Help!! Any advice/suggestions on strange electrical issue?! No power, but circuit not tripped??

Reply Thu 19 Oct, 2023 11:32 pm
So this has happened all of a sudden. I go into the (detached) garage to leave, & try to switch on one of the two lights in the garage, each controlled by their own flip-up, flip-down, standard light switch, & nothing happens. I figure the bulb has burned out, think nothing of it, no big deal. I get into my car to leave, & attempt to use the remote as usual, but now, the garage door won’t go up.

So, I get out to investigate, & the little light on the wall controller unit is on, but extra dim, but still won’t operate the garage door. I press the button, nothing happens. I start to realize that the light switch not turning on & now the garage door issue might be connected.
I then go over to other light switch on the other side of the garage, to try to turn that light on, which happens to be a compact fluorescent bulb, & same thing - doesn’t work. Although this bulb is very, very dim & ever so faintly flickering — which I don’t know if that is a result of the type of bulb, or indicative of this larger electrical issue.

I go out to the circuit breaker, & none are tripped. I locate the one responsible for the garage, switch that one off, & then back on — no change.
Nothing in the house seems to be affected. It’s isolated to that one (room?) area, but affecting the regular outlets as well as light fixtures. So in the interim I went back to the circuit breaker & switched the garage one off, as a precaution.

I have no idea what to do about this, or how to even narrow it down. For what it’s worth, I have a volt meter, but no clue how to use it. Does anyone have any idea what could be causing this, or any suggestions??

Thanks in advance! I could really use some advice! 🙏
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Reply Sat 21 Oct, 2023 04:33 am
Simply put, Hire an electrician!
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2023 03:17 pm
I'm just a homeowner with basic electrical knowledge enough to install something new, but not troubleshoot. However if you like DIY, here's my suggestions.

My guess is a loose wire somewhere, probably a faulty wire nut. Alternatively it could be a faulty breaker switch.

I'd turn off the breaker then: get rubber gloves, needle nosed pliers, assortment of new high quality wire nuts (not the cheapest China specials), proximity meter to assure no power ($30 Home Depot, Klein brand), and a regular voltage meter. Maybe an outlet wiring tester too (home depot sells a combo pack of Proximity meter + outlet tester for $30).

Then unscrew every outlet, junction box and lightswitch on the circuit one at a time. Verify there's no power and check the wire nuts. Correctly done, they should be snuggly twisted together with wire nut securely screwed over them. Also check the chart for correct wire nut sizes (color coded) if you replace them.

All that just covers the easy low-hanging-fruit. If it doesn't solve it then hire a pro.
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