Question about power outlet

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  #1  
Old 08-10-04, 06:19 PM
nick12000
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Question about power outlet

In one of my rooms, there is a switch connected to a power outlet. Though, I turn on the switch, the light (floor lamp) is not turning on (If I connect the lamp to other outlet which doesn't have switch, it is turning on). Also, when I used tester, I can see power coming to the outlet when I turn on the switch. But if I connect some thing like lamp, it is not working. Can someone please tell me what could be wrong?
 
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Old 08-10-04, 06:23 PM
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How are you testing for power at the recepticle?
 
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Old 08-10-04, 06:39 PM
nick12000
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I used the circuit tester (which will be like a small screw driver) to test the power.
 
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Old 08-10-04, 06:53 PM
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How are you testing for power at the recepticle?

Where are you inserting/attaching the leads of the tester.
 
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Old 08-10-04, 09:31 PM
nick12000
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I inserted that in to the flat hole (where we insert the plugs).

Just now I opened the outlet and checked the connections. They are looking fine.
 
  #6  
Old 08-11-04, 05:07 AM
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I believe that the circuit tester that you used will light if there is any significant _voltage_ present on a wire. It cannot tell you about 'power'.

I presume that you have the sort of tester that looks like a screwdriver and sticks into a _single_ hole in the receptacle; if not, then ignore the rest of this post.

When you stick the tester into the hole and turn the switch on, the tester indicates that you have voltage relative to ground at that hole. However this tester has tremendously high 'impedance', meaning that very little current is needed for the tester to indicate voltage. (Since the tester goes into a _single_ hole, there is in fact _no_ metallic circuit for current to flow through. The only currents that we have are capacitive and leakage through the air. _Very_ low current, indeed.)

_Power_ requires both voltage and current.

When you plug your lamp in, it completes a circuit between the hot and neutral slots on the receptacle, and actually permits significant current flow.

When this happens in your circuit, the voltage goes to zero.

This means that you have either a 'high impedance' connection somewhere, or an open neutral. There is a wire broken either most of the way, or all of the way, somewhere in the circuit, and current can't flow.

The indication on the voltage tester gives you very little information. All it tells you is that there isn't a clean break on the hot side of the circuit. There might be a clean break on the neutral side of the circuit.

-Jon
 
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Old 08-11-04, 05:20 AM
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My suspicion is that the neutral is missing. This can be for many reasons. A common one is a failed backstab connection on a recepticle.

You need a better tester. Buy yourself an inexpensive neon lamp tester. Test from the hot wire to the eutral wire, then from the hot wire to ground.

If the tester shows nothing from hot to neutral, but does show power from hot to ground then you have a missing neutral. You will need to look for and repair where the neutral is broken.
 
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Old 08-11-04, 11:17 AM
nick12000
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Thank you guys for your suggestions. Yes, I used the tester which goes in to a single hole (which will be just like screw driver). Let me get a good tester and check out the things what you guys have mentioned.
 
  #9  
Old 08-11-04, 01:07 PM
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You have a missing neutral. Perhaps the tab was broken off both sides of the receptacle when it only should be removed from the brass side.
 
  #10  
Old 08-12-04, 10:35 AM
nick12000
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Yes, neutral is missing. Now it's fine. Thanks you all for your suggestions.
 
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