no power


Old 09-20-07, 11:34 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2
Question no power

last night my son plugged his new tv into a receptacle in his room. when he did his table lamp on his desk went out as well as his small heater. i have a cheap tester with the three lights (left is red and other amber) when i plugged it into a socket the red and far amber go on. my question is..... why don't i have power???
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Old 09-20-07, 11:37 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
Posts: 4,808
Very classic sign for open netural what you have to do is turn off the breaker for that circuit then pull out the repectale and check for any loose wires espcally with backstabbed ones they are very norties for bad connection and move the wires to the screw termail.

check the other one as well it may get loosen up as well

I know it will take time but you will find it and get if fix it right.

if you have more question please do post it

Merci , Marc
Old 09-20-07, 11:43 PM
ray2047's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,126
Heater should be on a dedicated circuit. Not enough info on your tester to guess what the lights mean. My best guess is a loose neutral. The heater was probably putting a heck of a workout on the circuit. Pull all receptacles on the circuit. If wires back stabbed move to the screws. Replace any wire nuts with new ones. Check all screws for tightness. The problem could be in a working receptacle that feeds the three dead ones so that is why you need to check all on the circuit.

If by off chance the room shares a circuit with a bathroom, outside outlet, etc. it could be a GFCI but you shouldn't have a GFCI in a bed room. Seen strange things though.
Old 09-21-07, 05:14 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
The problem, as Marc has pointed out, is an open neutral. The neutral wire somewhere has become disconnected.

Check the receptacles in question, but also check EVERY receptacle or other location on the circuit. The problem could be at a working location or a non-working location.

As you are checking move any back stabbed connections to the screw terminals and remake any wire nutted connections with new wire nuts.
Old 09-21-07, 07:56 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Re: "small heater"

These things are small in size, but massive in the amount of power they consume. Most people don't realize that most homes are ill-equipped to support them.

By the way, your symptoms exactly match an open neutral. But they do not match a tripped breaker nor a tripped GFCI, so you don't need to spend time looking for those. But be sure to turn the breaker off before you start fixing connections. You'll know when you've got the correct breaker turned off because then all the lamps on your tester will be off.

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