QUESTION: The power went out in only part of our home. We have no power to outlets in the Bedroom, Bathroom, or Den. I checked the main breaker box and all circuit breakers are okay and not reset or tripped. So we have no popped circuit breakers. The kitchen lights ceiling and hallway ceiling lights are all on. However the lamps we have plugged into outlets in our bedroom are NOT ON, and NO LIGHTS are ON in the den that are connected to the outlets. So half of my house is dark and no breakers have tripped. We did have a big storm come through when I was at work and I came home to a dark house. How can this be? Can you please explain how this could happen and what we need to check?
A Large Area Of My House Has No Power To Outlets – What Do I Check?
ANSWER: Most likely reason for no power: Some new homes or recently renovated homes have the power outlets with the small breakers on them. These are called GFCI outlets. Newer homes will have a GFCI outlet, that if tripped can cause multiple rooms to not have power at the outlets. Simply put, if one resets, the other outlets “down the line” have no power. This is all done for safety reasons.
All you have to do to get power back to one section of your home, is to find the GFCI outlet that has tripped and push the reset button on the power outlet itself. You will then reset the GFCI outlet and restore the power to the other outlets that have gone dead. Basically, turn the power back on to all other outlets by pushing in the small reset button on the GFCI outlet that has tripped.
NOTE: The storm MAY have fried some circuits in the wall, or perhaps the outlet itself. Here are new GFCI outlets for purchase online if needed.
If the above information did not solve your problem:
A power feed may have failed. (A professional may be needed) It is standard in the USA to have two 120 volt feeds, 180 degrees out of phase. 240 volt circuits (for your clothes dryer) are made by using both feeds. Normal circuits use only one 120 volt feed. Half of the circuits normally draw from each feed. In your situation it seems as if one of the 2 feeds has failed in your home. To fix this will require a professional electrician.
Is your outlet not working? See how to reset your GFCI outlets and circuit breaker
Have other ideas of why the power may be out in half a house? Please leave your comments and questions below.
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I have seen circuit breakers that have tripped, but still APPEAR to be in the normal operating position. In that case, flipping the switch all of the way OFF and then back to the ON position will usually solve the problem.
Even though the circuit breakers appear to pass a visual inspection, it may be that one of them has failed and will need to be replaced. If a volt meter is available, you can test for voltage on the wire that is connected to each individual circuit breaker. To gain access to these connections, open the cover of the service panel and temporarily remove the inner panel covering the breakers.
With the inner panel removed, you should see a black insulated wire connected to a screw on each of the breaker switches. You should also see a number of white wires connected to a common metal strip. For each individual circuit there is a black wire and a white wire, and they each need to be securely connected.
With the volt meter set to read AC volts, connect one meter probe to one of the white wires (or to the common strip) and touch the other meter probe to an exposed end of each black insulated wire where it is connected to the breaker. The meter should show approximately 120 volts on each black wire.
If one of the circuit breakers has failed, or if the connected black wire has become loose where it attaches to the breaker, you will not see 120 volts on that circuit (black wire). If a circuit breaker has failed, it is usually easy to replace. If any of the wires are loose at the screw connections, they will need to be tightened securely. It would also be a good idea to make sure that the screws connecting each of the white wires are also tight.