Repairing an Electric Outlet

Troubleshooting the cause of an outlet not working can help define how to repair it. This is a guide about repairing an electric outlet.
Ad

November 7, 2016 Flag
0 found this helpful

I plugged my vacuum and straightening iron into my outlets on the exact opposite side of the dressing room table. I have another outlet, a lamp is plugged in that one. I plugged my vacuum and straightening iron same outlet vacuum worked for a few minutes then went out! The outlet stopped working! The breaker was on on position! I flipped it off and on, but that didn't work. Would it help if I shut off the main breaker? And then flipped it back on again?

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
November 26, 20160 found this helpful

I was vacuum the house. The extension cord was plug into on of the outlet in the dining room when suddenly the vacuum stopped working. I check the electrical panel and everything was okay. I resent all the outlets and still not working.

Ad
ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

September 19, 2016 Flag
0 found this helpful

I am trying to cut the power to an outlet and tried turning off by elimination each 15/20 amp circuit and the power remains on. Any ideas?

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
September 19, 20160 found this helpful

If you only have one electrical panel (could you have a subpanel feeding this outlet?) and you have tried killing power on each circuit (I assume you checked the single pole breakers), and you are not generating electricity, then my guess is that a 240 volt circuit is feeding this outlet.

Another question is how did you check the circuit? A plug in tester is good, but even simpler is to have a load, such as a lamp, on the circuit. A digital multimeter will sometimes indicate voltage when no load is present.

Each leg of a 240 volt breaker carries 120 volt measured to the neutral and 240 volts measured to the other leg. It is possible that your receptacle is fed from a double pole breaker.

Ad
ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
November 25, 20160 found this helpful

Power is being back fed. Connection have to be disconnected and traced to see where the back feed is coming from

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More Answers...

February 16, 2015 Flag
0 found this helpful

Why won't the breaker trip, but if you play with the plug it starts working again?

By Nick

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
February 18, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

The breaker would only trip if too much current is being pulled (demand exceeds supply). If you have a loose outlet, where the plug falls out or you have to wiggle the plug to get it to work, it wouldn't necessarily trip the breaker, because it's not connecting/pulling electricity at all. The solution is to replace the old outlet. If the issue is a particular appliances plug and wiggling the cord fixes the problem, than the cord is probably going. If the problem is a particular plug and not the cord, sometimes you can widen the prongs so it's a better fit in the outlet.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
February 21, 20150 found this helpful

If you have no knowledge of electricity, do not try to replace an outlet by yourself. Call an electrician. It is a very inexpensive task, and worth it to have things done properly.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More Answers...

June 26, 2016 Flag
0 found this helpful

I live in a older home (1950s). I recently bumped a plug while moving furniture. I heard it make a couple of popping sounds, but nothing happened. The next morning that outlet and the ones in the next 2 rooms would not work either. The ceiling lights work fine. I turned off the power at the fuse box. I took the cover off the outlet and checked with a meter to make sure it was safe. I took out the outlet and found out one of the wires was broken. I don't plan on using that outlet anymore how can I just bypass it so that the outlets in the other rooms will start back working. Thanks.

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
July 12, 20160 found this helpful

I would hire an electrician to fix this.

The receptacle can be removed and a cover plate installed but it would be about the same cost as replacing the receptacle.

The wiring broke free on its own so it is probable that it has experienced some heat damage from a loose connection that needs to be assessed.

Once the wire insulation has been repaired (I like heat shrink tubing for this) the wire can be reconnected and made to work.

Typically, and per code, black is hot and white is neutral. Connecting the blacks together and then connecting the whites together should energize the other receptacles. BUT - things are not always done correctly and the assumption that black is hot and white is neutral can cause trouble. This is why I would call an electrician.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
July 12, 20160 found this helpful

Thank you Bruce.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More Answers...

January 25, 2015 Flag
0 found this helpful

My phone charger was plugged into the wall outlet. It stopped charging and made a popping sound. I moved the cord a little and there was a spark. I was scared to unplug it, but I did eventually. My cord is now plugged into my laptop and is working. What is the problem?

