Outlets not working


Old 03-06-02, 08:44 AM
Julie Faber
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Outlets not working

All of the outlets in my family room are not working. I pushed all of the reset buttons in and out of the house that I could find, after a helpful e-mail from a member, and flipped all the breaker switches I could find. All outlets went out after I turned on a lamp. There was a popping noise, and they all quit working. Nothing I have tried so far has got them working again. My home is a modular home about 3 years old. I live in Wyoming. The closest town of any size is Cody, it is about 50 miles from Yellowstone Park. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks !
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Old 03-06-02, 09:33 AM
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There may be a loose wire or bad connection, or maybe the outlet is bad (shorted).

Start at the outlet that the lamp was plugged into. Turn the power off at the breaker, and test the outlet (both top and bottom part) to verify that the power is off.

Take the outlet out of the electrical box. Check all the wires again with a tester to make sure that they are not energized.

Look at the outlet and the wires in the box. Any loose wires? Sometines a wire will come loose from an outlet and cause a short circuit. If there are connections with wire nuts, check them. In fact, get new wire nuts and re-make the splices (one at a time, so you know where the wires go).

Install a new outlet. Buy a good quality one, $3-4, not a cheapo 39 cent one. Connect the wires properly.

If you need help on how to test for voltage, how to make a splice, etc, go to Warren Goodrich's website, or get a "do-it-yourself" book from the library.

If you do this, and still have a dead circuit, there the possiblity that the circuit breaker is bad. Time to call in a pro...

Good luck and work safe.

Old 03-06-02, 11:24 AM
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When you reset the breakers, did you turn them to off first and then back on again? They may have been in the "tripped" position in which case they would first need to be turned off and then flipped back on.
Old 03-08-02, 10:03 AM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Conus
Posts: 505

Hi Julie;
When the outlets go are you always using the same lamp? Before you tear apart wires, I would get a second lamp and plug it into another outlet. Then see if the outlets trip. This may help track down the offending outlet. It is also a possibility that there may be a short in the lamp.
The suggestion on the breakers is also a strong possibility. A lot of people do not realiize that they must be thrown to off first, then to on.

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