Outlets - Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don't

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  #1  
Old 08-06-07, 12:36 PM
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Question Outlets - Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don't

A strange situation...

At almost the same time every night (closed to 7:00pm) about half the outlets on one circuit stop working. And then, at almost the same time every night (closed to 10:00pm), the outlets begin to work. This has been on going for about a month. The breaker has never tripped and there is no additional power usage before the power turns off on those outlets.

Any help would be appreciated...
 
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Old 08-06-07, 12:49 PM
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Do you have two meters, two panels, or do you in anyway have a timer installed?

Did this just start happening,or has it been happening for you forever?
 
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Old 08-06-07, 05:38 PM
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Smile

I am a novice and don't know too much(lol), but my first order of inspection would be to pull out one of your receptacles (turn of c/b first) and see if the wires are back-stabbed. These are the source of many problems, so I read and am personally finding out for myself. Did you find a timer of sorts?? I suppose (just speculating) it wouldn't be impossible if the ambient temperature had something to do with it. Back-stab connections get overheated and become loose (very loose). once again it would not be inconceivable (to me anyways) if the ambient temperature change night possible cause the connection at a weak back-stab connection to make and break?? But yes mysterious!!
 
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Old 08-06-07, 05:50 PM
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1 meter
1 panel
No timer

It started around the time I installed two light fixtures. Both lights were installed in the two bedrooms which are connected to one Arc Fault breaker. However, it is only one bedroom that has been having the electrical problems, which I assume indicates the breaker is not the problem.

I've disconnected both light fixtures thinking this may be the problem, but unfortunately it changed nothing.

Now, I am trying to determine which outlet may be the faulty one causing the remaining in the row to not work. All wiring in the outlets and light switches are fed through the holes in the back...which I hate.

By the way, what is the best way to disconnect the wire from the back? I find it difficult to find something small enough to push in the hole to disconnect the wire.
 
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Old 08-06-07, 06:59 PM
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If this started when you did some work then it is likely you caused the problem.

If you don't have a small enough screw driver to release the back stabbed wires, then buy one. in the future, do not use the back stabs. They are unreliable. Use the screw terminals instead.

Check each and every receptacle or switch or other location on the circuit. Remake any and all back stabbed connections to the screw terminals. Remake any wire nutted connections with new wire nuts.

Verify all screw terminal connections.
 
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Old 08-06-07, 09:19 PM
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In the boxes for the light fixtures remake any wire nutted connections with new wire nuts.
 
  #7  
Old 08-20-07, 06:13 PM
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Problem solved

One wire was not snapped into the back of the outlet. It was loose.
I pulled out all the wires connected in the back, and remade the connections to the screws. Problem solved.

The outlet was located on the south wall, so I assume that the connection became loose near the end of the day due to increase in external heat. The outlets alway lost the connection near the end of the day.

Thank you to all the replies...they certainly helped.
 
  #8  
Old 08-20-07, 10:01 PM
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It's that lady down the street, with the switch that she can't figure out what it does. Tell her to stop.
 
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