non-functioning "hot" outlets

Old 03-18-19, 07:42 PM
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non-functioning "hot" outlets

Need some help troubleshooting a potentially big problem. I just purchased a house that seems to have a new problem every day. I have an electric box that has a 15amp breaker on the bottom that feeds two different lines. One noticeably newer line someone put in that only supplies the electronics of a gas cooktop, and the other line that supplies an outlet with a microwave, two light fixtures (one is a three way light) and I'm not sure what else. Both these lines exit one 15amp breaker, which has NOT tripped and the cooktop still has electric, but the other mentioned devices aren't working. A non-contact tester tells me the other outlets are "hot", but lights and the outlet are not working. When I turn off the breaker, the outlet and light switches go "cold". So, I'm not sure where to go from here. Is there a problem with one of the lines in the electric box, or down line from the box, and are there even suppose to be two lines running from one breaker?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Old 03-18-19, 08:09 PM
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Start tracing the wires on the circuit. And throw away that party toy tester and get a real multi-meter.
Old 03-18-19, 08:23 PM
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the other line that supplies an outlet with a microwave, two light fixtures (one is a three way light) and I'm not sure what else.
So these are the items not wiring. The stove is ok.
Your non contact tester is designed for only one purpose..... to warn you of dangerous high voltage. It has warned you that you have the hot but it can't tell you that you are are missing the neutral. There are two wires to every circuit.

You'll need to check at every non working device to find the neutral problem. If you encounter devices that use the push-in connectors...... move those wires to the screw terminals. The push-in terminals are highly intermittent.
Old 03-19-19, 04:24 AM
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The non-contact tester only warns you there is voltage in the vicinity, If the hot wire isn't making contact with the outlet connection, the non-contact tester still indicates voltage. As suggested by a previous post, get a voltmeter that uses two probes to make a voltage measurement

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