Outlet charges some things but not others

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  #1  
Old 02-26-14, 10:34 AM
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Outlet charges some things but not others

Hi!

The outlets in my master bedroom and bathroom have not been working properly. They will charge things like phone, lamp, ipad, etc but when I go to use them for my hair dryer or hair straightener, they will not power those items.

I have no clue about anything electrical or home improvement but I am hoping to get some feedback as to whether or not I should call an electrician and if so, what I should say to them as to what my problem is. I worry that having no knowledge about this subject might lend itself to me being a target of being overcharged and I would just like to have some idea of what to say.

There are none of those "reset" buttons on any of the outlets in the master bedroom or bathroom that I can find. There is one int the upstairs guest bathroom and all of those outlets work fine. I checked all the breakers and none of them are tripped. That's about all I know to check.

Thanks so much for your feedback.
 
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Old 02-26-14, 10:58 AM
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Outlets work sometimes

Welcome to the forum.
Don't know that I have ever come across anything like this before so I will give my best educated guess. If the lamp is LED there may be enough capacitance in the neutral to allow it to light, much like holding one of those two wire LED testers in one hand and using the other lead to test for the hot conductor. As far as the charging units, not sure about those. I think you have a bad neutral connection somewhere in the receptacle circuit. Since you have no electrical experience I would suggest you call an electrician and have him/her check the circuit for a bad neutral connection. Maybe some else has seen this and can jump in here.
 
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Old 02-26-14, 11:03 AM
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I have no clue about anything electrical or home improvement but I am hoping to get some feedback as to whether or not I should call an electrician and if so, what I should say to them as to what my problem is.
Yes, I think you do need to call an electrician. Explain the problem to him just like you did in this forum. Of course, it's impossible for anyone on this forum to diagnose the exact problem, but if I were to make a wild guess I'd say you have a loose connection somewhere that allows the voltage to drop drastically when you plug in a high wattage appliance such as a hair dryer.
 
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Old 02-26-14, 12:21 PM
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Using a multimeter, preferably analog, you can check the voltage with no load and with a high amp load to confirm the problem is most likely a loose connection. Any receptacles on the circuit need to have back stabs* moved to the screws.

*Back Stab: A small hole in the back of the receptacle into which a wire can be inserted instead of wrapping it around the screw. They are less reliable then screws because only a small strip of spring metal maintains contact.
 
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