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Electric wall outlets

Posted By: Chuck W.
Monday, 1 January 2001, at 3:34 p.m.

I have been having trouble with a wall outlet in my house, I hope someone can help me.

The outlet has worked fine for years. Recently, when a vacuum cleaner was plugged into it, the outlet ceased supplying electricity. The other lights and outlets on the same circuit no longer had power either. I checked the breaker and it was not tripped. I switched the breaker on and off a number of times and still no power to that circuit.

I put the breaker in the off position and took the offending outlet apart. I could not see any obvious problems with the wiring.

I turned the breaker back on and I tested the circuit with a two lead circuit tester. I inserted the leads into either side of the outlet and the indicator light remained off, indicating (I think) that there is no juice coming to the outlet.

Then, I inserted one lead into one side of the outlet and the other into the ground hole in the outlet and the circuit tester light went on. I think this means the outlet is still grounded and not short-circuited.

I could not get power to that outlet or any off the other outlets or lights in that circuit, so I went on to other chores. About two hours later, I discovered the all the outlets and lights on that circuit now had juice, including the offending outlet. I plugged a power drill into the offending outlet to test it, it ran for a split second and then the circuit went dead again. The breaker did not trip. Any advice and what could be the problem here?

Thanks Chuck W.

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