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Old 07-07-2013, 03:23 AM   #1
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Problem with outlets not a breaker


Several outlets in my home stopped working. I tried flipping the breakers, this did not do anything. I unplugged everything from the affected outlets. I then around and felt each outlet to see if they felt hot. When I touched ( kinda pushed) one outlet it sort of seemed to spark and then all the outlets started working again. I am very concerned about this, I have no idea where to begin to fix this. Do I need to call an electrician asap?

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Old 07-07-2013, 03:43 AM   #2
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Problem with outlets not a breaker


No, you need to shut the breaker off, then pull the outlets on that circuit, matter of fact go through the whole residence, and check the switches and outlets to see if they are "Backstabbed".

What that means, that instead of forming what looks like the end of a J on the wire, they just inserted the wire into the back of the outlet.

Overtime these connections tend to heat up and in turn weaken the plastic and metal connection inside, causing an open, that can cause a fire, or just basically the back falls apart and the wire falls out, but still has power to it, which can still cause a fire if it shorts to ground or neutral in a way that it does not trip the breaker, but acts like a arcwelder and continues to allow electricity to flow heating up an area of contact, which then turns into a fire.

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Old 07-07-2013, 03:54 AM   #3
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Problem with outlets not a breaker


Okay thanks so much for this info. I know where to start now
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:33 AM   #4
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Problem with outlets not a breaker


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Several outlets in my home stopped working. I tried flipping the breakers, this did not do anything. I unplugged everything from the affected outlets. I then around and felt each outlet to see if they felt hot. When I touched ( kinda pushed) one outlet it sort of seemed to spark and then all the outlets started working again. I am very concerned about this, I have no idea where to begin to fix this. Do I need to call an electrician asap?
The receptacle you pushed is the problem if you feel confident enough you can change it yourself . Don't change every receptacle unless you are bored and need something to do.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:31 PM   #5
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Problem with outlets not a breaker


usair, I would still go through and check them, due to one has gone bad, you never know when the other Time Bombs will go off.
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:07 PM   #6
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Problem with outlets not a breaker


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usair, I would still go through and check them, due to one has gone bad, you never know when the other Time Bombs will go off.
Time bombs? Scare tactics much?
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:22 PM   #7
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Problem with outlets not a breaker


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Originally Posted by usair
Time bombs? Scare tactics much?
No scare tactics here. Majority of the electrical fires in older homes, are caused mainly by old worn out outlets, next would be wiring, then jacked up wiring jobs.
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:48 PM   #8
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Problem with outlets not a breaker


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No scare tactics here. Majority of the electrical fires in older homes, are caused mainly by old worn out outlets, next would be wiring, then jacked up wiring jobs.
Who's rear end did you pull those statistics from? Most electrical fires are cause by misuse of appliances or lack of maintenance on appliances, incorrectly installed wiring and overloaded extension cords.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:02 PM   #9
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Problem with outlets not a breaker


Quote:
Originally Posted by usair View Post
The receptacle you pushed is the problem if you feel confident enough you can change it yourself . Don't change every receptacle unless you are bored and need something to do.
I will recomend that once you find one bad one with loose connection espcally with backstabbing do the rest.

Read below for the rest of my comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
usair, I would still go through and check them, due to one has gone bad, you never know when the other Time Bombs will go off.
look down for my answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by usair View Post
Time bombs? Scare tactics much?
Pftt., that is not a scare tactis at all., more like good catcher to find bad backstabbing and some case standard screw can get loosen up over the time.

I have one house not too long ago I did replace many receptales/ switches total counts of devices was 97 and the number were bad backstabbing ( we still do have backstabbing but not super common over here in France.) was over 25 devices so almost 1/4 or one out of 4 is bad

I know two devices ( receptales ) was about ready to catch on fire.

I know you may not like to hear from me but c'est a good time to fix it right and the same time you can update the circuit breaker listing like write a map what it goes. I never really trust the exsting writing on the breaker box due over the years someone will add something and did not write it down on the breaker box that will be a headache to find which one.

So pick a good day when you are not busy and go thru them but make sure double check the power is off before you start working on them.

I did have couple recepectales the backstabber were super loose as soon I pull it out all the conductors came out of backstabber opening without effort.

