no power after sparks from outlet


Old 08-13-05, 09:08 PM
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no power after sparks from outlet

As I unplugged a tool from an outlet, it sparked and blew out every light/outlet on that line. No fuses were blown or breakers tripped. When i test for power at all the outlets/lights, there is power but nothing works. Also, the white and black wires are both hot. I am pretty sure the white was not before this happened. Any clue what has happened and how can I fix it?
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Old 08-13-05, 09:47 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
You are testing for voltage, not power. Voltage does not need a complete circuit, but power does.

This is a very common problem. We see it here all the time.

You caused an open circuit on the neutral when you unplugged the tool. Shut off the breaker and check the connections of the white wire(s) at the outlet you unplugged the tool from. If there are any backstab connections (wires poked into holes), move them to the screw adjacent to the hole.

If this doesn't work, post back for more ideas.
Old 08-13-05, 10:04 PM
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I actually switched the outlet out with a new one because I thought I burnt the old one. Currently there is no outlet hooked up the wires, but I have tried it with and without and outlet on the line - same problem.
Old 08-14-05, 06:11 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Now you need to check every other receptacle, light, or other outlet on the circuit. Somewhere there is an open neutral. Your task is to find it, and fix it.

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