DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

Outlet won't work

243 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  jeffnc
I live in an area where it's difficult to get an electrician to come out, and I have an electrical problem. Yesterday I went to plug in a space heater in my living room. On the other side of the wall in the kitchen, an air fryer was running. As soon as I plugged in the space heater, it stopped working. The outlet doesn't work, and three other outlets in the same area of the living room stopped working. The air fryer was on GFI, which never tripped. That outlet still works. The circuit breaker didn't trip, and as far as I can tell, other outlets in the living room that are live are connected to the same circuit breaker switch. I have shut that switch off on the circuit breaker for now. I cannot find a GFI in the house that is currently tripped. I shut off power to the house and switched out the outlet that I tried to connect the space heater to yesterday. Even with the circuit breaker switch turned back on, that didn't work. I haven't switched out the other two outlets that aren't working in the living room. To the best of my knowledge, the outlets that are out are not connected to a half-hot switch. I'm at a loss of what the problem can be.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

· A "Handy Husband"
Joined
·
14,916 Posts
I suspect you have an open connection probably due to overloading the circuit. Start removing the receptacles and look for a loose or burnt wire.

Better still with a meter test for power. Don't use a non contact tester.
 

· Super Moderator
Joined
·
24,742 Posts
Probably a loose connection in one of the receptacles on the circuit. If you know the routing of the circuit cables, the problem is likely in the first not working or last working receptacle in the chain.
If any of the connections are made using the back stab pushin connections move the wires to the screws. Back stabs are a very common cause of this problem.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9,162 Posts
Sounds like you're doing the right things in researching this. It can be difficult to know how outlets are chained together. Rather than trying to figure out the order, just check all of them (even if you find a problem with the first). You don't have all that many to check. The backstabs, as mentioned above, are notorious and difficult to detect if bad. Even if proved working, I would still take this time to move all the wires to screws, while you're there.
 

· Naildriver
Joined
·
23,266 Posts
All good advice so far. Remember, GFCI's don't trip on overload, only on ground fault, so don't rely on the GFCI to do the work of the breaker. Your space heater probably maxed out the circuit by itself, and if it was tied in conjunction with other appliances it most likely burned the receptacle.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9,162 Posts
Gfci's will trip if an overload is detected.
Happens all the time.
Are you talking about GFCI in the panel, or in an outlet?

Assuming the latter, they are not supposed to trip in an overload condition. Are you saying they often do anyway? Or, I suppose, you could come up with a scenario where an overload could overlap with a GF situation.
 

· Naildriver
Joined
·
23,266 Posts
Yeah, the breaker will trip on overload by design. The GFCI only trips on ground fault, not overload. It may burn up before it trips the breaker, but it's not its job.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
I have tripped quit a few gfic outlets when I have my trailer plugged at customers . Run a dewalt charger .trailer lights dewalt miter saw and turn on table saw. They will trip a gfci outlet.
I am just trying to learn something I thought I knew
 

· Naildriver
Joined
·
23,266 Posts
It is possible your trailer or one of the tools has a fault that you don't know about, and is tripping the GFCI.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9,162 Posts
Your telling me that if I plug to many appliances in my kitchen that the gfci outlet will not trip?
Only the breaker in my box will trip?
I'm not saying that exactly. I'm saying that's the way it's supposed to work. I have seen GFCIs act funny.

I had one in my own bathroom that would trip constantly every time I turned this device off. Never did figure that one out. Now it could be sometimes that due to the vagaries of electricity, technically a GFCI is acting correctly, because there's some subtle thing going on we don't know about, and "overloading" is the most obvious thing going on. Who knows?

But grounding, circuit breaking, and GFCI all do 3 different things, and they don't all protect the way some people think. You can take a piece of metal in your left hand and a piece of metal in your right hand and stick each in a slot in an outlet, and the GFCI won't do a damn thing to stop you from getting electrocuted because it has no idea. I'm sure you know that, I'm just saying a lot of homeowners I talk to don't have the slightest idea what GFCI means, let alone how it works. Personally, if we're talking potential life and death circumstances in my home, I like to know the basics of how things work.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top