I'm fixing up a bathroom, and have run into a couple of puzzles. In removing a ceiling light fixture, I had a short. (Yes,I'd left the power on. Tsk, Tsk.) Now I get no current at the wires; no breakers tripped, switch on or off. Breakers are ~40 years old. Would a short "kill" a breaker without tripping it? Also, (similar problem, power on, and spark) with a GFCI, same result: no power, breaker not tripped. I deduced I'd ruined the GFCI breaker, so bought a matching brand CAFCI, and installed it. Now I have no power with breaker energized. What am I missing? I am about ready to admit that I am no longer qualified for home electrical work. Does anyone have answers for me, besides cutting the power before my next attempt?
A visual inspection of a tripped residential breaker is not likely to reveal that it has tripped. Tripping happens internally and does not usually move the lever visibly.
Instead, feel the breaker handles by giving each lever a slight nudge toward the "off" position. Those that are "on" will resist being moved. A tripped breaker lever will easily move. To reset it, turn it all the way "off" and then "on".