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Steps to Restoring Power to an Electrical Circuit


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Repair an Electrical Circuit when there is No Power: Steps for Repairing an Electric Circuit and Restoring Power when a Circuit has Lost Power.


How to Repair an Electrical Circuit when there is No Power

Electrical Question: I thought I blew a circuit breaker by overloading a circuit but the breaker didn’t trip.

  • I still have no power to the light or outlet.
  • What do I look for?

This electrical wiring question came from: Chris, a Handyman from Kansas City, MO.
Additional Comments: Great site, very helpful.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Chris.

How to Restore Power to a Faulty Electrical Circuit

Application: Lost Electrical Power
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the problem circuits, turn them OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring and checking for electrical splice problems.

Steps for Repairing an Electric Circuit and Restoring Power
Chris, here are some steps to take to restore power to a circuit:

  • Clear the Electrical Circuit
    First, make sure that the circuit is clear. It is important to identify and disconnect anything that was being used when the circuit stopped working.
  • Unplug Electrical Devices
    If a device was plugged into an outlet when the circuit stopped working then unplug the device because there is a possibility that the device has an electrical problem.
  • Disconnect Circuit Equipment
    Disconnect anything that may have been used when the power stopped working.
  • Identify the Circuit
    Identify the circuit breaker and push it all the way into the OFF position, then back into the ON position.
  • Checking for a GFCI
    If the power does not restore and the circuit supplies power to an area such as a garage, kitchen, bathroom or outdoor area then there may be a GFCI outlet that is part of the circuit that has tripped off and requires to be reset by simply pressing the RESET button.
  • Circuit Inspections and Evaluations
    If the circuit power is still not restored then the circuit breaker should be turned off and labeled, then a series of inspections and tests will be required starting from the affected device and possibly several other devices until the problem has been identified and the necessary repairs.

IMPORTANT
Inspections and repairs are best provided by a qualified electrician who can assist you when there has been lost power.

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This link is helpful as a Handyman
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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “Steps to Restoring Power to an Electrical Circuit”
  1. phil conway says:

    I have a question about wire, I have heard that using aluminum wire with copper wire is a fire hazard.
    please explain.

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Phil,
      If copper and aluminum wires must be spliced together there are approved methods and materials that may be used. Smaller wire gauges such as #12 and #10 may be spliced together using CU/AL approved wire connectors where a anti-corrosion compound is used. Larger wire sizes may be spliced using a variety of lugs or terminals and anti-corrosion compound depending on the application. When installing aluminum conductors as service feeders or larger circuits where permitted, the bare wire portion of the aluminum conductors should be coated with an approved anti-corrosion compound and tightened to the proper torque specs.
      Aside from the concern of corrosion, another concern about using aluminum wire is that the metal is softer and when there is a load present the wire may become warm, which can produce expansion and contraction of the aluminum conductor. If the connection is not made well then the expansion and contraction can eventually create a loose or bad connection that could eventually create arcing which can produce a number of hazardous conditions.
      However when approved materials are used and approved methods are followed one will greatly reduce to possibility of a problem when using aluminum wiring where installing aluminum wiring is permitted.
      I hope this helps you.
      Dave


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