By cara

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
January 26, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

You have a hot to ground short. From what you described it may be in your phone charger transformer. This could easily cause a fire and should be corrected by a professional.

If you are certain that the sparks came from the phone adapter, get rid of that phone adapter. If the sparks may have originated in the receptacle, get an electrician to service and replace the receptacle.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
January 26, 20150 found this helpful

Bruce has given you great advice. As well, if you ever again have something plugged in, and it sparks, unplug it at once!

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More Answers...

March 7, 2016 Flag
0 found this helpful

We have two power outlets in the kitchen that stopped working. Our home is older so the outlet doesn't have a "reset" or GIF. We have an old fuse box, not breakers. We had work done in the kitchen and we noticed the problem happened after the granite installers installed the granite back splash. The outlets they cut around stopped working.

I did hear power tools being used so I am wondering if they blew the fuse. We tried the, un-screw of the fuses and put everything back in, fix. We do have some fuses that seem to be under a glass cage that we could not really open or are scared to. We are not sure if we are to open this part or not. Anyway any suggestions or explanations to get this fixed would be greatly appreciated. I am trying to avoid making a service call if it is an easy fix I may be overlooking.

Thanks

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
March 20, 20160 found this helpful

I think if you can afford granite counter tops, you can afford a qualified electrician for this job. You maybe should think about upgrading your electrical since you are renovating.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
March 20, 20160 found this helpful

I would call the people who did the work first. They obviously did something wrong. Do it right away in case you need to pay to have it fixed. The bill should go to their company. Good luck.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More Answers...

November 2, 2015 Flag
0 found this helpful

For about two months now, in the master bedroom, 2 of the outlets which have the TV and cable box connected and also the light in the room go out and come back on. I have checked the breaker and it doesn't trip. One of the times that it went off, it stayed off for a few minutes. When went off I moved the light switch to turn it off and the lights came on. I switched the light fixture for a new one and it's still doing it. Besides checking the other outlets for loose wires any suggesting on what to check?

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
November 4, 20150 found this helpful

This sounds dangerous to me. I would call an electrician to come check this out.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
November 4, 20150 found this helpful

Breakers and switches, when shut off or tripped, stay off.

Checking for loose connections is what is required.

If your power is shutting off and turning back on it sounds like a loose connection somewhere (maybe inside a device such as a switch or breaker but more typically in a wire nut or the neutral connection in the power panel).

Loose connections are heat generators. I would have an electrician track this down as soon as possible.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More Answers...

October 25, 2015 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have had a non working plug in our bathroom with a working light for years. We recently had a lot of work done, including rewiring the kitchen. The contractor replaced the fixture in the bathroom during the renovation. The new fixture works like the old one. Light works, plug does not. Any idea what the issue is, and is it an easy fix? Thank you in advance.

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
October 26, 20150 found this helpful

Did you explain to the electrician you hired that the plug in had never worked. If so, and he didn`t fix it, call him back and ask him to fix it, and I would not expect him to charge you for this. If not, call him back and explain what is going on, and see if he can remedy the problem.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
October 26, 20150 found this helpful

Unfortunately, he's out of the country. Even when he's around, he's hard to get hold of. When the work was being done, I told my mother to have him do it, unsure as to whether it was her error for leaving out the electrical issue and he assumed I just wanted a new one for aesthetic purposes.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More Answers...

October 8, 2013 Flag
1 found this helpful

I have no power to one kitchen power outlet and one living room outlet. The circuit breaker appears good.

By Peter

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
October 10, 20130 found this helpful

Call an electrician. They go to school and train to be able to solve problems like this.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Anonymous Flag
December 15, 20150 found this helpful

Wow Louise. Why would you just refer someone to an electrician when they are OBVIOUSLY asking for "why" this might happen. People usually post these questions to get other people's suggestions. Most are looking for a way to fix whatever at a minimal cost. Glad you can afford an electrician

Kc

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More Answers...

February 23, 2015 Flag
0 found this helpful

My wife pluged a Vicks vapor machine into our bedroom outlet. The outlet stopped working. The the vapor machine and my ceiling fan with lights also quit working. I put in a new plug and checked the wiring in the fan. All the wires are connected and there are no burn spots on the wires. How do I fix it?

