panel.

Also, did you flick your breaker off before flicking it back on? If a breaker trips you need to turn it all the way off and then on to reset it.

I am not an electrician, but I am a lineman for the power company and I have dealt a little with this type of stuff. High voltage is what I do, but I do know somethings about trouble shooting house wiring.

P.M. me with your number and I will give you a call if you like. No guarantee, but maybe I can save you from paying someone to come over and him finding an easy fix.

ClevelandBronco
12-22-2008, 06:38 PM
...I am a lineman...

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/4qoymGCDYzU&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/4qoymGCDYzU&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

chief52
12-22-2008, 06:39 PM
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/4qoymGCDYzU&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/4qoymGCDYzU&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

Damn awful song, isn't it? :)

cardken
12-22-2008, 07:33 PM
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/4qoymGCDYzU&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/4qoymGCDYzU&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

Ah, I miss the days of songs about Municipal jobs.

Skip Towne
12-22-2008, 08:16 PM
Do breakers sometimes need to be replaced? Is this something it would be worth me troubleshooting or should I stop the Tim Allen impersonation and just call an electrician?

Call an electrician. It sounds like the house has been gerry-wired. Let him figure it out before you burn it down.

Iowanian
12-22-2008, 08:36 PM
Keep in mind that when electricity is involved....I make Tim Taylor nervous.


I've had something similar before, to a laundry and bathroom. In my case, it was that one of the actual breakers, that you pull from the panel....was smoked.

It could be a bad breaker itself.

Bacon Cheeseburger
12-22-2008, 08:38 PM
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/4qoymGCDYzU&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/4qoymGCDYzU&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

That should be a bannable offense.

chief52
12-22-2008, 08:42 PM
Keep in mind that when electricity is involved....I make Tim Taylor nervous.


I've had something similar before, to a laundry and bathroom. In my case, it was that one of the actual breakers, that you pull from the panel....was smoked.

It could be a bad breaker itself.

It very well could. A cheap tester will tell you the answer to that question. Check that there is juice coming into the breaker and then check that it is flowing past the breaker as well. If not...bad breaker. Easy, cheap fix.

My number one guess is that there is a sub panel with an open breaker and he is not aware that there is a sub panel in the house as most people are not.

Could be a major deal, but odds are that it is not.

nstygma
12-22-2008, 11:37 PM
Good idea, but most homes run off of single phase.wellll, 2 phase of hot + 1 neutral to be precise. & a lil ground thrown in here and there


there's a member here named Sparkky, he's an electrician. fitting name huh? lol

chief52
12-23-2008, 05:21 PM
You may have lost an entire phase coming in to the house. As if one of the knife switches at the utility pole is open! If you lose (sorry) - loose a ground wire things act really weird!

If one of those knife blades ( actually called cut-outs ) is open you will have a complete out at your house. You need both phases to produce 120/240 at the house.