Outlets not working -dangerous??

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Old 11-14-11, 08:33 AM
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Outlets not working -dangerous??

Hey all - please help me - I am a single mother and looking for some answers. When I moved into the house 10yrs ago - 2 of the living room outlets did not work. Had it checked by neighbor who couldn't figure it out. Since then, about 1 yr ago the problem "spread" to 2 outlets in my daughter's room. Now last week it "spread" to 1 outlet in kitchen. My biggest concern as I do not have the finances to hire an electrician is - Is this dangerous? Could this be a fire waiting to happen??

2nd question - could this be an easy fix that maybe I could do??
Thanks all.
 
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Old 11-14-11, 09:17 AM
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These receptacles are on different circuit breakers, right?
 
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Old 11-14-11, 10:23 AM
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not sure - all breakers seem to be ok - not flipped that is
 
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Old 11-14-11, 11:32 AM
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not sure - all breakers seem to be ok - not flipped that is
Tripped breakers often don't look tripped but are. You must move the breaker all the way to off then back on to be sure.

Also if the receptacle is back stabbed, that is the wires inserted into holes in the back of the receptacles, the wires need to be moved to the screws. The back stabs tend to fail because only a light spring maintains contact. A problem can be in the last good receptacle or first bad one.
 
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Old 11-14-11, 11:38 AM
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I'd say it's time to flip the breakers to off and take these receptacles out to inspect them.

Though, as Ray, said, they could be fine and the problem could be at the last working receptacle prior to these in the run of the circuit.
 
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Old 11-14-11, 03:26 PM
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how do you know which receptacles are in the run and which is last, etc??

is it dangerous to have receptacles that don't work?
 
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Old 11-14-11, 03:47 PM
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Depending on what's causing the issue...probably not dangerous. Most likely connections at the outlet or in the box are bad.

It's hard to tell what is first and last in a circuit...but thats why turning off the breaker and seeing which are affected is important. The electrician won't use more wire than necessary...so normally if you go from the panel...the closest outlet would be first...next closest second, etc. Not always...but normally.
 
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Old 11-14-11, 04:28 PM
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Gunguy is correct except in very old houses. In those the receptacles are often spidered out from the overhead ceiling fixture. Unlikely unless your house is more then 40 years old. If your house is that old pull a light fixture. if it looks like a rats nest of cloth covered wires and no ground wires that is how your house was probably wired.
 
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Old 11-14-11, 06:58 PM
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A cheap analog electrical meter will be handy in trouble shooting your issue. We do not suggest a digital one as they can be "fooled" by phantom voltage. A cheap one will only run about $15
 
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