Receptacle Faults


Old 04-17-05, 10:57 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Receptacle Faults

I have two receptacles one in kitchen and one in garage that just stopped working. I measure the VAC between the black and white and get zero volts, however the receptacles on both sides work. In the garage I can see the wires continue to an over head light that works but there is no voltage in the receptacle. In the kitchen, I assume the wiring goes from receptacle to receptacle and the ones directly to the left and right have power. Please tell me what could be wrong?
Sponsored Links
Old 04-17-05, 12:27 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 973
How old is your house?

Do you know for a fact that these two recepticals are on the same circuit?

Do you know for a fact that the recepticals surrounding them are on the same circuit?

Did they both quit working at the same time?

Have you checked for a tripped breaker or GFCI outlet (GFCI outlet might be anywhere, including basement, garage, kitchen, bath, outdoors, etc)?

What do you get measuring voltage from hot to ground (assuming you have a ground at the outlet)?
Old 04-22-05, 04:27 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a

The House is 15 years old
The receptacles are on two completely different circuits, garage and kitchen
The kitchen one quit working about 9 weeks before the garage.
I have checked all GFIs
The voltage from readings are:
Black to Ground 1.3 volts
White to Ground 0.5 volts
Black to White 0.4 volts
What can you tell me?
Old 04-22-05, 07:06 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Fayetteville, NY, USA
Posts: 1,052
Are you shoving the tester leads into the receptacle slots, or placing them on the wires themselves? It could be broken parts inside the receptacle, and if you're testing at the slots it could show no voltage, but the wires inside the box might not be dead.

Also, it is not clear from your description if the dead garage receptacle is on a different circuit from the dead kitchen receptacle. Or if the one to the left and right that are working are on a different circuit from the dead garage receptacle is on a different circuit from the dead kitchen receptacle. Please clarify.

It is extremely common for a person to check all over the place for a tripped GFCI and not find one, post back, and receive advice to check again. Often times a GFCI is behind a shelf, a pile of boxes or lumber, behind a workbench or a refrigerator in the garage. Or it is located in a place that makes no logical sense at all in relation to where the dead receptacles are, like a basement receptacle on the same circuit with the kitchen or garage.

Another possibility is that the dead receptacles are downstream on the same circuit as a back-stab receptacle. The offending receptacle may and often does work, but the "feed-through" portion has a bad connection and the downstream receptacles are dead. To find one can be uncomplicated. Turn off the breaker that the dead receptacles are on, and go about the house testing all receptacles to see if they went dead when the breaker went off; basically you are identifying all receptacles that are on that circuit. Once you've found them all, turn the breaker back on. Plug a radio into one of the dead receptacles and make sure that it's on and tuned to a station. Go to all each live receptacle on that circuit, shove an extension cord into it and wiggle firmly. If the radio comes on, the one you wiggled has a bad connection in it. Remove the wires from the back stab terminals and place them on the screw terminals.

That's all I can come up with with the information you have provided thus far.

Old 04-22-05, 09:56 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
The one in the kitchen is on a circuit that supplies outlets in the kitchen and laundry room. The receptacle to its left is on a "kithcen" circuit and works, The one to the right is on the launry room circuit and it works as well.
The outlet in the garage is on the "garage" circuit and since I don't have drywall I can see the wire running from one working outlet to the bad one and then up to the light on the ceiling which also works as a light and outlet.

I am using aligator clips and testing for VAC on the back of the receptacle, actually clipping on the wire.
Old 04-22-05, 01:59 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,678
From your description I say change the bad receptacle in the garage. The receptacle appears to be defective. If there is a 14/3 cable and the light is switched the problem could also be in the good receptacle on the line before the dead one.
Old 04-23-05, 04:14 AM
ElectricalMan's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Harrisonburg
Posts: 744
Why not just pull the recept that is not working out and test the actual wires instead of using the actual recept for testing. Over time corrossion ( eww..I spelled that wrong ) or oxidation and so on could have built up and causing a weak connection or again just plain bad recept....just pull the recept that is giving you a fit and check the wires directly.....

Then post what you find...........also not the wires in the box when you pull it......

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes