1 | First don't touch anything until you have turned off the power. Now before you turn off the power you need to know what is not working, and what is working. Then you need to think how an electrician would wire your house.
2 | But first you need and electric meter. Check it on something that you know is on so you can verify your meter is working. Next, if you believe you can safely remove the electrical panel cover, do so. If your not sure, then you just need to call us for service.
3 | If you can safely remove the electrical panel cover, then do so and remember all parts are dangerous and have voltage. take your meter and check to see each wire is getting power power to the screw connection at the circuit breaker. If you come across a wire not getting power, turn the breaker all the way to the "off" position, it may click, then return it all the way into the "on" position. Check for power.
4 | If you now have power - good, check if your dead devices work, and your done. If no power you can switch out the circuit breaker with one that works. If that fixes it good. If you still get now power out of the switched breaker, you have a panel issue that we will need to look at for you.
5 | Now if all of your circuit breakers are putting out power, check to see that all of the white small wires in the panel box are all tight and secure in the terminal strip they are attached to. If every circuit has power and all whites are tight and secure, you have a damaged wire in one of your devices in your house.
6 | To start to trouble shoot your device wiring, first let's think like a wireman. When he begins to wire your home, he would start a circuit from the electric box to a plug or switch. The he would loop a group of plugs or switches form the first device he wired to, and then wire the following devices as he moved further away from the panel.
Groups of 10 to 14 devices are wired on to each breaker at the panel. Small Built in Appliances usually are wired on their own breaker. Kitchens, dining rooms, bathrooms, outside plugs and garages may have 2 to 6 devices per breaker.
7 | So, now you know a little about the what and where, locate the devices that don't work and place a tape sticker on them as dead. Now you can see what devices are near them, even in the next room for instance, and then turn off all the power.
8 | You can now remove the devices that don't work working from the closest to the electrical panel. Keep in mind that the one furthest from the panel box is usually not the problem. Next you want to remove and inspect a few of the ones that did work and are closer to the panel box than the closest one that did not work.
Again I remind you to have the power off when you are removing or have open devices. Inspect all connections and the device it self for bad connection, burns or broken wires. Continue until you are satisfied you have checked all of the nearest devices to the closest one to the panel box that is out.
9 | Then check all or the other devices that you labeled as out. And if your don't have it fixed by now, check the other working devices near all of the non working devices. If that still does not fix it you may have to take a trip to the attic or in the crawl space under your house and look for bad connection in j-boxes. Some times you will find where a handy man or home owner cut into a wire and just taped it over to add something to a circuit.