Power Goes Off Comes On

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  #1  
Old 11-26-16, 09:41 PM
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Power Goes Off Comes On

Hello,
I have this situation where power goes off in the following locations:
1) Everything in one bedroom upstairs - light and 3 wall outlets
2) The lights in the guest bathroom upstairs
3) The dining room lights
4) A wall outlet in the living room

This has happened 4 times in the last 2 weeks. It goes off at random times during the day, and each time, around 10 PM, power is restored in all these locations.

During the time the power is off in these locations, the circuit breaker is confirmed to be working. If I turn the breaker off during this time, additionally, another wall outlet in the living room also loses power.

It happened tonight and I checked the bathroom switches and there was no power coming in. That's all I could manage today and need to wait for this to happen again to check more boxes.

Please advise on how to diagnose this problem.
Thanks
Tbone
 
  #2  
Old 11-26-16, 10:20 PM
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How are you "confirming" the breaker is working?
Need a real volt OHM meter to be doing any real testing.
How old is this house?
Newer houses would be wired totaly different than older homes.
Called the power company yet to ask them to check out there end?
 
  #3  
Old 11-27-16, 04:48 AM
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Go to the receptacle that is affected by turning off the breaker and check the wiring. It could have a loose connection. It won't be associated with the time of day, but it is a starting place. If it proves to be good, then proceed to the first non working receptacle and check the wiring there.
 
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Old 11-27-16, 07:29 AM
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That what I'll do and eliminate one receptacle at a time. Right now, the power is on...so I hope to identify a loose connection mechanically or visually.
 
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Old 11-27-16, 07:41 AM
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I used a GE digital multi-meter that registered 120 v between the breaker and the neutral bar with the breaker on.

The house is about 30 years old.

I have not called the power company yet. Since there is power out of the breaker and at one wall outlet, a loose connection seems to be the high-probability cause at one of the other receptacles.
Let me inspect each receptacle this morning.

The mystery is what triggers the shutoff and why it comes back on by itself around 10 PM!
 
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Old 11-27-16, 08:06 AM
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And remember move all back stabs to the screws and redo any wire nuts. Check all switch boxes and do the same. If still nothing redo all wire nuts at any lights with multiple cables.
 
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Old 11-27-16, 10:24 AM
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Here's what I have so far:

As Chandler suggested, I started with the only receptacle that is not impacted (living room (LR) wall outlet #1). Since power is available now on the circuit, it also proved that the rest of the receptacles depended on this one because when disconnected here, there was no power in the rest of them. Changed from backstabs to screws and finished up.

Moved to LR wall outlet#2. This one is the next in line for dependency because a disconnect here cut off power to the rest of the receptacles except LR wall outlet # 1. Again, changed from backstabs to screws and finished up.

Now only the dining room light remains on this floor which I will do now.

However, there is some intermittent flickering in all lamps on the circuit except the one on LR wall outlet#1.

Does this flickering give any hints?
That LR wall outlet#2 also flickered tells me that I have gone past the problem without resolving it, correct?
 
  #8  
Old 11-27-16, 10:32 AM
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We just lost power on the rest of the circuit except LR wall unit#1.
This suggests that I did not resolve the loose connection issue in either LR wall unit # 1 or 2.

Let me bypass these wall outlets one by one to make sure that the components themselves are not faulty.
 
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Old 11-27-16, 10:39 AM
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This suggests that I did not resolve the loose connection issue in either LR wall unit # 1 or 2.
That's what it suggests.

However.... how do you know it goes from what you are calling 1 directly to 2 ?
Are you sure there is nothing in between ?

It's important to know every device on a circuit.
 
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Old 11-27-16, 11:07 AM
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PJmax,
You are right, I can't say that 2 is directly dependent on 1.
This is confirmed just now when I bypassed the outlet at 1. No power to the rest of the circuit even though there is still power at 1. So, 2 must be getting it from 3 or beyond.

Here is a complete list on the circuit for this breaker.
1 - Living Room Wall Outlet #1 Floor Lamp (the only one that works when all others fail)
2 - Living Room Wall Outlet #2 Floor Lamp
3 - Dining Room DR Light Fixture
4 - Bathroom Light Fixture 1
5 - Bathroom Light Fixture 2
6 - Bathroom Light Fixture 3
7 - Bathroom Exhaust Fan
8 - Bedroom Light Fixture
9 - Bedroom Wall Outlet #1 Floor Lamp
10 - Bedroom Wall Outlet #2 Room Heater
 
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Old 11-27-16, 11:51 AM
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You have a receptacle of concern. 10 is used for a heater. They are notorious for overloading and actually falling apart in the box, so check it out, too. Your flickering can be caused by old receptacles. If you have them out and wires off, replacing them can be cheap.
 
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Old 11-27-16, 12:15 PM
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Do you notice bright or dim lights?
 
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Old 11-27-16, 12:18 PM
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Chandler, I opened 10 and there is no power coming into it.
The problem is on right now, meaning there is no power to any locations other than 1.
So, 10 could be getting power from elsewhere.

Let me run to the store and get some new receptacles...will resume diagnosis after that.

Eliminated 3 as a problem..that is an end point.
 
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Old 11-27-16, 01:31 PM
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Do you notice bright or dim lights?
Nothing in particular, other than the flickering, which I don't see often either.

I have some new receptacles now and will resume going through the bedroom receptacles and replace them.
 
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Old 11-27-16, 04:18 PM
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I have now tended to all the receptacles.
There are 11 of them (I missed one in the earlier post).
The list is shown below and the numbers are different from the earlier post, just to keep things in order:

1 - Living Room Receptacle #1 Floor Lamp (1 out to ?)
2 - Living Room Receptacle #2 Floor Lamp (1 out to ?)
3 - Bedroom Receptacle #1 Xmas Light (1 black wire out - to 4, 5, 6)
4 - Bedroom Switch For Light Fixture (1 black wire out - 7)
5 - Bedroom Receptacle #2 Floor Lamp (none out)
6 - Dining Room DR Light Fixture (none out)
7 - Bedroom Receptacle #3 Room Heater (2 out - 1 to bath, 1 to ?)
8 - Bathroom Light Fixture 1 (1 out to 9, 10, 11)
9 - Bathroom Light Fixture 2
10 - Bathroom Light Fixture 3
11 - Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Below is an attempt to map the dependencies:

Name:  Elec Dependencies2.jpg
Views: 131
Size:  10.3 KB

At this time, I have no answer to the problem.
The problem is on right now : Only item#1 has power, all else on this circuit are dead.

I don't know where item#3 is getting power from - this is a key junction.
Item#2 is also orphaned in the diagram and I am yet to figure that out.

Any advice on how to proceed?
Thanks
Tbone
 
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Old 11-27-16, 06:19 PM
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It looks like I need to figure what's happening between 1 and 3.
Maybe there is a junction box in the attic. I will climb up there tomorrow.
 
 

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