Repairing Electrical Outlets That Do Not Work
How Can I Fix Outlets that Do Not Work? How to Troubleshoot Outlet Wiring Problems and Make Repairs.
Troubleshooting Electric Outlet Problems
Electrical Question: How can I fix Outlets that Do Not Work?
- I have four outlets that do not work. I checked to see how many outlets are on this circuit by plugging in a radio.
- There are 6 plugs on this circuit.
- One is for a a master bathroom and one is outside back deck.
- The other outlets are down stairs for a bathroom, garage, and in the front outside of the home.
- I changed the GFI with the same brand name and I changed four of the non working plugs.
- The problem is that after and even before I changed the plugs and breaker, it works for short time and then sometimes it works if I plug the refrigerator that is in the garage which has been in the garage for 19 years, however this problem just started a few months ago. The GFI breaker never trips either.
- So I plug in the radio to test the plug that do not work and four do not work but two outlets do work on the GFI breaker circuit(one is one of the 3 bathroom outlets,one is the back deck outlet).
- I went to Home Depot and I talked to a retired electrician and he told me to change the plugs and cut off some wire which I did all, but I still have the same problem.
Background: Vito, a Homeowner from Bristol, Tennessee.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Vito.
How to Fix Electrical Outlets that Do Not Work
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with hand tools and electrical troubleshooting skills.
Precaution: Identify the outlet circuit, turn it OFF and then Tag it with a Note before performing any wiring or inspections.
Note: Electrical troubleshooting outlet circuits is best performed by a qualified electrical contractor.
Troubleshooting Outlet Wiring Problems and Making Repairs
When a receptacle outlet circuit stops working it is time to identify the circuit and consider the devices that are plugged into the circuit, then examine the electrical splices and devices which will most likely reveal the problem.
- Inspect the Wiring for Faulty Connections
From the information that has been provided, I suspect an intermittent or deteriorated connection at the receptacle outlet at the refrigerator that is in the garage.
- Check Wire Splices
There is a good possibility that the wiring for all of the locations that do not work are spliced in the outlet box of the refrigerator.
- Repair Damaged Wiring
The damaged wiring a splices must be repaired using properly sized electrical wiring and splice connectors and wiring methods.
More about Repairing Electrical Wiring
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- This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
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 that I use to easily Detect 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.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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