By Kris

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
February 25, 20150 found this helpful

Beginning with 1999, Arc Fault Circuit Protection was required for bedrooms in dwelling units. Nuisance trips are common with this type of protection and vaporizers. The original protection was at the breaker - the breaker would trip. More recently, the protection could be in the receptacle much like a GFCI receptacle, and daisy chained.

It is possible that if you have AFCI protection at the receptacle (newer home or remodel) , that another receptacle, which provides the protection, has a tripped pushbutton that needs reset.

It would be bad practice to put the light on this circuit, but it could have been done.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
March 7, 20150 found this helpful

Did you check the breaker? And did you mean that the vaporizer now doesn't work at all? If so, toss it, as it has caused the problem, apparently. If there is nothing else to reset - breaker, button on an outlet, fuse - then it is time to call an electrician. Perhaps the problem is with the replacement outlet, and you have not installed that properly.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More Answers...

August 21, 2015 Flag
0 found this helpful

We have a plug in our kitchen that is a switch for our undercabinet lighting on one side and on the other side is a plug. The plug has suddenly stopped working, even though the light switch is working fine. The breaker is also working fine. We have changed the plug, but it is still not working. Any ideas as to what else we could try?

Thanks!

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
August 24, 20150 found this helpful

An electrician could fix this for you.

You need a meter to detect if voltage is present at the receptacle and if the neutral is connected by measuring resistance to ground. There exists a plug in device with three lights that will give you that information.

Another thing to consider is that kitchen receptacles are GFCI protected. It may be that the standard receptacle you replaced is fed from a GFCI receptacle which is tripped. The lighting would not be on the GFCI receptacle. Check to see if any other receptacles are dead, if so I would lean toward a tripped GFCI somewhere.

Good luck.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
August 24, 20150 found this helpful

I like Bruce's first line of advice-- call an electrician. Bruce is an electrician, and can explain these things, but nothing beats having a trained professional fix things for you.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Read More Answers...

January 26, 2016 Flag
0 found this helpful

We live in an apartment building built in the 1970s, maybe 80s. My daughter had an inexpensive fan in her room that would slow down and then it just stopped working.
I bought a new fan and it worked okay and then it did the same thing. I would turn it on and it wouldn't work, then it sounded like something gave it gas, and it would slowly start to propel.

Last night it worked and then stopped. I jiggled the cord, unplugged the light, and the fan, and it worked then stopped. So afraid a fire or a weird wire is the culprit I moved to a different outlet and it worked fine. How do I know what is going on with the outlet, and are we in danger? Is it just the voltage to that one outlet?
The landlord is a super pain to deal with.
Thank you.

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
February 1, 20160 found this helpful

This is probably one for an electrician to handle since they have the meters and test equipment necessary to test the voltage at your receptacle.

It is possible you have a loose connection that when heated with current flow, opens or better closes the circuit.

Or it is possible that this receptacle is on a shared neutral in which the neutral is not making it back to the panel. If this were the case, the speed of your fan and even whether it was working would depend on other electrical loads being on.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Load More
Related
Categories
Home and Garden Repair Home ElectricalJanuary 30, 2013
Guides
Electric Blanket
Finding Replacement Cords and Controls for an Electric Blanket
Electric Typewriter
Repairing an Electric Typewriter
Saving Money on Your Electric Bill, Money and Light Bulb on Top of Electric Bill
Saving Money on Your Electric Bill
changing an outlet
Changing a 15 Amp Outlet to 20 Amps
More
🎉
New Years Ideas!
🎄
Christmas Ideas!
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube
Contests!
Newsletters
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Categories
You are viewing the desktop version of this page: View Mobile Site
© 1997-2016 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Published by . Page generated on December 9, 2016 at 3:18:45 PM on 10.0.0.127 in 12 seconds. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of ThriftyFun's Disclaimer and Privacy Policy. If you have any problems or suggestions feel free to Contact Us.
Loading Something Awesome!