Troubleshooting an Electrical Circuit

I plugged some wires into my home outlet and it sparked. Now some of the house outlets aren't getting any power. What should I do?

By Nathan E from Houston, TX


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May 13, 20110 found this helpful

You have a short; it could be a broken wire connection easily spotted at the outlet, but it could also be a broken/chewed/frayed wire in the wall between the outlet and the circuit breaker.

Turn off the power to your whole house by flipping all of the circuit breakers to off position, then carefully unscrew the outlet cover, and carefully pull the outlet out to check the wires. With a little research on the 'Net, and IF you can see a broken or loose wire, you can probably fix this yourself. Most homeowners can repair these small things themselves but if you have little or no experience, CALL A LICENSED ELECTRICIAN.


The money saved by trying to D-I-Y is not worth your life-electrical problems can cause fires, and cause you and your loved ones to be electrocuted.

Most electricians will work out a payment plan, don't take chances with your life if you don't have the experience needed to do this repair!

You can also think about taking a homeowner electrical course at your local college, some of those courses can be the start of a lucrative new career, but at least can help you save money by safely performing your own repairs. Training=safety; don't try repairs without training.

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