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Old 05-30-2010, 06:33 PM   #16
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Yeah. I don't think that's good.


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Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
Ok so when you unplug the item, does the power come back?! I just automatically assumed it was tripping the main. If it's not, then this is indeed a even stranger problem.

I remember once as a little kid I was playing with 4 light sockets (yes, 120v ones lol) and connecting them together randomly, and then plugging it into the wall. I knew how series and paralel worked, so I was trying more interesting stuff. I had them connected some weird way I don't recall, but if I would unscrew one of the bulbs, the 3 others would go on. If I recall, one was dim, the other two were normal. When I screwed the other bulb back in, the 3 lights would go off, slowly (well maybe 1-2 secs, but not instant) and the one bulb would go on. I don't recall if this is exactly what happened, but it was something to that extent. Very strange. I'm sure there's a better explanation for it. Maybe this is what is going on with that outlet?

If you plugged something in, and a non working outlet or lights started to work, then I'd say it's a bad neutral somewhere, but since everything goes off when you plug something in... then yeah, very interesting lol.
You probably had the one bulb in parallel and the other three were series in parallel with it. When all the bulbs were in, most of the current flowed through the single bulb (had only 1/3 the resistance of the 3 in series) and the 3 in series didn't get enough amperage to light up. When you unscrewed the single bulb, all the current went through the 3 in series and they lit up (though probably somewhat dimly). The one that was dimmer was probably a higher wattage bulb than the other two.

Would he be having some sort of connection problem with his hot bus where a similar situation is happening. This particular plug might have a good connection and when something is plugged into it, most of the current for the house is flowing through it (would suspect a breaker to trip though).

To the OP, do you have a multimeter? If you do, do you still have any voltage at the other outlets in the rest of the house when something is plugged into this troublesome plug? Is the voltage normal when nothing is plugged into it?

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Old 05-30-2010, 08:40 PM   #17
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Yeah. I don't think that's good.


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Originally Posted by tdeg807 View Post
You probably had the one bulb in parallel and the other three were series in parallel with it. When all the bulbs were in, most of the current flowed through the single bulb (had only 1/3 the resistance of the 3 in series) and the 3 in series didn't get enough amperage to light up. When you unscrewed the single bulb, all the current went through the 3 in series and they lit up (though probably somewhat dimly). The one that was dimmer was probably a higher wattage bulb than the other two.

Would he be having some sort of connection problem with his hot bus where a similar situation is happening. This particular plug might have a good connection and when something is plugged into it, most of the current for the house is flowing through it (would suspect a breaker to trip though).

To the OP, do you have a multimeter? If you do, do you still have any voltage at the other outlets in the rest of the house when something is plugged into this troublesome plug? Is the voltage normal when nothing is plugged into it?
Hmm yeah that makes sense, I sorta thought of something like that but was not sure. Was too long ago. I was maybe like 8? lol. Don't ask what I was doing playing with mains at that age. Most of my projects were rejected for the science fair, as being too dangerous.

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