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I have a lot of history on this issue and troubleshooting if someone can just bear with me...🙂

When we bought this house the previous owner had covered then eventually enclosed the back patio. When he did this, it looks like the only available electric was the back porch light which he removed and added (2 switches) for ceiling fans, and an outdoor light (on the add on) and tied in an outlet on the far side of the room. In all the time we have been here those are the only things tied to that breaker. A few years ago we completed the add on by removing the original “outside” wall and extended our kitchen/dining area, in doing so we had to relocate the light switches to make it work in our new space.

Now to the current issue.... the other day we had a small a/c unit plugged in and the switch box overheated melted wire coating etc. I shut off the breaker and opened the switch box, trimmed burnt areas, and had enough slack to find good wire... and replaced switches, taking better care that they were all tight of course, but the outlet seems to have an interruption in the neutral wire. I replaced the outlet just in case it fried out, but my result is the same. I have juice through the hot side but not “electricity” i.e. nothing works in it! So I can use the lights and fans I have isolated the wires that lead to the outlet and all is good.

Is there anything else I can do before I just replace the romex from the switch box to the outlet? Pulling that wire will be a nightmare!

  • Any possibility thee could be other parts of the circuit you are not aware of or haven't been able to check? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Sep 21 '18 at 2:51
  • What size is the breaker on this circuit and what size is the wire that overheated? Copper or aluminum conductor? – Jim Stewart Sep 21 '18 at 3:28
  • To confirm that the neutral is broken between the switch box and the receptacle, plug in an extension cord that will reach to the switch box. Measure the resistance between the neutral wire in the switch box and the neutral in the extension cord. Before you measure the resistance either turn off the breaker or check for voltage at the points you are going to use the ohmmeter on. With the breaker off you can also check the resistance of the hot wire using the extension cord. Even though you get 120 V with a meter on the hot, there could still be excessive resistance. – Jim Stewart Sep 21 '18 at 3:58

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