Dead outlet and dead freezer

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Old 08-13-09, 02:29 PM
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Dead outlet and dead freezer

Hey out there-- On Monday, my boys made a frozen pizza and commented that "it was all squishy before we cooked it." The probably-20 year old deep freezer wasn't cold anymore. Oh, well. Got a new one, plugged it into the same outlet. Gee, the OUTLET isn't working! My house is only four years old. Never even crossed my mind that it might be the outlet, never had any problems with any of the wiring before. The only other thing plugged into that outlet is a radio we use once in a blue moon. My questions: Could the freezer have shorted out the outlet when it died? Neither plug works in the outlet, but all the other outlets in that room are working. There are no GFI's on that circuit-- it's in the utility room. Could a lightening strike have zapped it? Again, nothing else is damaged, not even the old radio. I did trip the breaker and reset it, to no avail. I don't see any burn marks or soot on the outside of the outlet. Any thoughts? Or did I just replace a working freezer (albeit old and probably needing replacing anyway) because of a dead outlet? At least it didn't happen when we were gone for a week... Thanks.
 
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Old 08-13-09, 02:46 PM
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First you need to open it up and check for backstab connections, wires stuck in the back of the receptacle. If you have them the wires need to be moved to the screws If that doesn't help you need to check.voltage between black and white and black and bare with an analog multimeter or test light. If still no voltage and this is the only thing on the circuit you need to check for voltage at the breaker. If there are other things on the circuit then it isn't the breaker and you need to start checking other receptacles, switches and lights on the circuit on the circuit. Not uncommon for the problem to be in a working receptacle that feeds the bad one. Again all back-stabs to the screws.

Of course you could do all this and find out it is a GFCI in the basement or outside, or in the garage or one you have hidden behind a box you have forgotten all about.
 
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Old 08-13-09, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by gruenke View Post
I don't see any burn marks or soot on the outside of the outlet. Any thoughts?
First, are you sure there isn't a GFCI on that circuit? Sometimes they're in out of the way spots like behind the storage rack in the garage, in the basement or outdoors.

Next, turn off the breaker, pull the receptacle out of the junction box, and check the inside of the box for burn marks or broken wires. Also check the last working receptacle on this circuit if you can identify where the power is coming from.

Or did I just replace a working freezer (albeit old and probably needing replacing anyway) because of a dead outlet?
Perhaps you did, but at least you'll save on your energy bill with the new one. A modern freezer probably uses less than half of one 20 years old.
 
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