problems with circuit breakers post-remodel
I am hoping someone can educate me a little bit (or a lot) before I speak to the contractor. I apologize, this is very long but I hope you will bear with me.
I have just recently finished a remodel of my kitchen, which as far as electrical work involved:
1. removing 2 fluorescent ceiling fixtures (one of which worked on a pull chain) and adding 5 ceiling LED lights all working off the old wall switch.
2. new outlet under sink for garbage disposal, relocate switch for GD, new box and fixture in over sink location of a previous can, working off above counter wall switch previously in place
3. relocated dishwasher
4. undercabinet lights operating off new wall switch, which is located next to (and is connected to) a previously existing above counter outlet.
5. addition of 5 above counter outlets on 3 walls and an outlet for the microwave inside a cabinet
6. relocation of stove and frig; there were already outlets in the new locations.
7. addition of an indoor ceiling light and wall switch by the back door using wall switch/outlet already present
The house is 70 years old, 1200sf, 2 stories with basement; and the existing wiring to most of the older outlets and switches (I guess one or two were newer, such as the one that controlled the old garbage disposal) is/was the fabric covered 2 wire stuff. There was basically one outlet on each wall, with an extra on one wall that powered the frig and stove. There was a 220 outlet not in use. The breaker panel is also older, push button breakers that were here when I bought 21 years ago & I've no idea how old it really is.
So, they removed the 220 outlet from the kitchen since I didn't anticipate using it again, and the box seemed to be fully used. I had asked for gfci outlets (plural). They put in only one, when I questioned that was told that only one was needed on a circuit and all the over counter outlets were on one circuit.
Everything worked when they were done (well, had to replace one switch that was installed with the wires switched and was also the wrong dimmer for the LEDs. It worked fine after that.)
Now, for the problems: I needed to know which breakers were controlling what, since they switched things around in the panel (I had a list previously, ie breaker #6 controlled half the dining room and the upstairs bedrooms and still does, #8 controlled the washer, but doesn't seem to now,
#11 used to the be thermostat but now #15 does and so forth). And the fellow who did the work never would tell me which now controlled what while he was here -- always in a hurry.
So, I had to start pushing off a breaker, seeing what outlets/switches were off, turning it back on, moving on to the next. All breakers seemed to go off and on okay (I mean, none got stuck-- I've had that happen before)
I found that the circuit that controlled the new ceiling lights was the same as before; it also controls 2 and a half other rooms (not a change).
I found that one circuit that controlled another room was now also linked to one outlet in kitchen (new). That outlet is still old wiring that was relocated from elsewhere in the room and it does not have the ground wire attached to anything (although it is a 3 prong outlet).
I found that one breaker controls the lone gfci outlet and nothing else.
Another breaker controls the undercab lights and the outlet by their switch; a 5th breaker controls the gas stove's outlet and the 3 overcounter outlets nearest to it; a 6th breaker for the outlet for the microwave next to the frig and nothing else; the frig is on a 7th circuit shared with the front hall (same as an old outlet that was in that area).
I could not find a breaker that controls the oversink light and garbage disposal. They never turned off. Also, even though that light and disposal are working, the dishwasher next to them is not now (it did before I started this), and I can't find the breaker that is controlling it.
Lastly, now I can't identify which breakers are controlling two upstairs rooms and half of each of two downstairs rooms. They also won't turn off.
Out of 21 breakers in the box, I have 6 that do not appear to be working -- they turn nothing off, and do not turn on the dishwasher. I have a circuit in the kitchen that no breaker turns off, and at least 2 other circuits in the house ditto.
It had been probably 3 years since I last had to turn off a breaker to replace an outlet; although in the past year I did have to reset a popped breaker. So I can't vouch for the functionality of the mystery breakers before now.
I can see where they took out the breaker for the old 220 outlet and put in a single 20 amp which now has the frig and half the living room connected to it.
My questions: Shouldn't I be insisting on more GFCIs in the room? at least, shouldn't the outlet under the sink be one? If different outlets and switches are controlled by different breakers, they are not connected to that single GFCI, right?
How can I tell (IF I can) if they have messed up the connections in the breaker panel, or if the problem is that I have breakers that are bad ?
and, the new box with 2 switches, that replaced the old switches for the over sink light and garbage disposal, does not have an outlet cover on it yet -- and I can see what seems like a lot of exposed copper wiring coiled up in there. Don't see that in any other switch box. Is that okay? This is a box that is right next to the sink.
What about the outlet that has no ground connected? Can that be grounded with the old 2 wire cable in there?
I will really appreciate any ways that you can advise me.