Hallway mystery

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  #1  
Old 12-21-13, 08:47 AM
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Hallway mystery

I live in a 1400 sq ft framed home built in 1969. Have lived here for 11 years. We have a short hallway with 2 bedrooms at the end... one on each side of the hall. The hallway has one electrical outlet and one light switch... not connected to each other. We have always had a small night light plugged into the hallway outlet and it has always remained on, until a few weeks ago. I replaced the night light the new one did not work. However, both night lights worked when I tried them in other outlets. I checked the outlet with a voltmeter and it showed no juice. I replaced the receptacle with a new one even though the wires still showed no juice. The breakers are normal and none had tripped. After weeks of wonder and curiosity, by chance, we identified a mystery... in one of the two bedrooms there is a wall electrical outlet about 3 feet below the bedroom light switch. The two are not connected. Whenever we plugged anything into that wall receptacle... the hallway night light would come on, and I could run vacuums and other things from the hallway receptacle. As soon as we unplugged whatever we had plugged into the bedroom receptacle, the hallway receptacle goes dead again. I am a pretty fair handyman and can do or fix most anything, but electrical is easily my weakest link. Any suggestions?
 
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Old 12-21-13, 09:28 AM
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Have you opened the second receptacle and checked for loose connections? Can you pull the connected receptacles out and take picictures showing us all the wires and connection? http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html

Guess: In the receptacle box under the switch you have two cables connected to the receptacle. If so temporarily remove the receptacle and wire nut black to black and white to white. Does the hall receptacle now work? If you have any variance from what is described do not attempt the test.
 
  #3  
Old 12-21-13, 10:49 AM
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Thanks so much! When I removed the receptacle and begin nutting black to black, my problem became obvious. Instead of cutting the cables to the correct length when the home was built, they simply coiled up the extra 4 inches of wire inside the box. Doing so caused one of the black cables to have more than a 90 degree bend and at that bend the copper wire had broken. It seems that plugging something into it caused it to connect enough, thereby sending juice to the hallway. Then, unplugging from the receptacle caused it to again lose the juice. I shortened that cable by 4 inches, removed the stub that had broken off, and it now has a proper bend and everything in both rooms and the hallway work as they should. Many thanks!
 
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Old 12-21-13, 10:58 AM
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Glad you got it. Thanks for letting us know.
 
  #5  
Old 12-22-13, 03:46 AM
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I live in a 1400 sq ft framed home built in 1969.
hmmmmm......I don't suppose the house was wired with aluminum wire?
 
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