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Electrical Wiring in the Home/loss of power on 2nd floor of house


first, let me say I have a degree in HVAC,and have taken home electrical wiring courses, and worked in Maint dept since 1994--we loss power at our home to the upstairs only(2nd floor)--I verified that it was not a tripped or defective breaker-I climbed in the attic and found the main line supplying power to the second floor-it was dead, no power-since no breaker tripped, I assume an open line/circuit between 2nd floor and basement(I have temp bypassed it to give us power)--I have either the difficult task of trying to feed a new line thru two floors to the basement or seeing if I can find/repair fault in existing line-my problem is in the basement, I can tell where line goes or which line goes upstairs--any way to find/verify which line is going to 2nd floor-there are other areas on same breaker which are live, so it could be live in basement and have open circuit on the way up to 2nd floor--thanks for any help

Well, I work with industrial refrigeration equipment and control wiring regularly, and I can tell you that nothing you learned in HVAC qualifies you in any least way, manner, shape or form to install or repair residential electrical wiring.

I have taught working electricians, who have often been as thick as two short planks, in trade schools, and seen what passes for home wiring classes. The best I can hope is that you were not taught anything completely wrong.

And you know the old saw about what happens when you assume....

After forty years of installing and repairing electrical wiring in industrial, commercial and residential settings I have determined that most problems not caused by direct damage are due to metal fatigue or loose connections.

If you had provided more information about your residence than bluster, I might be able to give you some real advice.

When your house was built tells more about the wiring than anything else. None the less, there is rarely such a thing as a "main line" supplying a second floor unless you have a sub-panel on the second floor.

Since you provided little information, I will work on the premise that you are referring to both convenience outlet receptacles and lights as non-functional. Installing a new feed is not an answer.

Is the second floor original? ...or is it an addition? Year of construction? Updates?

Draw out the house showing locations of panel, receptacles and lights, switches, etc and send it to me at

Most likely cause is a failed termination at a device or bad wire-nut connection. Unless some handy hack wired your house, the problem will be located at an accessible enclosure, receptacle, switch or light.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Robert Wilber


Licensed Philadelphia electrician serving Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania. I install and repair residential, commercial and industrial wiring and lighting. Troubleshooting and repair of problems that stump other people is my favorite. I am willing to help people figure out why things don`t work. I understand motor controls, transformers and machine wiring. I do not teach basics to novices or do free design work.


Experience in the area I have 44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair, 480 volts and below. This is not to be confused with one week repeated two thousand times.

44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair

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