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Old 08-15-2014, 10:25 PM   #1
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One Outlet Failing


This one's confusing. Please read carefully! One kitchen outlet went dead. Not a GFI. Single outlet - only one hot, one neutral, and one ground. Worked fine for years with a TV/DVD and a IR remote repeater plugged in. Then one day, no power. All other outlets on that circuit were fine. Assumed that outlet went bad so I replaced it. I plugged TV and remote repeater back in and all worked fine. About an hour later it was dead again! I have a voltage detector so I tested. Other outlets chirp loud when touching right prong slot of outlet - no chirp on left. (I assume this is normal since all other outlets do this.) On dead outlet only a "mini-chirp" as I pull tester away from prong slot. Won't even chirp when touching hot, neutral, or ground wires) FYI had a possible lightning strike hit house in recent past.) Any thoughts???

Last edited by Steveromo; 08-15-2014 at 10:28 PM. Reason: Forgot one detail
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Old 08-15-2014, 10:33 PM   #2
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Loose connection upstream from this outlet, look into the next one back for loose connection or a burnt wire.

Also if you backstabbed it, you did yourself no favors.

ED
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:03 PM   #3
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Thanks. Not sure what you mean with the "backstab"comment. Also, any way to determine where the previous one is? Do they wire them by proximity? Otherwise I need to make a trip into the crawl space!
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:49 PM   #4
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Backstab=push lock connection on the back of the outlet. Just push stripped conductor in and it locks in place. Not reliable.
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Old 08-16-2014, 01:15 AM   #5
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Classic symptoms of a loose connection -
[QUOTE=Steveromo;1390247] all worked fine. About an hour later it was dead again! [Quote]


This is normal -
"Won't even chirp when touching, neutral, or ground wires"
(these wires are not hot).

This is not -
"Won't even chirp when touching hot."

Check the wires at the last working outlet before the dead one
Check for power at start of cable run between these two outlets
Then check other end of cable.
It's going astray somewhere in this area.
Any nails or screws put in recently that could have damaged a cable ?
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:49 AM   #6
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Thanks. No recent work that could have damaged cable. Only recent anomaly was the lightning strike. With only one each hot/neutral I assume this is end of run. No other nearby outlets having any trouble. Will trace the previous outlet in run and check for damage between them. Will post results. Can't get under house till Monday. Any danger leaving alone till then? (It's been like this for about a week now anyway!) Thanks.
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:35 AM   #7
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Turn off the power for the circuit until you can check it. A loose connection can start a fire, if it's powered up.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csab_ View Post
Turn off the power for the circuit until you can check it. A loose connection can start a fire, if it's powered up.
Affirmative on that.
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Old 08-16-2014, 02:12 PM   #9
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Called in a professional to be safe. Problem solved. The bad outlet was preceded on the circuit by a GFI that I installed 5 years ago. Turns out the IN and OUT on the GFI were reversed. Despite the error, the current flowed fine all these years, but the lightning strike must have triggered the connection between the two to fail. Rewired the GFI and all is well. Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 08-16-2014, 03:18 PM   #10
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Thanks for the honesty and followup....
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Old 08-16-2014, 04:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
The bad outlet was preceded on the circuit by a GFI that I installed 5 years ago.
It has either been more than 5 years, or you got hold of an old GFI somehow. All GFI's manufactured after July 2006 will not set/reset if the line wires are on the load terminals.
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Old 08-16-2014, 05:58 PM   #12
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5 or 8 years, all seem like yesterday at my age.
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