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Old 01-26-2011, 10:51 AM   #1
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Electrical Outlets with Very Low Power


I have two outlets that do not work. When using a light up tester (three prong tester) it shows it has power and the lights do not indicate a problem. The outlets have been replaced and still the same issue occurs. There is enough power to light the tester but not to run anything off of them. I've tried everything from a lamp to a cell phone charger (the light on the charger lights up very dimmly) but nothing will run.

Any help is appreciated.

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Old 01-26-2011, 10:59 AM   #2
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Electrical Outlets with Very Low Power


Sounds like an open neutral to me.

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Old 01-26-2011, 11:13 AM   #3
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Electrical Outlets with Very Low Power


Thanks but I'm not sure what that means. I was hoping for a simple fix where I didn't need to hire an electrician, but I may need to or educate myself more on the subject.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:06 PM   #4
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Electrical Outlets with Very Low Power


There may be a loose connection somewhere. Generally outlets (receptacles) along the wall are daisy chained. A loose connection would therefore affect receptacles, lights, etc. further on down the line. The loose connection could be at a good receptacle that you did not replace yet.

Most homes built between 1970 and 2011 have wiring where the wire end is pushed into the back of a receptacle unit or switch unit and just sticks there. These connections are not all that reliable and vibration such as from trucks on the street outside can cause a connection to become loose. Also oxidation from moisture over the years can cause problems. Screwing the wire onto the switch or receptacle is much better; screws are always provided.
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:02 PM   #5
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Electrical Outlets with Very Low Power


Thanks AllanJ. I'll check the rest of the outlets in the chain. You're right, they wires were just pushed in rather than using screws in the two that I replaced. Our home was built in 1990.
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:35 AM   #6
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Electrical Outlets with Very Low Power


you need to use a multimeter to test the voltage.
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:26 AM   #7
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Electrical Outlets with Very Low Power


Thanks. I'm off to pick one up today.

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