Outlets shorting...

Reply

  #1  
Old 09-27-12, 03:33 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 19
Outlets shorting...

My microwave shorted the kitchen outlets today and I checked the breaker box. The breakers were still in the on position and tight. So, I suspected a loose connection in one of the outlets.

I unplugged all the appliances and pulled every outlet out of the walls. I looked for a backstab that was loose or a fried wire. Nothing...So I put it all back together. I tried plugging the fridge in and it shorted the kitchen out again. But, the fridge is wired to an independent breaker.

I looked at the breaker box; the fridge outlet breaker and the kitchen breaker did not trip. Both of them were still on and tight. So, I reset the breakers (off and then on) and tried plugging the microwave and range in while leaving the fridge unplugged. The microwave and range both got power. I thought my job was done. I tried to warm up a cup of coffee in the microwave and the kitchen shorts out again. As was before, the kitchen breaker did not trip.

Any idea what is going on?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-27-12, 03:50 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 19
I forgot to include that in the condition where the outlets short with the breaker still in the on position; I am getting 3.4V at the outlets. All my operable outlets give me 127V.
 
  #3  
Old 09-27-12, 04:25 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
in the condition where the outlets short with the breaker still in the on position;
What do you see that you're describing as a short circuit at an outlet?
 
  #4  
Old 09-27-12, 05:10 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 19
The first time, I reset the breakers. I was getting 127V at all the outlets. I plugged in the microwave and range. When I plugged in the fridge, I heard a "zapping" sound and the lights on the microwave and range went out. After this happened, I was getting 3.7V at the outlets and the breakers were not tripped.

The second time, I reset the breakers. Plugged in microwave and range. Tried to turn on the microwave. Power cut off to both. No "zapping" sound.
 
  #5  
Old 09-27-12, 05:53 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
The first time, I reset the breakers... The second time, I reset the breakers.
OK, so it did trip the breaker(s).

When I plugged in the fridge, I heard a "zapping" sound and the lights on the microwave and range went out... Any idea what is going on?
Yes. You have a loose connection somewhere, as you suspected. I would rework the receptacle for the fridge, and move any and all backstab connections to be screw terminations, for starters.
 
  #6  
Old 09-27-12, 07:01 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 19
I'm sorry, I didn't clarify. When I "reset the breakers," I switched them from on to off and back on. They have never tripped and stay in the on position.

I am now in the process of moving all backstabs to the screw terminals. I'm also going to change any old outlets to newer ones on this circuit. I'll post an update as soon as I finish. Thanks again for your help.
 
  #7  
Old 10-01-12, 04:16 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 19
Just pulled out the outlet for the refrigerator and as I was pulling it out the wires from the backstabs just released from the outlet. They must have been loose. I replaced the outlet and moved the wires to the screws. All is well. Thanks for the help.
 
  #8  
Old 10-01-12, 04:26 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Ah! Glad you fixed it, and thank you for the update and feedback.
 
  #9  
Old 10-01-12, 07:51 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,385
Just pulled out the outlet for the refrigerator and as I was pulling it out the wires from the backstabs just released from the outlet. They must have been loose. I replaced the outlet and moved the wires to the screws. All is well. Thanks for the help.
Now, do you understand that you didn't have a short? A short would have tripped the breaker, your problem was a poor connection.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes