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ByDave Rongey © Ask the Electrician 2017 Author, Licensed Electrical Contractor
» Home Electrical Wiring Guide Book

Electrical Circuit Causes Damage to Electronic Devices

I’ve had two electronics appliances die after being plugged into a particular outlet, is it possible that the problem is an outlet problem…

Testing Outlet Circuits for Electrical Problems
Question: Recently, I’ve had two electronics/appliances die after being plugged into a particular outlet.

In the first instance, my laptop’s charger stopped working after a couple of hours plugged into the outlet. I checked the breaker box, but nothing had tripped. And, when I plugged the charger into another outlet, it still failed to work. I dismissed the problem as a charger failure, and purchased a replacement.

Yesterday, however, my paper shredder failed after being plugged into this same outlet for a couple of hours. Once again, I checked the breaker and plugged the shredder into another outlet, but it still did not work.

Is it possible that the problem is an outlet problem and not a coincidental electronics problem? If so, how could I check that out?

On an additional note: I have a ceiling fan in the same room (controlled by remote control) that routinely turns on/off on its own. I’ve had the remote unit replaced already, but it did not fix the problem. I’m wondering now if this issue plus the outlet problem could reflect a wiring problem in the room?

Thank you very much!

Respectfully,

Emily

This electrical question came from: Emily, a Homeowner from Sterling, Virginia.
See more about Home Wiring for Virginia

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Emily.

Plug In Polarity Testers for Electrical Outlets

Emily, Make sure to test the outlets to make sure the polarity is correct. If the polarity or wiring is incorrect then this could damage electronic devices and equipment.

The Following links will assist you with your electrical question:

How to Install Ceiling Fans and Wiring

Electrical Outlet Wiring
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Wiring Electrical Outlets for the Home

Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.

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Home Electrical Circuit Breakers

A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.

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Using Testers to Identify Electrical Problems
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Testers to Help Solve Electrical Problems

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Using Electrical Testers

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