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Old 06-22-2011, 09:51 PM   #1
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Half of outlet stop working! WHY??


Had a storm come thru and we lost power and when power came back on, we had power to tv, dvr, stereo etc. but when we got back home from work no power on top of outlet. Moved plugs (surge protector) to the bottom and worked fine. Looked around and found no breakers blown, NO hidden switches. I swear that the both top and bottom work once a while, but when I plug a night light in a outlet (I can't remember if I did it in the same plug) the light goes out and stays out. I put the light in and tap on wall to see if the light flickers, it don't. But I got it narrowed down to 5 outlets in living room. Any Suggestions, do I need to call a service man in?? or can I find and fix on my own??

Thanks
Dave


Last edited by drad88; 06-22-2011 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:33 AM   #2
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Half of outlet stop working! WHY??


After a power outage I usually try to trip all the breakers manually to make sure they are set back to the on position. It gives me peace of mind to feel and/or hear them click.

You should invest in an electrical tester at some point. In the meantime I think you would find a simple outlet checker very handy. $5-8 or so as I remember with LEDs that will indicate basic problems.

Now then, chasing them down is the challenge. Any chance there is a circuit interupter (GCFI for example) on the circuit with the outlets? Weird it would only be taking out the top half though. And you did say you had multiple outlets with the top half dead or did I read the message wrong. And you said no wall switch controlling half the outlet?

You may have fried half the outlet. You may have a wiring issue. Whether you can diagnose and fix the problem depends on how comfortable you are working with electrical. I generally call an electrician when I find myself climbing at all from my comfort zone. Cheaper and safer in the long run.

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Old 06-23-2011, 07:23 AM   #3
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Half of outlet stop working! WHY??


Lost half an outlet? Suspect a switch that has been turned off.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:58 AM   #4
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Half of outlet stop working! WHY??


Hey Drad88,

Sounds like there was a surge of some kind. The outlet might have lost the connecting tab on the side of it that shares the neutral or the hot to both outlets. It could of melted or something. Either way you might just want to replace it.

Replacing it is super easy and shouldn't cost more that $1.


Good luck! - Gregg

Last edited by DangerMouse; 06-23-2011 at 09:10 AM. Reason: If you wish to help, please do not send our members elsewhere.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:31 AM   #5
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Half of outlet stop working! WHY??


With a lot of usage it is not unheard of for the metal parts inside the receptacle unit to wiggle a lot and the tab between the upper and lower receptacle to break by itself.

It doesn't break off completely so it is hard to see if it did break.
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:36 AM   #6
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Half of outlet stop working! WHY??


Quote:
Originally Posted by gotogregg View Post
Hey Drad88,

Sounds like there was a surge of some kind. The outlet might have lost the connecting tab on the side of it that shares the neutral or the hot to both outlets. It could of melted or something. Either way you might just want to replace it.

Replacing it is super easy and shouldn't cost more that $1.


Good luck! - Gregg
Good thing the link was removed--I looked at the instructions and there was a serious over site----The instructions failed to mention the very common practice of using an outlet in the 1/2 constant power--1/2 switched circuit.

Following those instructions could lead to a 220 volt dead short--if the switch leg and constant circuit were on different legs in the breaker box.

----Mike----

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