Outlet on my kitchen island not working

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Old 02-18-14, 03:47 PM
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Question Outlet on my kitchen island not working

Hi folks - posting to see if anyone can suggest what may be happening with my kitchen island outlet. A few weeks ago, I began noticing this outlet sometimes wouldn't work, and other times like magic it would. I'd plug my laptop in and it was potluck whether it would charge or not. Well a couple days ago it stopped working altogether and has been dead ever since. I've tried resetting the GFI and every other GFI I could find in the kitchen, but no dice. So after reading up a little I went down to Home Depot and bought a voltage tester to confirm whether the wires in the box were live or not and lo and behold they are indeed live. Here's where I'm getting a little confused. I did the following:

1. applied the voltage tester to the outlet housing and got a positive reading - conclusion I reached based on this is the wiring inside must be loose or something along those lines
2. then I plugged in a phone charger and connected it to my phone just to double-check if it was getting juice - no juice, which reinforced my conclusion that something is up with the wiring
3. then while the phone and charger were still plugged in I applied the voltage tester to the charger and got a positive reading - I would have expected a negative reading (how could the charger be electrified if the phone is getting no juice??)
4. then I unplugged the charger and applied the voltage tester again just to make sure I wasn't just seeing a false positive from being too close to the outlet, but as I would expect, the charger came up negative once unplugged

Any ideas would be much appreciated!
 
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Old 02-18-14, 04:14 PM
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Sounds like you have a non-contact detector. These are fine for some things but this is no one of them. You can have power on the hot but you still need the return path provided by the neutral. You are going to need another type of tester. Even a simple neon tester would work. You need to check for power from hot the neutral and hot to ground.
 
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Old 02-18-14, 04:30 PM
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Thanks pcboss. So based on what I've described about the actual issue I'm experiencing, do you think my original conclusion of loose wiring is likely? I guess the best way to find out is to open it up. But I'll need to wait until tomorrow so I don't lose my lights.
 
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Old 02-18-14, 04:33 PM
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Your lights should not be on a kitchen receptacle circuit.

Yes, I suspect a loose connection.
 
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