Electrical Troubleshooting for Outlet Wiring
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Wall Outlets: Checking Electrical Wiring Connections, Inspect Wiring to Additional Outlets, Burnt Outlet Wiring Connections.
Problems with Wall Outlets and How to Fix Them
Electrical Question: I have two wall outlets that are not working.
- These are standard household wall outlets at the end of a daisy chain wired configuration that are not working.
- All three lights on an outlet tester are off, indicating “open hot” according to the tester.
- I replaced the first non-working outlet, but that didn’t fix the problem.
- Then I replaced the last working outlet before the first non-working one too, and that didn’t help either.
- What else can I do to troubleshoot the problem with these outlets?
- To give you a better idea of the setup because I don’t have a diagram:
- Let the outlets be “A” (working and testing as wired correctly), “B” and “C” (both testing as open hot).
- I have outlet “A” on one wall, and outlets “B” and “C”, in that order, on an adjoining wall at 90 degrees.
- Both “A” and “B” have a hot/neutral pair going “in”, and a pair going “out” from “A” towards “B” and “B” towards “C”.
- “C” only has one hot/neutral pair going in.
- Neither “A” nor “B” has pigtailed wires, other than the ground.
Thank you, Dave!
This electrical wiring question came from: Stephen, a Homeowner from Sunnyvale, California.
Comments: Great electrical information for homeowners.
Thanks for your electric wiring question Stephen.
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Wall Outlets
Application: Repair Electric Wall Outlets.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a licensed electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools a Voltage Tester or Plug-In Circuit Analyzer.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools, the extent of the electrical repairs the number of outlets that are affected.
Precaution: Identify the outlet circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Method of Electrical Wiring for Outlets
- Checking Electrical Wiring Connections
Double check all of your connections. One of the best methods for wiring outlets is by making pigtails for each color set, and then connect the pigtail wire to the outlet.
- Inspect Wiring to Additional Outlets
This will avoid feeding the circuit wiring through each receptacle outlet.
- Burnt Outlet Wiring Connections
Twist each set of stripped wires, trim them off evenly and apply the appropriately sized wire connector for the number of wires that are being spliced and the wire gauge.
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