Is it possible for a fuse from the main breaker box to go bad? I have 3 outlets not working 2 in 1 bathroom and 1 in another bathroom all on the same floor. In the bathroom with 2 outlets had 1 GFCI the test or reset button wouldn’t do anything I figured if I changed it out with a new one that would fix the problem. It did not. So I changed all 3 outlets and they are still not working. They are getting power they are connected correctly. When this first happened last Sunday the breaker that all 3 lines are on felt spongy for lack of a better word. You could flip the breaker back and forth and there was no tension in the switch. After changing the outlets out the breaker feels normal it clicks when moving it back and forth. This is definitely above my basic knowledge and We do have an electrician coming to check it out. Just curious if anyone knows what this could be based off of my description.

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    What make and model is your breaker panel? (If you aren't sure, please post photos of both the breakers and the label on the inside of the door and we can figure it out from there) – ThreePhaseEel Sep 15 '19 at 13:44
  • They are getting power and are connected correctly. Makes me question a bit. but your description of the breaker I would swap it or just purchase a new one unless it is a FPE federal pacific or zinsco panel these do have known problems (the only work I will do on an FPE panel is replace it). – Ed Beal Sep 15 '19 at 15:59
  • What test did you perform to determine that "they are getting power"? If they are getting power, but will not power appliances plugged into them, then you have a failed neutral connection. This could be either in the panel or could be in a box. I think you should let an electrician handle this, but you might get info with a plug in 3-prong receptacle tester. – Jim Stewart Jun 6 at 23:38

Yes, it's entirely possible for a breaker to go bad. The symptoms you describe are consistent with such a problem. You should replace it immediately as in this condition it may not perform as it was designed to and you could be at risk for a fire should a short-circuit occur. When in doubt, change it out!


Breakers definitely go bad. There are many moving, spring loaded parts in them and with age they go bad. One final test would be to swap breakers in the main panel to verify the faulty breaker. Then you could pick one up at your home store and save the price of an electrician. This shouldn't be done unless you're very familiar with the procedure. Good luck.

  • We bought a new breaker and that didn’t fix the line I have an electrician coming on Tuesday – Linda Terry Sep 15 '19 at 20:20

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