Now you know why some of us are not too crazy with backstabbers it don't matter which side of " Pond " we are at.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:06 PM   #10
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Problem with outlets not a breaker


Quote:
Originally Posted by usair View Post
Who's rear end did you pull those statistics from? Most electrical fires are cause by misuse of appliances or lack of maintenance on appliances, incorrectly installed wiring and overloaded extension cords.
The last two part you mention incorrect installed wiring and overload extendison cord is the two most common cuprit.

I don't know if you ever heard the term " glowing " connection ? if not that useally tell ya that the connection is loose but still have current going thru and have alot of restince and build up heat and it can get very hot like red hot which I have see it from time to time.

As far for the appliances most common cuprit is misuse and yank the cord out without grabbing the plug itself. mantanice wise if keep it clean and check for anything is out of normal then there will be no issue with it.

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Old 07-07-2013, 04:44 PM   #11
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Problem with outlets not a breaker


well it turns out the outlet was backstabbed. however the problem was that the ground wire was touching the live wire causing it to short out. I do have an older house and will be checking all the outlets and switches. Fires are no joke and I don't want to chance it. So thanks again for all the info and assistance.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:14 PM   #12
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Problem with outlets not a breaker


Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchelectrican View Post
I will recomend that once you find one bad one with loose connection espcally with backstabbing do the rest.

Read below for the rest of my comment.



look down for my answer.



Pftt., that is not a scare tactis at all., more like good catcher to find bad backstabbing and some case standard screw can get loosen up over the time.

I have one house not too long ago I did replace many receptales/ switches total counts of devices was 97 and the number were bad backstabbing ( we still do have backstabbing but not super common over here in France.) was over 25 devices so almost 1/4 or one out of 4 is bad

I know two devices ( receptales ) was about ready to catch on fire.

I know you may not like to hear from me but c'est a good time to fix it right and the same time you can update the circuit breaker listing like write a map what it goes. I never really trust the exsting writing on the breaker box due over the years someone will add something and did not write it down on the breaker box that will be a headache to find which one.

So pick a good day when you are not busy and go thru them but make sure double check the power is off before you start working on them.

I did have couple recepectales the backstabber were super loose as soon I pull it out all the conductors came out of backstabber opening without effort.

Now you know why some of us are not too crazy with backstabbers it don't matter which side of " Pond " we are at.

Merci,
Marc
I have seen backstabbed receptacles that you had to cut the wire loose. I have also seen failure of screw terminals. I don't think they are ticking time bombs and to say they are is just another scare tactic like saying FP panels will explode. If you are bored and have time change them but be sure and pigtail and not feed thru because your house could burst into flames if you feed through a receptacle.,
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:25 PM   #13
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Problem with outlets not a breaker


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I have seen backstabbed receptacles that you had to cut the wire loose. I have also seen failure of screw terminals. I don't think they are ticking time bombs and to say they are is just another scare tactic like saying FP panels will explode. If you are bored and have time change them but be sure and pigtail and not feed thru because your house could burst into flames if you feed through a receptacle.,
Sorry that you just do not get it USAir, but this is an area you do not mess around with. It sounds to me that you are a part of that 1% that thinks nothing will happen to them, or their home, and choose to ignore any problems in their homes, because they feel that it is not a situation that needs attended to.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:46 PM   #14
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Problem with outlets not a breaker


I have experience with overloaded and burned up back stabbed outlets. I can see how they would be a source of a fire. I would use only the screw terminals on them. I think the manufacturers don't make outlets that you can put 12 g wire into, only 14 g nowadays, because of the heating problem. Also, (I am not a electrician) I confused "back stabbed" at one time with "back wired" receptacles which are very safe. They just have a screw terminal that you don't have to make a hook in the wire to connect them.

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Old 07-07-2013, 06:01 PM   #15
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Problem with outlets not a breaker


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I have seen backstabbed receptacles that you had to cut the wire loose. I have also seen failure of screw terminals. I don't think they are ticking time bombs and to say they are is just another scare tactic like saying FP panels will explode. If you are bored and have time change them but be sure and pigtail and not feed thru because your house could burst into flames if you feed through a receptacle.,
are you saying that if you have a series of recepticles and you run power to one then run the feed to another and another by just useing the screws on the receps that its a danger?.

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