Eric of Damascus Asks How to Troubleshoot an Electrical Problem with an Outlet and Lights
How to Fix a Power Problem with an Outlet and Lights: I have two lights and a receptacle that do not work but everything else works fine.
Electrical Problem with an Outlet and Lights
Electrical Question: I have two lights and a receptacle that do not work but everything else works fine.
- I have two lights and a receptacle that won’t work but everything else works fine. What should I check?
- I’ve checked breakers and they fine.
This electrical wiring question came from Eric, in Damascus, Virginia.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Eric.
How to Fix a Power Problem with an Outlet and Lights
Application: Troubleshooting and Repairing Outlet Problems.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester or Volt Ohm Meter or plug-in circuit analyzer.
Estimated Time: Depends on the age of the home and the condition of the electrical wiring and access to the circuit wiring to be inspected, evaluated and repaired.
Precaution: Identify the outlet circuit at the electric panel, turn it OFF and then Tag it with a Note before performing any wiring inspections or electrical repairs. If an outlet or the electrical wiring is found to be damaged then repairs and replacement parts should be obtained with the same voltage and amperage rating.
Notice: Burnt or damaged electrical wiring and circuit components should be replaced with new electrical materials of the same voltage and amperage rating.
Common Electrical Problems That Cause an Outlet and Lights Not to Work
- Loose Connections in Electrical Wiring
- If there is a loose wiring connection within the electrical outlet circuit this could cause the circuit power to be interrupted even though the circuit breaker has not been tripped off.
- Indications of circuit connection problems include lost power to the outlet and other outlets and lights.
- Inspecting the Circuit Wiring
- The outlet should be removed so the device and the wiring may be inspected.
- Look for burnt or damaged wire connected to the outlet or wire splices inside the outlet box.
- Repairing Electrical Outlet Problems
- If any area of the outlet is discolored or burnt then the outlet should be replaced with one of the same voltage and amperage specifications.
- Sections of burnt or damaged wire should be removed and repaired using the same type and gauge and wire type.
- Properly sized wire connectors should be used for splicing the existing circuit wiring and new sections of wire to the device as needed.
- Electrical Codes that apply to troubleshoot Fix a outlet
- Code compliance for troubleshoot a home outlet is very important.
- Verify the circuit requirements as specified in the documentation of the outlet documentation.
- The electrical components of the outlet circuit must be fully compatible and have the correct rated capacity.
- Protection for the electrical circuit wiring should be provided for this outlet in accordance with all applicable electrical codes.
- Contact the local building authority in your area of Virginia about specific electrical codes that apply to your project.
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This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
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