Power or not?

Old 03-14-11, 11:10 AM
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Power or not?

I have 4 recepticles on one circuit in a bedroom. I use my tester with a light on them and the light comes on but whenever I plug anything in the recepticles nothing will work. I have plugged multiple things into these recepticles and nothing will work.
Old 03-14-11, 11:28 AM
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Some voltage is probably being induced on the wires in the bedroom resulting in a false positive. It is commonly called phantom voltage. Once an actual load is placed on the circuit, the voltage disapears. You have no power in that bedroom.
Old 03-14-11, 11:36 AM
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Neutral wire problem

It sounds to me like you have a neutral wire giving you the issue. I'm sure the pros will jump in momentarily but I've went thru this myself. Tester will show voltage but plugging in a light etc will not work.
Old 03-14-11, 12:09 PM
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First you need to get a reliable tester such as a cheap analog multimeter or good quality digital meter or a test light. Have you turned the breaker for this circuit all the way off then on? Open the receptacle and measure from black to ground. If you have voltage there but none between black and white as suggested you probably have a bad neutral.

You are going to need to open receptacles switches and lights on the circuit. The problem may be in the last good or first bad. Move any back stabs to the screws and remove and replace any wire nuts.

If the first test showed no voltage from black to ground and no voltage from black to white start looking for a tripped GFCI receptacle. It could be anywhere, inside or outside. Sometime they are long forgotten and hidden behind furniture or a box in the basement or garage.
Old 03-14-11, 12:59 PM
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I agree this sounds like an open neutral, but we need some backstory. Are you trying to diagnose a problem? Did these work before and now they don't? Is this a new install?

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