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Ive lived here for over 7 years without any electrical issues. It is an older house. Part of my livingroom has low to no power. If I leave one light bulb on, it will work, if I put 2-3 on, it is very weak. If I turn on another device within the proximity all power/lights go off in that area.

So far it seems to effect the chandelier, tv outlet and side outlet, kids closet and back outside light.

I didnt have any power at all in this part of the house and I thought a GFCI outlet that wasnt clicking was the issue, I changed it and now I got this low power issue. But now I completely remove that outlet which I thought was the issue and not leave the cables disconnected, everything continues to work on very low power so I am so confused. I checked the breakers in the panel and all seem fine.

What could be the issue here?

New day:

My progress so far has found 4 things affected: 2 outlets that are hot but no power, livingroom ceiling light and one closet light affected. The breaker seems to be connected to much more outlets and lights around the house but not affecting any of those. I have already switched out the outlets affected with new ones without any results. I have disconnected the livingroom light completely. During all this, another GFCI outlet in the garage went bad, I need to replace that now which leads to my bedroom and bathroom without power till then. Big mess but I feel like Im getting closer, Im going to try my best before calling an electrician. Let me know if anything I say makes some sort of sense to anyone! Thank you.

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    What exactly do you mean by "completely remove that outlet which I thought was the issue and not leave the cables disconnected" ??? Pictures, please? If you have not TIGHTLY and PROPERLY connected those wires, that alone may be your problem; then again, your problem may be elsewhere. – Ecnerwal Nov 6 '20 at 2:54
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. As the answerer said, this could be dangerous; you should get it resolved ASAP. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know the details of contributing here. – Daniel Griscom Nov 6 '20 at 13:29
  • Agreed that it sounds like you may have a dangerous situation on your hands and that doesn't bode well for an initial foray into DIY repairs. You're probably best off leaving this to a pro and learning on a simpler project in the future. Of course, you can learn a lot by looking over the pro's shoulder and asking questions. (Might be something to consider asking about as you're making calls to get someone to come out.) – FreeMan Nov 6 '20 at 15:05
  • What exactly do you mean by "completely remove that outlet which I thought was the issue and not leave the cables disconnected" ??? - The GFCI outlet that wasnt working, once replaced(worked), I also tried turning the breaker back on to see if the outlet was even involved in the situation, No effect in anything in the house when I completely removed the GFCI outlet that I replaced. – Jake Nov 6 '20 at 16:35
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You (probably) have a bad connection.

This is dangerous - that connection will be heating up, and hot connections can start fires.

At a guess, you might be best served by just calling a pro, since it sounds like you are somewhat unfamilar with electrical work, but if you want to try checking it yourself, turn the affected circuit off at the breaker panel, and check every device on it, starting from the breaker panel and working away from it.

You'll be checking to see that all wire nuts and connection screws are tight, on both the hot and neutral wires.

If you have any devices which use "backstabs" (the screwless "poke a wire in the back" connections) just assume that any of those could be your problem, remove them from the backstab, and connect to the screw on the device corresponding to the backstab you remove the wire from. Screws are a much more reliable means of connection wires to devices.

Depending how long it's been going on, and how severe the problem is, you may find obvious signs of overheating (discolored wire insulation, melted or charred plastic) or you may not.

If your wires (the actual metal part) appear to be silver-gray rather than pinkish or brownish metal, you may have a bigger issue from a house of a particular era - aluminum rather than copper wiring.

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  • I will try the backstabs, I have lots of those. – Jake Nov 6 '20 at 16:40
  • If your wires (the actual metal part) appear to be silver-gray rather than pinkish or brownish metal, you may have a bigger issue from a house of a particular era - aluminum rather than copper wiring. I noticed one of the breaker cables were dark gray black ish... What are you refering to? – Jake Nov 6 '20 at 21:54

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