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Old 01-21-2012, 11:56 PM   #1
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New home with electrical outlet with blk soot


Hello,
I have a new home, 5-6 yrs old. The master bedroom's electrical outlet seemed to have tripped. I check the breaker box outside and all were on. But all the outlet do not work. After about 20min power came back on in the master bedroom (MB). Several days later the electrical power in the MB came tripped again and came on after about 1hr. It did this until the time between trip and turn on got longer and longer.

Well I decided to change all the outlets in the MB. As I changed them, I notice one outlet, which was in back of my night stand, had black soot on the face plate (I cleaned up the soot). After I changed all the outlets, the tripping issue stopped. I felt great! Well that lasted about 2 months. Now I am having the same experience. I looked at the outlet that had the black soot last time and again this outlet has black soot.

What could be causing this? This is a brand new home and I've never touched the electrical system/outlets till now.

Thanks in advance,
Joseph

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Old 01-22-2012, 12:04 AM   #2
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New home with electrical outlet with blk soot


You did not need to replace the receptacles. That was not the problem. You have a loose connection somewhere. It may be in the breaker panel. You should probably have an electrician solve it - I don't think this is a good DIY project for you.

The black markings on the receptacle may be collected dust. Sometimes the HVAC system is set up in a way that sucks air into wall cavities through openings like receptacles. This often results in black sooty-looking dust sticking to receptacles or switches. Can you post a picture?

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Old 01-22-2012, 12:04 AM   #3
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New home with electrical outlet with blk soot


The soot may be caused by air exchanges through the wall cavity.

Is it dry soot?
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:34 AM   #4
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New home with electrical outlet with blk soot


...Mold...
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:59 AM   #5
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New home with electrical outlet with blk soot


Loose wire nut in that box or nicked wire???
Just guessing here--
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:24 PM   #6
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New home with electrical outlet with blk soot


Quote:
Originally Posted by mpoulton View Post
You did not need to replace the receptacles. That was not the problem. You have a loose connection somewhere. It may be in the breaker panel. You should probably have an electrician solve it - I don't think this is a good DIY project for you.

The black markings on the receptacle may be collected dust. Sometimes the HVAC system is set up in a way that sucks air into wall cavities through openings like receptacles. This often results in black sooty-looking dust sticking to receptacles or switches. Can you post a picture?
Thank you for the response.
Just curious. We were the first owner of this new home. Why would there be a loose connection all of a sudden? We've had no problems for 6 yrs.

The black soot is on the face plate of the receptacle. Out of 6 outlets in the room, that is the only face plate that has the soot. As far as pictures, I cleaned it up. But there are still some left, I'll try to post pix.

Joseph
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:49 PM   #7
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New home with electrical outlet with blk soot


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph_diy View Post
Thank you for the response.
Just curious. We were the first owner of this new home. Why would there be a loose connection all of a sudden? We've had no problems for 6 yrs.
Things happen. Maybe you connected a heavy load like a space heater and it caused heating of the bad connection and it's never been the same since? Maybe something just wiggled a bit and now it's bad?

Quote:
The black soot is on the face plate of the receptacle. Out of 6 outlets in the room, that is the only face plate that has the soot. As far as pictures, I cleaned it up. But there are still some left, I'll try to post pix.
This definitely sounds like dust collection due to air movement.

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