Loss of all power in one room

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Posted by: from Sherwood Park
1/21/2016 at 12:38:53 AM

I lost all power in master bedroom and half bath off it. Breaker did not trip. Checked all outlets and all seem fine and connected. Did have space heater plugged in at time when it was cold. House is about 43 years old, aluminum wiring. Any ideas as to where to start and what it might be?

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Date/Time1/21/2016 at 8:21:39 AM

Hi Terry,

This is a very common problem that I encounter frequently. Heaters draw a significant amount of power that can cause stress on a loose joint. With aluminum wire there is greater expansion/contraction that occurs. An already weak joint can open completely or continue to arc. This can happen in a junction box, at the panel or in some other hard-to-find location. In other words you have reason to be concerned.

A service technician will typically explore the effected circuit, going from outlet to outlet, including switches and lights fixtures until he discovers the problem.

This level of troubleshooting is typically beyond the skill of the homeowner so it's advisable to bite the bullet and call a technician. While you're at it, it's also a good idea to have the technician treat the aluminum wiring throughout. This way your whole home gets inspected, and any potential for future problems is avoided. Ask your technician for a price.

All the best.

Henry Kirsch

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Robert from Electrilight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time1/21/2016 at 1:15:31 PM

I completely agree with Henry. Being in the trade for 27 years, I have found buried boxes, buried wires in walls without boxes (the most hazardous), generally DIY or handyman jobs gone bad. There are many ways to repair these, but all aluminum joints and connections need to be done with care, antioxidant and marrette connectors made for aluminum wiring. joining aluminum to copper, or aluminum to non-aluminum plugs and switches is the biggest problem as people try to upgrade from the old toggle and duplex styles to the more modern decora style. Hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor in your area and ensure they are trained in aluminum joints and troubleshooting, as this may be tracing buried treasures beneath walls.

You may get lucky and find a melted connection like in this photo... good luck, and don't put it off, especially if there is no breaker tripped as this means the live wire is broken somewhere and could be arcing causing serious trouble.

Loss of all power in one room

Loss of all power in one room
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Date/Time1/27/2016 at 6:19:53 PM

Both Henry and Robert are correct.

Here is a read if you wish:


John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

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