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Inactive, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
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Experience:  Electrical Contractor
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outlet not working circut breaker not tripped

Customer Question

outlet not working circut breaker not tripped
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Inactive replied 6 years ago.

The Electrical Doctor :

Can you explain your problem a bit more?

JACUSTOMER-pzhedg9l- :

I have four outlets in the master bedroom that are acting oddly

The Electrical Doctor :

Do you have access to a digital volt meter or plug tester?

JACUSTOMER-pzhedg9l- :

i have tester with three different lights to designate differt thins such as open ground open nuetral

The Electrical Doctor :

Ok here is what you need to do:

The Electrical Doctor :

1 - Go around to see if you have any GFCI’s on the circuit that may have tripped. Locate all the gfci’s you have in the home and push the re-set button to be sure it did not trip. If one has tripped, pushing the reset button will restore power.

The Electrical Doctor :

If this does not help, move onto step 2:

The Electrical Doctor :

2 – Go back to your panel and double check to be sure it did not trip. Allot of todays breakers don’t show when they have tripped. However you can tell this by physically pushing on each breaker handle to see if there is any “play” in the handle. If there is – that’s your tripped breaker. In order to re-set it, turn it all the way off – then back on again in order to restore power. If this does not help – move onto step 3.

The Electrical Doctor :

3 – If you know which breaker feeds the circuit, swap it out for another one to see if it helps. Periodically breakers will go bad. Replacing it will fix this problem. If this does not help – move onto step 4.

The Electrical Doctor :

4 – While your in the panel, double check all your connections associated with the dead circuit to be sure none of the wiring came loose or broke. If this does not help – move onto step 5.

The Electrical Doctor :

5 – If all that fails to produce results, you will need to go to your local home improvement center to purchase a plug tester like the one pictured here – it will cost you about $10.

The Electrical Doctor :

6 – Go around to all of your affected circuits using the plug tester to locate any good outlets on the circuit vs bad ones. The reason you want to do this is because allot of outlet terminals will corrode over time and cause you to loose connectivity - just like your experiencing now. And if your outlets are utilizing the "push-ins" Such as the one pictured below - you will definately want to change it.

The Electrical Doctor :

Please see pictoral diagram of and example of this testing method:

The Electrical Doctor :

7 – Once you locate a bad outlet next to a good one, you will need to open up both outlets and re-do the wiring like I show here. This method is called “pigtailing” and will help to prevent occurances like this from happening again:

The Electrical Doctor :

8 – When you do reconnect your devices (outlets and switches ) do not utilize the push ins on the back sides of the devices. Rather use the terminal screw on the side. See pics for examples of this:

The Electrical Doctor :

Do not use this method:

The Electrical Doctor :

Use this method:

JACUSTOMER-pzhedg9l- :

I have done step 1,2, 3 not yet, 4 yes, 5 this is the tester I have, 6 no corrosion or broken wires, 7 no pigtails required

JACUSTOMER-pzhedg9l- :

the light display on the tester has one solid lamp and one dim lamp showing correct on all four outlets. I tested another outlet outside of the room and I gat two bright lamps showing correct

The Electrical Doctor :

Here is what your missing though..... You said when you tested the affected outlets, you have one bright and one dim, that means you have a loose neutral connection. So you will need to do steps 6 on through to the end to fix this problem.

JACUSTOMER-pzhedg9l- :

have changed out all four outlets no change in test

JACUSTOMER-pzhedg9l- :

anyone there?

The Electrical Doctor :

Did you follow step six exactly? Were you able to find a good outlet next to the bad one on the same circuit?

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