Strange Acting Outlets - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
Advertisement


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes
Old 07-12-2010, 07:31 AM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 7
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Strange acting outlets


I just bought a house, and 2 outlets in the master bedroom aren't working properly. When you plug in an outlet tester, the tester shows them to be properly wired. However when you plug something into them they don't work. Now for the strangest part, when the outlet tester is plugged in to one of the outlets, you can plug something in to the other and it will work. For example, if you plug in a lamp to the top plug it won't work, if you then plug in the tester to the bottom plug the light will turn on. I tired plugging in something else with a 3 prong cord in place of the tester and nothing works again. What could be the cause of this?

Thanks in advance, Dustin
ds211 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-12-2010, 07:43 AM   #2
the Musigician
 
DangerMouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: I'm right here!
Posts: 10,404
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default


Hi and welcome to the forum.

Wow, that IS weird! I'd cut the power and remove and replace the device and see what happens.
Use a GFCI if there is no ground wire. (older home used 2 wire systems)

DM
__________________
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Click here to see some of my original magic tricks and trick boxes!
DangerMouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-12-2010, 08:46 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NW of D.C.
Posts: 5,990
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by ds211 View Post
nothing works again. What could be the cause of this?
An intermittent connection, which works or not depending on the mechanical pressure you put on the outlet.



There was another post on all the ways an outlet tester will lie to you but in this case it may have told you the truth.

Since things seem to work in twos, try plugging in two known good incand. lamps while you push on the outlet face. Listen for arcing while you do this or use an AM radio nearby with the volume up and tuned between stations. Arcs give off radio frequencies, just like lightning.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 07-12-2010 at 08:55 AM.
Yoyizit is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-12-2010, 10:10 AM   #4
Wire Chewer
 
Red Squirrel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,550
Rewards Points: 528
Default


Plug a tester in it see what you get from both hots. could be a multiwire with bad neutral. Or bad connection as suggested. try to plug in two incad bulbs see if they light up.
Red Squirrel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2010, 08:21 PM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 7
Rewards Points: 10
Default


Ok, here's a little more information. What I have is 3 outlet boxes on one wall about 10ft apart from each other. I originally plugged a lamp into one of them and it didn't work, tried the light switches to see if they were on that circuit because there's no ceiling light, nothing. I plugged in my outlet tester and it lit up saying it was fine. With the tester still plugged in I tried the light again and it worked, until I unplugged the tester then it shut off. After trying some of the suggestion above (thanks) with no change, I left the light plugged into one outlet and tried the tester in another and the damn light turned on. So as long as the tester is plugged into one of the 3 outlets, all three of them will work. I tried plugging something with a 3 prong cord in place of the tester and nothing worked. It's like the circuit is open somewhere and the tester is closing it?
ds211 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2010, 12:32 PM   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 7
Rewards Points: 10
Default


Figured it out. I had an open neutral at the junction box. Thanks everyone.
ds211 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2 wire outlets: connect neutral to ground? border collie Electrical 19 04-12-2013 12:29 PM
Replacing kitch outlets to GFCI jhubert Electrical 7 11-16-2009 07:23 PM
Kenmore ice maker acting strange BJLower Appliances 3 10-24-2008 11:14 PM
outlets work, but barely (?) joeyboy Electrical 7 08-27-2008 08:37 AM
Problem W/ Power after Switching Outlets... G19-Fanatic Electrical 17 08-28-2006 01:55 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts