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Thread: Dead Outlets

  1. #31
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobL43 View Post
    Did I miss something here? TYCO? Kleenex, Romex®, romaloz. what was that wizzing sound that just passed over me?
    Yes you missed it.

    They caught the crook and tie wrapped their hands with UL approved Tie Wraps. They are also LAPD approved.

    It is all good.


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  2. #32

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    The Electrician came over Monday and one of the dead outlets had a bad connection. The connection was taped up and seemed like it was tight and even the Electrician after untaping the connection said it looked tight but only after pulling on the wires did he discover it was not wrapped as tight as it looked. Sorry it has taken me so long to get back. Thank you all very much for your time and replies.

  3. #33
    DIY Junior Member mcnakamura's Avatar
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    Default Re:Dead Outlets

    Problem solved.! I went ahead and took apart every outlet and switch . Looks like there was a faulty connection at the timer switch for the overhead light. I guess this outlet branched off from it. I was confused since all other lights and switches worked and the failure happened during load.
    Last edited by Terry; 09-01-2012 at 10:44 AM.

  4. #34
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A multimeter is a very high impedance load - that means that it puts essentially no load on the circuit. Just like a battery can show a high voltage until it is loaded, an a/c circuit can look good until there's a load on it (and the meter isn't it!). It's kind of irresponsible to just twist and tape wires up, especially if one of them is stranded and the other is solid wire which is common for things like a timer and house wiring. All power connections should be made with approved methods - crimps, terminal boards, wire nuts, or other specially designed and approved devices. When a string of outlets or switches stop working after having worked for awhile, it is almost always a bad connection, either a loose screw, or something like this, an unapproved method of attaching wires together.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #35
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    FWIW I had 4 dead outlets in a room, and a tap on one, the incoming, lit them all up. It was a backstab. Older one, I admit.

  6. #36
    DIY Junior Member BrianK's Avatar
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    I've also had 2 backstabbed problems in our house (built in 1987). The faulty installations were both in relatively lightly loaded circuits so I don't believe heat was the problem. In both cases, the copper wires were tarnished and not nice shiny copper as they would have been originally so perhaps this coating caused the problem. One problem was created when we plugged in a clock radio in a duplex that was never used before (in a bedroom) and this killed power to other lightly loaded bedroom plugs. I think when the plug was pushed in it disturbed the duplex just slightly which caused the problem. I've never had problems when screws were used - properly (tightened). Not sure how a backstab could be installed incorrectly (unless the wire wasn't stripped enough or pushed in far enough)

    I always use the screws on duplex recepticles and light switches rather than the backstabs (even though it is really tempting because it is easier to just push in the wire) and always recommend this to others as well. From my experience and by logically looking at the design, I have also come to the conclusion that, in the long term, backstabs are not as robust as the screw terminals - for various reasons. Just because devices are tested by UL and other agencies doesn't make them reliable nor does it guarantee that they will work in the long term. I doubt that in this case they tested the effects of corrosion (or tarnishing) on the device. Just my 2 cents based on observation.

  7. #37
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you daisy chain the receptacles (a fairly normal situation), each receptacle needs to support the full line's current unless you connect the wires together and use a pigtail to feed the local device. So, the cumulative load on the circuit is what's important, not the local load.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #38
    DIY Junior Member BrianK's Avatar
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    Ahh yes - but the licensed electrician (not me) too the easy way out and daisychained utilizing the infamous (aka poor) backstabs. I personally would daisy chain using the screw terminals rather than the pigtail method which would be required on both the hot and neutral because I don't like cramming all the extra wires into the box behind the duplex. I've never had a problem with the screw terminals. Having all the load go through each backstab is asking for problems regardless of the UL or any other approval - but that of course is just my opinion based on experience.

  9. #39
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianK View Post
    our house (built in 1987). One problem was created when we plugged in a clock radio in a duplex that was never used before .
    What you are saying is you had a receptacle that wasn't used for 25 years?

  10. #40
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianK View Post
    Having all the load go through each backstab is asking for problems regardless of the UL or any other approval - but that of course is just my opinion based on experience.
    Are you saying that your experience is far greater than UL?

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