How to tell if the wall outlet is shorting.

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Old 04-22-12, 12:46 PM
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How to tell if the wall outlet is shorting.

I tried to turn on TV and it wouldn't turn on and was making a funny clicking noise. Unplugged it and plugged back in to see if that would help. The TV still doesn't work but when I plugged it back in the outlet it sparked. The outlet is still working as I had other things plugged into the lower part of outlet. Did the TV short and spark the outlet or the outlet short and kill the TV?

Thanks,
Cheryl
 
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Old 04-22-12, 01:38 PM
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It is not unusual to have one of the plug blades spark when plugging in an electronic device. However if the spark is coming from the side or behind the wall plate there could be a wiring problem.

Get a lamp or radio (or something else) that you know works properly and plug it in to the suspect receptacle outlet. That is, unplug the TV and plug the test lamp or radio into the exact same receptacle, not the one above or below it.

If the lamp or radio works properly the problem is with the TV.
 
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Old 04-22-12, 06:03 PM
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I suspect a loose connection on the receptacle. Turn to power off and check the connections. Move the wires to the screw terminals if the backstabs were used.
 
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Old 04-23-12, 09:05 AM
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Thanks for that information. The faceplate is off for painting. So the spark I saw definitely came from the backside. I plugged a lamp into the same outlet as the TV and it works. BUT when I tried plugging the lamp into a surge protector power strip, the power strip light is on and the lamp won't light. Also I did notice that the outlet the TV was in is very loose.
 
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Old 04-23-12, 10:21 AM
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You need to turn the breaker off and follow PCBoss' instructions.
I suspect a loose connection on the receptacle. Turn to power off and check the connections. Move the wires to the screw terminals if the backstabs were used.
 
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