outlet stopped working


  #1  
Old 11-18-03, 08:12 PM
groovydogg
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outlet stopped working

A three prong outlet suddenly stopped working. I took it out and w ith a volt-ohm meter found that from black to white I am reading approximately 3 volts. From ground to either black or white I am reading approx. 115 volts (I say approximately because the meter is not digital but has a needle). all these readings are from the wires and not the outlet slots. As far as I know all other everything on the circut is working. It was an over night thing. One morning my shaver worked when I plugged it in, the next day it did not (but it works inother plugs). I replaced the plug and nothing changed. all the voltages are the same.
I don't know if it matters, but we have a federal pacific service boxs inthe house. I read a post about an open neautral being caused by a bad "back stab" connection. I'm guessing that a back stab is when you stick the wire in that back and don't use the screws. This plug was using the screws. Is it possible that I have the same problem? Could anyone direct me to some reading about what an open neutral is?
THANK YOU!!!!!!
 
  #2  
Old 11-18-03, 08:31 PM
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If there is 115 volts on the neutral then there is probably an open neutral. Is there anything else that has stopped working as well?Another recept or a light perhaps. With the breaker off you will need to start looking for a bad splice or device. post more info and we'll find it.
 
  #3  
Old 11-18-03, 08:57 PM
groovydogg
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As far as I know everything is working. Should I check only on that circut or anywhere ? If it is a bad device, will the problem correct when I unhook it?
I appreciate the help.
Brad
 
  #4  
Old 11-19-03, 12:00 AM
J
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Check all other outlets on the same circuit. Start with the ones nearest the failed outlet. You do indeed have an open neutral somewhere.
 
  #5  
Old 11-19-03, 08:34 AM
groovydogg
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Hi, Am I looking for a plug or switch that otherwise works but has a neutral lead that is not making contact with the third prong or am I looking for a place where the grounds are twisted together and one has broke? I will start taking covers off and look for things that are obviously out of sorts. But it will help when I find out what I am looking for.
Brad
 
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Old 11-19-03, 07:01 PM
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you are looking for a white wire that is no longer making good electrical contact eitker because it has become disconnected completely or more than likely it has become loose either in a backstab connection of a device or a bad splice.
 
  #7  
Old 11-19-03, 07:03 PM
J
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Bad connections come in many forms, and you must look for them all. My money is on a backstab, but don't rule out loose wire nuts, loose screw connections and broken wires.
 
  #8  
Old 11-20-03, 08:02 AM
groovydogg
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I checked all the plugs, switches and lights and found nothing obvious.
AM I looking for a a place where the outlet is not grounded (the wirse come off or broke) or a place where the ground wire 'circut' is broken and not making it to the next outlet? There are a couple of plugs and switches that are not grounded and never were. The copper wire is just inthere and not attached to anything. As best as I can tell all the pig tales of ground wire are fine and the ground goes from outlet to outlet. After giggling everything around when I looked at them, the outlet is still not working. Seeing as I only used this outlet for shaving it is not the worst thing in the world if it never works, is it a fire hazard?
 
  #9  
Old 11-20-03, 08:16 AM
bubinga1
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Grounds should be hooked up if there is a ground wire there, and a place to hook it up to the switch or outlet,
but they will not be the cause of your outlets not working.
The others are leaning towards a netural(white).(silver screw)

Thanks, Tony D.
 
  #10  
Old 11-20-03, 02:51 PM
J
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As was just said, grounding has nothing to do with your problem.

Did you find any backstab connections? Did you move all of them that you found? Did you remake all wirenut connections (I suggest brand new wire nuts)?

You're not looking for something obvious. You're looking for something subtle.
 
 

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