Open Neutral problem?

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  #1  
Old 12-10-15, 06:25 PM
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Open Neutral problem?

Hi Everyone, About 4 months or so ago, I picked up a laser printer & didn't have any issues electrical wise. Yesterday, I hit the button on the printer, so it could come out of power save mode. Well the problem is after I hit the button, half of the outlets stopped working (other half still works)

Based on doing some research, I'm assuming I have an Open Neutral situation. I also tried another test suggested on here, of plugging in a small radio into the outlet the printer was plugged into & plugging in an extension cord in another outlet that doesn't work. If the radio comes on, then I probably found the bad outlet (which based on what I described, I found).

I'm pretty sure the solution is to probably replace the outlet, but my question is along the lines of what would cause the outlet to become "open neutral"?

I mean did using a laser printer cause it, or something simple as the unplugging/plugging in items over a long period of time cause the wire to become loose or outlet to become bad? Overall once the problem gets fixed, I would like to be able to plug the printer back in without the worry about this happening again a week or month later.

Thanks
 
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Old 12-10-15, 06:29 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

You are just guessing the neutral opened. It could be the neutral or the hot wire. You'd need to use a meter to know for sure.

Your problem is not uncommon with high draw devices. When you woke the machine up.... there is a heating element energized to heat the drum. That's what caused the circuit to malfunction.

You will need to determine which receptacles are on that circuit as the problem is most likely between the last working receptacle and the dead one(s). The problem is not automatically at the dead receptacle....usually more than one are dead.
 
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Old 12-10-15, 06:39 PM
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You're right that I'm guessing the neutral is the answer. So if this not uncommon, will I probably have the same thing happen again, or probably not. Another question I have is if the printer drew too much electricity, why didn't the circuit trip?

When I did my test I plugged in the radio in the outlet the printer was plugged into, & I plugged the extension cord in the outlet right before it & the radio came on. The outlet before the one I plugged the extension cord is working fine.
 
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Old 12-10-15, 06:44 PM
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The outlet before the one I plugged the extension cord is working fine.
Often the problem is in the last working receptacle because it acts as a bridge to the next receptacle. Note all back stabs need to be moved to the screws. Have you read: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...ther-info.html
 
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Old 12-10-15, 07:00 PM
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The printer has a heating element in it that warms up the drum. It didn't draw too much electricity.... it used what it required to warm up. It's a lot more current than your little radio draws.

By common problem I was referring to an intermittent connection that was caused to open by a high current draw. A microwave oven, toaster, blow dryer are all items that can cause the same issue.
 
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