Kitchen from the Three Stooges

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Old 09-05-08, 09:42 PM
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Kitchen from the Three Stooges

This is a serious post. Frig plugged into dedicated receptacle (behind it). I plugged in a dustbuster on another receptacle right next to the frig. The frig stops working. I re-plug in the dustbuster, nothing. I plug in a toaster into the 'dustbuster' receptacle on the bottom, nothing. I plug it into the top and the frig starts working. If I unplug the toaster, the frig stops. The top receptacle is acting like a switch. The kitchen was rewired, btw. New home owner here. I thought Moe, Larry and Curly died. Is this something I can fix?
 
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Old 09-05-08, 10:01 PM
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This sounds like a multiwire circuit with an open neutral. If you do not understand electricity then I would not expect you to understand what that is but the bottom line is that you have a bad connection somewhere since I am assuming this all did work properly at one time. If you want to attempt fixing this I would turn off the breaker to all circuits in the kitchen. This will nore than likely be more than one breaker. Then open the outlets and check for bad connections. Be especially suspicious of connects that are back stabbed or pushed into the back of the outlet. There may also be a bad neutral (white wire) connection in the main panel. It never hurts to check for tightness of the screws there. But be careful when messing in the main panel.
 
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Old 09-05-08, 10:26 PM
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opened receptacle

I opened the faceplate. Everything 'seems' to be ok, black wires on right, whites on left, grounds twisted. But if I push the receptacle back in the box the fridg stops again. The receptacle is one of those time saving push-in-wire types. Could it be that pushing the recepatcle into the crowded box is somehow loosening one of the connections, causing it and the next recpectacle to also not work?
 
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Old 09-05-08, 10:44 PM
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Yes it sounds like that is what it is. One of the biggest problems in home wiring. There is one on here about every week or more often. Replace the outlet! and any other you can find wired that way.

If they could do a recall this would sure be one that would rank up there. Besides being a nuisance, like in your case, this can also be a fire and safety hazard.

This is not to be confused with NEW outlets that have back wiring through a hole. With the new style you push the wire in and tighten the side screw capturing it. This new way is fine and preferred.
 
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