How do I find the circuit breaker for a dead power outlet if none of the breakers tripped?

Ok, 3 dead power outlets: 1 in powederroom on 1st floor of house, 1 GFI & 1 regular outlet in bathrooms upstairs. the GFI outlet won't test/reset, replaced with a regular outlet, no change. Weird thing is, I am seeing about 1.0 VAC at one outlet, others are dead. Looks like a abad connection, but only 1V seems weird.......

At panel, no breakers appeared tripped. Remember, I have no idea which breaker these outlets are on, or if they're are even on the same circuit. Opened panel, all breakers have 120V on output screw. All connections appear good and undisturbed in box.

I have a circuit breaker chaser but transmitter requires power. Here's my 2 options as I see them:

#1 - Run loose wires between the dead outlets all over the house to check continuity and try and trace wiring connections to figure out if & how these outlets are wired. Will somehow have to guess what is wired ahead of all of these outlets if on same circuit.

#2 - Start punching holes in walls and get really good at spackling, would like to avoid this one....

Anybody got a better idea????

Note: Opened to advanced ideas....

5 Answers

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  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    No power. No breaker tripped. GFCI receptacle will not reset.

    1) Turn off computers, TV, stereo and the like.

    2) Find a working flashlight.

    3) Go to panel box and open cover.

    4) Start at the top and turn off all the breakers leaving the one marked MAIN till last.

    5) Smoke a cigarette, drink a cup of coffee, do something for 5 minutes.

    6) Turn the MAIN breaker back on, then start turning on the others ONE AT A TIME.

    If you hear a POP, the breaker you just turned on is the one that tripped.

    If nothing trips, you have restored the power to the receptacles.

    Source(s): Electrician since 1977
  • 4 years ago

    Outlet Circuit Breaker

  • Jim W
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Go to the nearest live outlets and inspect each one for loose connections. I suspect that you will find a loose neutral connection in one of the outlets. You are getting a 1 volt reading because you have a digital voltmeter and this will read an induced voltage from an adjoining wire. Get a receptacle tester type with 3 neon light use this to test the hot outlets and the dead ones. The device is about $5 US.

    If you turn a breaker off then back on you may locate a faulty unit but you already checked for power in the panel. It is remotely possible that you have a broken wire in the walls but I doubt it unless some work has been done on the walls like a picture hung on the wall.

    Source(s): 50+ years in the electrical industry
  • Barry
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    I assume you have a working knowledge of electricity. If the gfi was replaced with a regular one (make sure to replace with GFI later) then take meter from hot (black) go to ground and see if 120V, by ground I mean safety ground . If reading then you have a lose ground, if no then lose hot. The power is daisy chained from outlet to outlet so one of them is not making connection so you will have to keep pulling till you find it. If you have the wires just stuck in back of outlet you should put them back on the screws when you re install. Seems like it would be on the GFI circuit so that is reason for weird locations. Check any outside outlets, or in kitchen as well if no other GFI in house. Good luck,, you will find it just takes time.

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  • 8 years ago

    Yup, yer dealing with death. Call in a pro now.

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