House 15A breaker is not tripped but no power in line with 6 outlets and one ceiling light not working, EXCEPT for one light is working and it is closest to the breaker panel. I checked its wiring and it looks fine.

This circuit has no GFCI outlets in it and no grounds in line. House is 66 year old. Nothing recently occurred in house to cause any change. I am completely dumbfounded.

  • 2
    What does "no neutral or grounds in line" mean?
    – isherwood
    Apr 3, 2019 at 19:58
  • Just white and black wires, except for operational overhead stove fan and light that have a ground. Apr 3, 2019 at 21:08
  • Are the outlets wired with the wires going onto the side-screws, or into the holes in the back? Apr 3, 2019 at 22:55
  • No backstabbed outlets, all side screws. Apr 3, 2019 at 23:17
  • Found the source of problem. There was a hidden conduit junction box in ceiling under ceiling drywall that contractor 12 years ago covered up. Found loose wire connector and broken wire. Apr 14, 2019 at 23:54

1 Answer 1


Since you checked the light and it looks fine, check the first receptacle that doesn't work. It may have gone "bad", or it may have a loose screw or a backstab connection (which should be moved to a screw connection).

If you are not sure of the sequence of the receptacles, check them all. When nothing has changed (e.g., no construction that could have cut through a wire inside a wall), the problem is at one of the receptacles or other devices in the circuit.

  • Thank you for quick reply. None of them are backstabbed. Using a neon voltage tester I did check power to each wire to each receptacle and had no power. I expected and hoped I would find a bad receptacle but no luck. Maybe I should double check again?? Apr 3, 2019 at 20:14
  • Yes, check again. I'd check the wires coming OUT of the light that works. Apr 3, 2019 at 20:15
  • 1
    You need to remove the receptacle and inspect the wiring both on the outlet and any connections made in the box. Sometimes a connection point fails.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 3, 2019 at 20:31
  • 1
    The phantom voltage is not that unusual and is not, in and of itself, necessary a problem. But it may be a clue. Apr 3, 2019 at 22:02
  • 1
    @StuballRetired yeah, just suppress that phantom voltage by plugging a nightlight or whatever into 1 socket. Bonus points, stick high-value resistors into 2-prong plugs, 33K, a 39K, 47K, 56K etc. Then if you measure 0V somewhere you can check the resistance, and if it's exactly 39K, you know the line is good to the resistor. Apr 3, 2019 at 22:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.