Outlet not working

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-13-10, 01:23 PM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Michigan
Posts: 44
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Exclamation Outlet not working

Okay...this is a good one. I have done quite a bit of wiring, albeit I don't claim to be an expert, and I have never experienced this situation before. I have a couple of computers and and outlet where I have my chest freezer and mini fridge plugged into on the same circuit (20A). Computers are working fine, breaker not blown (obviously), but for some reason the outlet for the freezer and fridge (I tested it with a circuit tester and it lights up showing me there is juice at the outlet, maybe a little dim) will not even light a nightlight. Anyone have any idea what may be wrong? I am about 12 hours from losing everything in my freezer and I would like to figure this thing out and get it fixed. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Matt
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-13-10, 01:51 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
Received 5 Votes on 5 Posts
If you have a refrigerator and a freezer plugged into the same receptacle, it is probably melted and the contacts are only being held by a wing and a prayer. Remove the source of power, unplug the two appliances and pull the receptacle. It could be backstabbed, in which case the connection is the poorest yet, and the heat from the appliances isn't helping.
When you get it fixed, dedicate a line to the refrigerator, one to the freezer and one to the computers. There's no need to have the compressors kicking in and out while your computers are plugged in it. Not a nice sine wave.
 
  #3  
Old 01-13-10, 01:58 PM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Michigan
Posts: 44
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I unplugged both the freezer and refrigerator from the outlet. I replaced the outlet with a brand new one, no backstabbing. Still, the outlet shows juice on the electrical tester, but it won't light a 7 watt nightlight. The wiring looks to be in real good shape. The setup with the computers and freezer and fridge worked just fine for about 2 years...now all of the sudden, this. I just don't get it.
 
  #4  
Old 01-13-10, 02:15 PM
I
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,944
Received 43 Votes on 41 Posts
There is a weak connection somewhere else in this circuit. Check any other receptacles, switches and light fixtures on the circuit. The bad connection could also be at the breaker or the neutral bar in the panel. Move any backstabs to screw terminals and remake wirenut connections. Either white or black wires could be the culprit.

Heavily loaded circuits experience thermal expansion and contraction which can cause connections to loosen up over time. The loose connections then arc, which produces oxidation, and further degrades the quality of the connection. The cycle continues until a wire melts off or the connection gets so bad that no current can flow.
 
  #5  
Old 01-13-10, 02:18 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
If power goes to the computer receptacle first pull the computer receptacle and redo the connections. Are you sure there is nothing else on the breaker? Are you sure there isn't a Jbox in the circuit?
 
  #6  
Old 01-13-10, 02:47 PM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Michigan
Posts: 44
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
There is a Jbox on the circuit...unfortunately it's in the attic and where it is located (in the addon portion of the attic above my front porch) I can only get within about 6 feet of it...I can't reach it because the roof edge comes down to the wall at that point. There is one other receptacle (outdoor receptacle almost directly outside of the interior one) that is on the same circuit that I "believe" connects to the interior receptacle in question via the Jbox...that I can't reach. I am guessing that I will have to cut a hole in the ceiling of my porch to gain access to the Jbox and run new wire and put the Jbox into the main attic where I have easier access.
 
  #7  
Old 01-13-10, 02:59 PM
I
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,944
Received 43 Votes on 41 Posts
As described it sounds like the position of the junction box is illegal anyway as the code requires all junction boxes to be permanently accessible.

If you do cut a hole in the ceiling, you can either extend the junction box through that hole and put a blank face plate on it, or put a removable panel over the hole so the box remains accessible. You do not necessarily need to move the junction box, just make it accessible.
 
  #8  
Old 01-13-10, 03:53 PM
R
Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 339
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
For the time being unplug your fridge & freezer, get extention cords and plug them in another circuit that works. This will save your food while you trouble shoot the problem.
Jim
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: