Bathroom receptacle stopped working

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Old 08-14-16, 09:48 AM
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Bathroom receptacle stopped working

It happened several months ago and I've read and watched several youtube videos but can't figure what's wrong..
The receptable is getting very little voltage..like less than 1 volts.
I turned off the switch in the electrical panel box and removed the outlet cover and screws securing the outlet so I could test the voltage on the wires coming from the panel to outlet and still getting like less than 1 volt.
What can the problem be?

The outlets are not GFCI; they are the original ones put in the house when built in 1989.
Is the problem the panel box???
 
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Old 08-14-16, 09:53 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Being a house of that age, the bathroom receptacles could be tied in with other rooms. That has been corrected with current code. The bathroom must be on its own 20 amp circuit and can service another bath, but no other rooms. Your problem may be in the last good receptacle, or the first bad one. Can you determine if the breaker services any other room in the house, or garage, or outside receptacle, or crawlspace?? Let us know and we'll help you dig.
 
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Old 08-14-16, 09:58 AM
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Make sure you don't have a GFCI receptacle somewhere else that feeds this one.

Did you measure the voltage right at the circuit breaker? If it's OK there, then identify all the other receptacles and light fixtures on that circuit (see which are dead when breaker is off). Pull out and examine all of those devices for a bad connection. The problem could be in the hot wires (usually black or red) or the neutrals (white), and can also be a loose neutral connection to the neutral buss in the panel.

Move any backstabbed connections to the screw terminals. remove any wire nuts and make sure all the wires are properly positioned before reinstalling the wire nut.

Good luck!
 
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Old 08-14-16, 10:00 AM
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Look all around house for a gfci outlet. Could be anywhere. A common place is in garage.
 
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Old 08-14-16, 10:15 AM
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I have looked for other gfci outlets in/outside the house and the only other one I found was in the kitchen which is on a diff breaker and it works.
The master and main bath receptacles don't work and the panel switch in the electrical box is labeled bathrooms. That switch has a 'test' button.
This morning I was testing voltage in the master bath (same problem as low voltage) but it's eletricity seems to be linked to the panel switch labeled garage because it was still getting power until I turned off the 'garage' switch. don't understand that one because I think the bathroom receptable is in line with the main bath receptacle.
 
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Old 08-14-16, 10:21 AM
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the panel switch in the electrical box is labeled bathrooms. That switch has a 'test' button.
You do not have switches in the breaker panel. You have breakers. The test button indicates it is a GFCI breaker. Did you turn the breaker all the way off then on? Did you test the voltage from the breaker to the neutral bar?

If you are using a digital multimeter not analog then the 1 volt readings are not real.
 
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Old 08-14-16, 10:37 AM
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I did turn the breaker all the way off, then back on again.
I just now am looking at youtube videos on how to test a breaker.
I have a digital multimeter that is reading low voltage at the bathroom OUTLET when the breaker on; and zero when the breaker is off
 

Last edited by outdoorman; 08-14-16 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 08-14-16, 10:55 AM
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The low reading is probably false and can be ignored.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 08-14-16 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 08-14-16, 01:06 PM
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Ok, I just tested voltage at the breaker and it reads 119 volts so breaker is good.
 
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Old 08-14-16, 01:10 PM
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Then, somewhere between the breaker and any given receptacle you possibly have a failed back stab or a loose wire. But you have to determine what is being controlled by that particular breaker. Once you have determined that, you would remove the cover plates and pull the receptacles out, checking each one. Have you pulled the one in the bathrooms, yet? Start there, first.
 
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Old 08-14-16, 02:24 PM
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The problem could also be at a light or switch if there are any on the circuit. Redo all wire nuts. Any wire nuts with corrosion or no springs should be replaced. Any back stabbed wires at a switch need to have the wires moved to the screws. (Probably not the problem in this case but best practice). If a terminal has both a back stabbed wire and a wire on the screw those wires need to be pigtailed to the screw. (This could be the problem if the back stab doesn't connect well.)
 
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Old 08-14-16, 02:37 PM
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I have pulled the receptacles in both baths and connections look clean, solid and secure.
 
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Old 08-14-16, 02:47 PM
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So there are not any more receptacles involved in this circuit?
 
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Old 08-14-16, 04:02 PM
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No lights? .
 
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Old 08-14-16, 04:49 PM
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As Carbide and others have said, you probably have a loose wire.

If you are not sure of which devices are on this circuit (all of them), you will have to do some investigating.
The problem is a receptacle might appear to be working fine, but is failing to provide power downstream.
Open up nearby boxes, even if working, and inspect all connections.
 
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Old 08-15-16, 04:48 AM
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Turn off breaker and check ALL outlets in house and see which one are on your circuit. plug in lamp works or a circuit tester will work best to test. This way you will know what is on your circuit.
 
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