outlet problem


Old 07-05-05, 05:10 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 8
outlet problem

I Live in an older mobile home(1973) problem is one day one of my electrical outlet in living room just quit working. replaced it and still doesnt work the tester says open neutral. help please!
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Old 07-05-05, 05:31 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
An open neutral means that the neutral wires (the white wire), sometimes called the return wire, has become disconnected or broken.

The problem is either at the receptacle in question or the receptacle that feeds this receptacle. It could also be a broken wire in the wall, but that is not likely unless someone has been hanging pictures or doing work and accidentally hit a wire in the wall.

The problem is usually a failed back stab connection. Some receptacles and switches have back stab connections. These are small holes in the back of the device where you insert the wire. Small springs hold the wire in place. There is a small slotted slot next to the back stab hole where you insert a screw driver to release the wire.

These connections invariably fail over time, leading to an intermittent or constant open connection. Sometimes the failures are due to a large current draw, such as from a vacuum cleaner. Other times the failed connections are due to pounding on the walls, such as from remodeling or simply someone banging the walls.

Check for a failed connection by opening all the receptacles and switches on the circuit. Start with the receptacle just before the failed one (if you know which one it is). Move any back stab connections to the screw terminals on the receptacle. Hopefully this will fix your problem. If it doesn't, post back for more tips on isolating the problem.
Old 07-05-05, 01:38 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 8
Smile thanks

thanks for the help the outlet that wasnt working is now. It was the back stab connection on my fridge outlet it pulled right out thanks again.

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