Last night, my sister had everything on in my daughters room, the air conditioner, the ceiling fan & light, another fan, then turned on the oxygen compressor. something blew, but the a/c is still on. The room has its own 15amp breaker, all the wiring and breaker was installed 4 years ago so age shouldn’t be an issue. The breaker doesn’t appear to be tripped, I still went down the line turning them off and on. the a/c is still on but no outlets and nothing else works. Suggestions please before I call the electrician??
The A/C is on its own circuit, which it should be. If all breakers are on and power is leaving all breakers (remove panel cover and test each breaker where the wire connects to the breaker), it is 1 plug or switch loosing connection. If you know what all is on the circuit, check the closest one to the panel which is off for loose wiring as well as the last one which is still working (power not leaving this one). You have to imagine the shortest route from one to the other to guess the sequence it was wired in. This is pure trial and error work even for an electrician. You may need an additional circuit for some of the load such as the oxygen
compressor. Even though it is commonly done,15 amps is small for both lights and outlets. Remember that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so an electrician is your best bet.
Hopefully, the a/c is on a separate circuit! if the “compressor” is used to supply breathing oxygen, it will pull a good amount of power, so you may want to start there. turn off the power for the room (being new, it should be labeled),unplug the machine and pull out the receptacle. this is where it is real nice to have a non-contact voltage meter, to be sure that you have the right breaker off. look for burnt or loose wiring. if no problem is found, move on to the next plug and remove it. repeat until all affected plugs are checked. often, an overload will burn a wire at the plug with the most load, as it will get hot in use. if no problems are found, better call an electrician. leave the plugs out that you have removed for the electrician to look at; this will save them the time of doing it themselves and your money! while the electrician is there, inquire about putting in an extra circuit for the oxygen machine; money well spent when someone’s life is in danger!
If this is just a compressor used to power pneumatic equipment, such as a nailer, move it to a different room that is working and get a longer air hose. if you can plug it into a 20-amp circuit, even better. your kitchen and clothes washer are good candidates when they are not being used.
Thank you for your quick reply, my electrician has come and gone. I just love that guy! the outlet the oxygen compressor was plugged into the wires had loosened and shorted, he changed the outlet and everything is fine. The room is small and has been wired to the new codes, with the gfi (?) breaker. this is the first time we have had any issue, he wired this addition 4 years ago. and no he didn’t charge me even though he detoured from his scheduled job to come over first.
The A/C is probably on it’s own circuit (usually it’s a 240 outlet as opposed to the usual 120). Check visually to see if first any outlets have shorted. A blacked front or an odd smell will tell you that. Next turn off the circuit breaker and then open check to see if any wires in the back of the outlets were loose and pulled out of the outlet itself. If it has, anything down the line won’t work; as it pulled out, it could have arced and caused a sound and the outage. The 2011 NEC says that AFCIs will be needed in the bedrooms, dining rooms, etc (basically, everywhere except the bath and kitchen where GFCIs are needed – by the way, they are around $40) just in case arcs happen like what might have happened here. Another thing: although 15Amp breakers are legal according to NEC, it’s always good to use 20A breakers and 12g wire as a minimum for any circuits with outlets; if the wire is 12 gage seriously consider changing to 20 Amp breaker. I prefer to save the 15A for circuits with Only Lights (unfortunately the city code here limits the use of 15A to Lights Only of 200 watts or less – basically three 60 watt light bulbs).