Receptacle losing power but not tripping breaker?


Old 04-04-15, 08:52 AM
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Receptacle losing power but not tripping breaker?

Hi there!

My first time posting on these forums, so hello!

Long story short, the outlet in my home office loses power if both plug ins are being used. This is a new problem, as I have had the same computer in my office for several years. I have tried replacing the power bar (just in case), and to just run my computer is fine. However literally a minute or so after I plug anything else in (most recent thing was a charger for a phone) I lose power. As soon as I unplug the second thing, power comes back. However, I have had issues with this plug in the past losing power. It's not flipping the breaker though, which has me a bit concerned/confused.

My Pop is a licensed carpenter/contractor and he seems to think replacing the plug will work, but electrical is not his forte so I was wondering if anyone had any advice before I call an electrician. Nothing against calling an electrician, but it's a long weekend and I would like to fix this ASAP.

Also, the breaker panel is a new one that we had installed last year by a licensed electrician.
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Old 04-04-15, 09:26 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

It may be as simple as a defective receptacle or it may be a problem with the receptacle before that one where the feed comes from.

The breaker will only trip if you have a short or an overloaded circuit. You have neither so no problems there.
Old 04-04-15, 10:07 AM
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he seems to think replacing the plug will work
There are no magical parts in a receptacle that does not have added functions to go bad*. Only needs to be replaced if it gets burnt are doesn't hold a plug well. What can happen is a loose connection of a wire. Back stabs are notorious for this so any wires inserted in the back need to be moved to the screws..Because receptacles are daisy chained, one receptacle feeding the next, the actual problem may be in a working receptacle feeding the one working poorly.

Have you read:

*Receptacles with added functions such as GFCI or AFCI do have electronics that can go bad but nothing like that in a plain receptacle.

Plug: A male connection device.
Receptacle: A female connection device where you insert a plug..
Outlet: Anywhere power can be tapped. Examples, lights and receptacles.
Old 04-04-15, 11:17 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2015
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Sorry, I should have said he thinks to replace the outlet.

The outlet is loose, and they are original when the house was built, so these outlets are 30+ years old whether that makes any difference.
Old 04-04-15, 11:34 AM
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A connection may have loosened. Replacing the receptacle is a reasonable place to start.
Old 04-04-15, 12:13 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Shut the power off and pull the receptacle out of the box and replace it using the screw terminals,it's an easy DIY job.
Have fun!
Old 04-04-15, 12:13 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Posts: 6,445

Are you connecting your devices to the power strip or are the devices be connected directly to the receptacle?

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