Howdy folks. Just checking in with a few from a troubleshooting call I just went on.
Homeowner says he lost power to front half of house on 1st floor and basement, and the breaker won't reset. He bought the house a few months ago with the basement already finished.
Worked my way out from the panel after verifying there was nothing plugged in. While following the troublesome red 12 stranded, I found the following curiosities:
- remodeling at its finest. Note the cautious approach to the live conductors passing through the knockout...
- Hmm - must've not used long enough screws. Remove cover and
- Nope.. screws holding the outlet in are tight. Just no screws holding the box to anything
- The two bx runs to the top are fine... they must have run out of fittings or time.
- Remodel put the plaster ring behind the drywall. What to do? I know... use 1/4-20 machine nuts as spacers! So what if the hit the terminals and ground out later when someone takes the outlet out...
- Hey... the wire's in there...
- I think we're getting closer to the source of our problem. The next box upstream the red had joined 2 other 12's feeding the dining room. In this box, if joins two other 12s feeding the living room, and a pair of 14's that go to points beyond.
- Houston, we found your problem...
Oh, and the breaker that wouldn't reset? It was a 30 amp. Closer examination revealed that the wire feeding that branch circuit wire had burned insulation for the 1st few inches. It had been covered by electrical tape by the homeonwer, who had seen the bare copper and decided that that probably wasn't good.