I have a powerline system which was working well then suddenly stopped. The signal will travel well between 2 or 3 or 4 outlets out of 14 then drops to next to nothing. At the time of failing nothing was being changed or added.

Is there any way to trouble shoot this? (myself or a professional)

I've isolated all but one ring at a time, unplugged every appliance, all appliances still work, all sockets work - all without success.

I've bought new adapters and they behave just like the previous ones - OK in the right sockets, no signal in others so I don't think it's a 'technical' problem.

  • US residential electrical wiring normally has 2 legs. Each leg hot + neutral = 120V and the 2 hots together = 240V (typically for ovens and dryers). Do you know if everything works on the same leg but nothing on the other leg? A little hard to figure out which stuff is on each leg - typically alternating breakers but not 100%. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Aug 22 '18 at 20:28
  • @manassehkatz This is not a problem for modern powerline network adapters. The carrier frequency capacitively couples easily between legs. – longneck Aug 22 '18 at 20:30
  • Identify what two circuits that the devices are plugged into. Turn off all other breakers. Does it work? Turn on one breaker at a time. Does it work? Etc... when you identify the noise causing circuit then start unplugging and turning off on that circuit. – Tyson Aug 22 '18 at 21:28
  • Welcome to StackExchange. What changed??? anything, no matter how inconsequential. Is it possible this is a hardware failure of one of the adapaters or a chokepoint to same? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Aug 22 '18 at 22:58
  • I've tried all the disconnect/isolate things and the adapters work well on the sets of adapters which talk to each other. The breakers are old thermal ones. – Bill Aug 23 '18 at 9:15

I'm not aware of of any end-user targeted troubleshooting tools for powerline network issues. I have personally used an oscilloscope in the past to identify the source of interference.

Are your breakers AFCI? Those are known to cause problems with powerline adapters, and there isn't a great solution for that.

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  • What did you find with the scope? – Bill Aug 28 '18 at 14:40
  • Using the scope and subtracting out the 60 Hz AC power, I found that even with all the HomePlug adapters removed, there was still what looked to be HomePlug communications on the wire, but attenuated or distorted. Removing breakers and disconnecting neutrals isolated the problem to two circuits. The problem ultimately was a crappy wiring job in a row of town homes where some circuits from adjacent town homes were run in parallel in the same wall cavity, under the same staples. There was even one circuit powering outlets in the other unit. – longneck Aug 28 '18 at 16:16
  • Thanks -so maybe neighbour installed something or developer a fault. – Bill Aug 29 '18 at 9:22

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