Outlets Not Working?

I have a wall of outlets that are not working, but when I put a meter on them it shows they are getting power. I changed one outlet, but still not working.


By Terri

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April 8, 20150 found this helpful

A common way of checking power is with a non-contact volt meter. It will show the presence of 120 VAC hot.

However, to make a circuit you also need the neutral. If you have the hot, but lost the neutral, it would act as you describe.

The neutral and the ground should be bonded (connected) at only one point, typically your power panel.

With the power off, an electrician could use a meter to determine if there is continuity between the neutral and ground. If there is, your neutral is good.

There are a number of ways to lose a neutral
- Run a nail through it hanging a picture
- Overload a bad connection causing it to overheat and burn open


- Rodent chewing through wire
- Human error when wiring - did not connect neutral
- Human error when wiring - switched neutral instead of hot
-Human error when wiring - GFCI wiring switched (hot and neutral reversed)

You may want to look to see if a GFCI is tripped. If it is and you reset it and you have power again, you will need to get an electrician to correct the GFCI wiring.

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