Old 12-16-00, 10:02 AM
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The problem is not the tv. The outlets do not work for the tv but I was able to light the lamp with that outlet. I am puzzled. When this occurred, the lights, the tv, and my pc kinda faded off and on then off. If I can fix it I'd like to but if I have to call an electrician I will. Thanks for responding. gl
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Old 12-16-00, 11:32 AM
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Sorry Grace, but this has me stumped. I know of nothing that could cause this. Are you sure you plugged your TV into exactly the same half of the same outlet that powered the working light? And the light works both before and after the TV doesn't work. And are you absolutely sure the TV still works on some other outlet in your house (run an extension cord if you need to)?? Put on your best detective hat, and use those science fair techniques that Mrs. Arnold taught you in the 5th grade.


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Old 12-16-00, 02:01 PM
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John, right now the tv is plugged into another outlet across the room via an extension cord. The pc is on an orange line. I have orange cords going every which way in my LR and Office. I just plugged in that lamp into the outlet in question and it worked. So, I then plugged in the tv and there was a spark and the tv did respond for just a second. Then the lamp went out too. Now what? Sounds like a short doesn't it? I appreciate ya, John.
Old 12-16-00, 04:57 PM
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Well, at least we are now in the same universe. The laws of physics seem to apply once again. I'm still don't precisely understand your descriptions, but let's forge on anyway.

There are only a few things that can be wrong:

(1) If everything on this circuit is out, the I'd suspect the circuit breaker or a GFCI. Figure out which circuit this is on and turn off the circuit breaker. Did anything go out that wasn't already out? If not, then the problem affects the entire circuit. So you've either got (1a) a tripped breaker, (1b) an overloaded circuit, (1c) a bad circuit breaker, or a tripped GFCI. If the tripped GFCI, then it can be because you have (1d) a real ground fault, or (1e) a bad GFCI outlet.
(2) If it's not the entire circuit (i.e., something else when out when you shut off the breaker), then you have (2a) a bad connection somewhere, or (2b) a bad outlet.

Here's some troubleshooting suggestions:
(1a) Turn the breaker off hard and back on hard again. If power is restored and doesn't go away again, then it was just a temporarily overload.
(1b) Unplug everything except the TV (and turn off all light switches on this circuit) and reset the breaker as in (1a). If the TV now works, then you may have too much stuff on the circuit, or you may have problem (1d).
(1c) If the breaker constantly trips, it might be bad. But I wouldn't suspect the breaker until you've ruled out everything else first.
(1d) Figure out if you have a GFCI on this circuit. It may be on the breaker itself, or more likely on one of the outlets on this circuit. This outlet may be very hard to find and may be quite distant from the other outlets on the same circuit. You will have to look hard. Unplug everything on this circuit and shut off all switches. Plug a lamp into the TV outlet. Press the "reset" button on every GFCI outlet in your house -- you likely have a number of them. If the lamp ever comes on, you have a GFCI problem. One at a time, plug things back in and turn switches on to see if the lamp goes out again. Suspect the thing you energized that tripped the GFCI.
(1e) If you discovered a tripped GFCI in (1d), but everything checks out fine, then try replacing the GFCI outlet itself.

(2a) Identify every outlet and light on this circuit. Turn off the power and pull each one, one at a time, out of the wall. Look for any burn marks and check all connections to ensure they are tight. If outlets or switches are using the push-in connectors on the back, rewire them to use the screws instead.
(2b) If any outlet seems suspect to you, replace it.

If all this fails, call an electrician. He/she will be able to identify the problem in minutes.

Good luck.
Old 12-17-00, 12:51 PM
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I suspect that John Nelso hit it when he said loose connection.

You stated in your previous post that you could run a 60 watt bulb on that circuit but when you ran a tv or anything else the circuit died.

I would check the back of your receptacles to see if the conductors are just plugged into the back of the receptacles. This is a common problem that shows up. I suspect that one of these plugged in conductors in the back of your receptacles has deteriated to the point of losing its integrity. This loose connection is stong enough still to carry the light load of the 60 watt bulb but when you increase the load with an appliance such as a tv then the connection fails. Then when you try the 60 watt bulb again the connection remakes enough to again carry the light load.

You might want to start your search in the receptacles on that circuit for signs of loose connections. Just pull on them and look for heating. If you don't find the loose conncetion there then follow the rest of what John Nelson said. I thinks he is right.

Good Luck


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