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Question DetailsAsked on 3/11/2014

Why do some outlets/lights/refrig not work, others do. Circuit breaker shut on/off with no effect.

Just occurred today, abruptly. Main circuit breaker and individuals shut on/off with no effect.

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2 Answers


Could be one of two things I can think of. Either you have a bad breaker or one of the connections in the circuit is bad. Unless you are well versed in electrical work you sound like you need an electrician. I would start at the breaker if you know which one it is and see if there is voltage there and work towards the refridgerator.


Answered 6 years ago by ContractorDon


1) Main breaker is probably fine if you have power anywhere in the house, unless half your circuits are out then could be a bad main feed wire or bad side on the main breaker.

2) Check if any outlets (especially reefer) are a GFCI outlet or on a circuit with a GFCI outlet - if so, try unplugging everything on circuit, then pushing reset button on GFCI, then carefully (without touching device except for plug) plugging items back in one at a time to see if any of them trip it out again. If so, device has a short.

3) Otherwise, try unplugging everything and turn off all lights on that circuit, then reset the breaker for that circuit. Then check if a cheap device that you know works OK (a lamp maybe) that was NOT on that circuit works in any one of the "dead" outlets. if so, then probably one of the items that was plugged in has a defect. Using a plug strip with a built-in circuit breaker and on-off switch try plugging them one by one into the plug strip when it is turned OFF. Plug into plug strip first, then without touching the device, turn on plug strip. If it trips out, that is your bad device. If not, try rest of the devices that were on that circuit till you find the one causing it. If all test OK, then you probably have a bad outlet or light switch. At this point, if not electric handy, call electrician. If you are electric handy, try all lights on that circuit next, then test outlets with a circuit tester - about $10 at hardware or lumber or home improvement store. Get the idiot type with the LED lights like this -

what color the lights are and their pattern tells you what is wrong at that outlet.

4) If you are not keen on the device check routine, call electrician - probably about $75-150 service charger, plus any parts needed - usually not more than about $50 parts except for some older breaker boxes if an out of production circuit breaker has gone bad, in which case can reach $100-200 for a breaker in rare cases.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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