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Power is out in multiple rooms.

Salutation to the individual reading, I request assistance please on what should I and my relatives do with our situation in my residence. The power is currently out in the room I reside, while outlets have ceased functioning in three bathrooms and two separate bedrooms. I have searched for answers on what is the best solution to resolve this problem, but I did not locate helpful responses. 

I will provide a picture that I have taken of our breaker if this will help. We are deciding whether to replace this model since the breaker system may be failing to cause this type of power outage. May I ask please what to do to return the electricity through the whole house? I express my thanks in advance for any assistance.

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Posted 2019-09-10T08:09:00+0000  by MissKim89 MissKim89

Hi MissKim89,

Thank you for asking The Community about your dilemma.

First, I will say that I am NOT an electrician. I have however, experienced a situation like the one described here and I would like to share with you how my electrician fixed it.

My outdoor receptacles were not working. I checked the power panel and found no tripped breakers. The receptacles were not working in the kitchen or bathrooms either.

I found that there was only one GFCI Receptacle that had the reset/Test buttons on it. All the other outlets that were wired in series behind that GFCI receptacle were dead because it had tripped. When I tried to reset the GFCI, it would trip again.

Upon inspection, my electrician located scorched wiring between that GFCI outlet and the subsequent outlet in the same bathroom. The wiring had become damaged and the GFCI did its job of preventing a house fire.

Have an electrician inspect your wiring between the affected outlets by pulling the receptacle out of the wall box and look at the wires for damage. Scorched wires and damaged receptacles must be replaced.

Hopefully your issue is not as serious as mine was, but you should never ignore any electrical malfunction.

Keep us posted with your results,

Thank you again for asking!


Posted 2019-09-10T15:14:50+0000  by Travis_HD_ATL
I thank you for responding, though I lack the money to afford an electrician to visit and expect. My residence has three outlets that contain a Reset/Test button, but pressing the buttons on all do not change the problem. That is why I was asking for assistance from people here if there are suggestions I can do to maintenance myself.

I suppose we may have to replace our break box since the last maintenance check was in 1997, and the former homeowner did not request a new inspection before my relatives and I moved in.
Posted 2019-09-13T19:28:00+0000  by MissKim89
Understand that mistakes with electricity can cause property damage (e.g., fire) but more importantly personal injury and even death.  If you don’t know what you’re doing, you should hire a local licensed electrician.  With that said...

Service panels (breaker boxes) generally don’t require any maintenance, nor regular replacement unless there physical damage to the equipment.  Some of the early GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) and AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupter) breakers and devices could be troublesome as they tended to create “nuisance” trips.  In some cases, those might need to be replaced.

For general troubleshooting I would:

  1. Check to ensure there are no tripped circuit breakers.  While uncommon, it is possible for a circuit breaker to “trip” without appearing to be tripped.  Turn off each breaker one at a time and then back on.  You should hear/feel a positive click as you turn on the breaker.  If you don’t hear/feel the click or the breaker toggle feels “spongy” there is a short or a defective breaker (the later being much less common).
  2. It would also helpful to “map” you home to identify which circuit break controls what.  It can be a time consuming process, especially if you are working alone, but can be very useful when troubleshooting problems such as the one you are having now.  
  3. Check each and every GFCI receptacle (including those outside or in the garage).  You should hear a click as you press the test button and again a click as you press the reset button (some also have a small green light indicating the device is working).  If you don’t hear the click, then you either have a ground fault or the device is defective.  Understand that GFCI receptacles, because they are expensive, are designed to protect additional devices “downstream”.  In other words, a single GFCI receptacle may protect several additional “regular” receptacles.  So a fault may not come from the device itself but rather something “downstream.” Isolating those kinds of faults require some electrical experience and time.
  4. From what you describe, it sounds like you either have tripped GFCI due to an actual fault or the device is defective.  GFCI devices and breakers are designed to protect against getting shocked and they trip at about 4 milliamperes (4/1000 of an amp), so even tiny faults can set them off.  I would also suggest unplugging everything in any of the rooms effected because the fault may lie in something plugged into the wall.  If that solves the problem, then plug things back in one at a time until the GFCI trips, that will be the source of your trouble.

I hope this helps.  I would be happy to answer any additional questions you may have.  Again, if you feel like any of this is too much for you, then please hire a licensed electrician.
Posted 2019-09-15T13:27:18+0000  by Adam444
Hi MissKim89,

Please take Travis and Adam444's advice and call in a professional electrician, a situation like yours is serious and could lead to a deadly house fire. Saving money and doing repairs yourself is fine but when working with electrical circuitry, you Must Know what you are doing, this is critical! The safety of you and your family should be your top priority. 

Posted 2019-09-16T19:44:45+0000  by Mike_HD_OC
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