I am in the process of removing a wall from my home separating the kitchen and dining room. To do this, I needed to remove the wiring from the wall. Steps I took: Shut breakers off to kitchen lights, kitchen outlets, and dining room outlet on same wall. This was 3 breakers total, shutting off power to half the house including some rooms and the garage.

I then removed wiring from all outlets and light switches, so that I could remove wall studs. After removing studs, I capped all wires with wire nuts, stripping them back, etc. 3 wire nuts for each electrical cable.

I then flipped all 3 breakers back on to get some light in the other areas of the house, and no power. I used my non-contact voltage tester and none of the outlets attached to the other breakers are functioning. Only 2 of the 6 cables I capped off have any current with breakers on as well. Garage has no power, etc. Only devices not on one of those 3 breakers have power.

I do have an electrician coming out next week to move a couple light switches as they will need rewired, but can someone give me some ideas as to how I can get the power to the rest of my house back? There are no GFCI outlets in the kitchen. Bathroom has a GFCI outlet, which I have tried resetting, but still no power.

  • You are using "wires" and "cables" as if they are the same thing. Cables are the thing that has 2 or more, typically 3 wires inside a common sheath. Could you edit to clarify? Thanks. Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 17:24
  • I have edited my post to hopefully better clarify. Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 18:49
  • I'm guessing most of your outlet boxes had 2 cables coming in, both tied into the outlet. For these, did you cap off each of the wires in both cables, without tying them to each other?
    – Steven
    Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 19:07
  • Yes, I capped off all wires in all cables. 6 cables, so I capped off 18 wires in total (including the ground in each). My main question is, why is this affecting my garage lights/outlets? It is on the same circuit, but it shouldn't be wired in sequence with those outlets in the kitchen. Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 19:47
  • I am surprised that a house would be wired in such a way that power to half of the house is daisy chained off of a single outlet, but it appears that is what is going on. One of the outlets on the outside of the wall I removed had two cables going into it. I can only assume that one of those cables was from the power source, and the other continues on to the rest of the house to provide power to those receptacles. My question is this: Can I bypass the outlet by connecting positives to positives, Neutral to Neutral, and ground to ground, using wire nuts, all inserted to a junction box? Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 22:58

1 Answer 1


I would feel somewhat more comfortable if you had found three hot cables, and each cablewas turned off by a different breaker. As things are now, you have not, and you must be careful that you do not accidentally connect two breakers nose to nose, feeding power in one breaker and out another. That will either create a loud flash-bang, or seem to work but then create a lurking safety hazard that can start a fire.

I would expect that one of your four "dead" ones is in fact live, and something has gone wrong with your testing method.

I am fond of dollar store nightlights and cheapie extension cords. I cut off the plug (part with the blades) and throw it in the trash. Then, I take the rest of the cord and split the wires and strip each wire 3/4". Then I wire-nut it onto a hot and neutral I aim to test, and plug in a nightlight or a radio, then see if I can energize the circuit.

Anyway, 3 breakers, 6 cables, makes sense. 3 of them would be supply side from the breaker (possibly stopping at intermediate points first) and 3 would be onward power from each of those circuits. I would identify every one of your 3 supply lines, as best you can, using the extension cord trick rather than a non-contact tester.

Also for each of the 3 circuits, figure out what sockets or fixed loads each bris powering now. The ultimate goal is to identify all the loads connected to each of the six sections of cable.

Now, turn off all of the three breakers but one. Run a cable from the hot wire over to one of the 3?4? mystery sub-circuits. Then search the house and find out which sockets or loads that circuit powers up. Mark accordingly.

Once you have mapped them, there will probably be some logic to how they are wired and how to match them up.

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