Bizarre outlet and lighting issue


Old 11-27-10, 09:26 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: United States
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Bizarre outlet and lighting issue

House was built in 1976...I've owned it for two years. Just noticed this problem happening...can't say for sure whether it was happening before. When I plug an espresso machine into the GFCI outlet by the kitchen sink, a bank of three track lights go out in the adjacent family room. If I unplug the machine the lights come back on. If I leave the machine plugged in the lights will come back on after a few minutes. Doesn't happen all the time. Didn't think to check another appliance but will do so when I notice the problem happen again. Neither the GFCI or a fuse is tripped. Thoughts?
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Old 11-27-10, 09:55 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,506
It is probably a loose connection on this circuit. Either the physical action of plugging in the machine wiggles something loose or the machine is drawing a lot of current which causes a weak connection to heat up and open. You can fix this problem by opening up the receptacles, switches and light fixtures on this circuit and looking for loose connections. The problem is often found at a back-stabbed receptacle (wire poked into hole), and it can be fixed by moving the wire from the hole to the adjacent screw terminal.

Your home is also in the danger zone for having aluminum wiring which would complicate things if you find any.

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