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I have some dead outlets

 
 
Reply Tue 9 Jul, 2013 09:00 am
My mother in law has four dead outlets. My father in law tried to fix them before he died, but was unsuccessful. Supposedly, the breakers are good, not tripped, and he put in new outlets, but it didn't help. Two outlets are in the kitchen on adjacent walls - probably on the same circuit. The other two are in a different room on opposite sides of the same wall, the dining room and hallway - most likely together on a different circuit. I was hoping someone could think of a possible reason I could check for that I haven't thought of.

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Type: Question • Score: 8 • Views: 2,343 • Replies: 9
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Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jul, 2013 10:44 am
@slotcargene,
I'd hire a licensed electrician! It's much safer and easier than guessing.

Now ask me something that is tougher.
slotcargene
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jul, 2013 11:01 am
@Ragman,
Yeah, I know a couple - but when my father in law passed yesterday, unfortunately he left their finances in REALLY rough shape. She has very little money to spend - good thing she's still working at 71 years old. So I wanted a few things I could check for myself. I used to work as an electricians helper 20+ years ago, but I'm afraid I'm a bit rusty, but I can take instruction well.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jul, 2013 11:31 am
You have no idea what's going on in the walls or the shape of the wiring in them. Get a pro--it's cheaper than replacing a burned-out house.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Tue 9 Jul, 2013 11:41 am
@slotcargene,
First question: Is the GFI tripped? The ground fault indicator is a special outlet usually used in wet areas like the kitchen to trip off the circuit if there is exposure to water. Look for a GFI outlet near the kitchen sink. Try to reset it. Older houses may not have GFI's but if yours does, that is very likely the cause of your problem. If that doesn't work...

Second question: Do you have power to the outlet? Trip the breaker, remove the GFI outlet, secure the wires, turn on the breaker and use a voltmeter to see if you have 120VAC on the wires. If you do, replace the GFI outlet.

If you don't have power, you likely have a bad breaker. Here is a how-to video. Please note that while changing a breaker is not hard, YOU MUST TURN OFF THE MAIN BREAKER FOR THE ENTIRE HOUSE OR YOU MIGHT DIE. Don't let some foolish concern about the refrig getting hot or the TV being off make you do something stupid.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jul, 2013 11:47 am
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
Trip the breaker, remove the GFI outlet, secure the wires, turn on the breaker and use a voltmeter to see if you have 120VAC on the wires.


These are instructions for someone who knows something about electricity, not for a complete beginner like the OP clearly is. He should GET A LICENSED ELECTRICIAN.
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jul, 2013 11:54 am
@slotcargene,
Slot, it's pertinent to note that a peculiarity of a certain"modern" breaker design, that is, it appears to be on when it's really off, and if you're not familiar with the phenom it can drive you to distraction . Even if you flip it to OFF then back to ON, it's still not on

What you have to do is you once more switch it ON but then switch it OFF with greater alacrity: quicker and with more force. When you next flip it ON, it then does come on

…..., and yes it sounds nutty but believe me it's true

If this isn't your trouble however, then obviously a wire has broken or come loose somewhere: Good luck
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Tue 9 Jul, 2013 11:54 am
@contrex,
He got that advice from Ragman and said he wants to try himself. There are plenty of Youtube videos that show step by step how to do this (I linked to them) and this is well inside the typical do-it-yourself homeowner's capabilities. I've replaced house breakers and installed outlets and I'm not particularly handy (but I am careful). That said, if the OP does not feel comfortable, by all means get it professionally done.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jul, 2013 11:59 am
@engineer,
I agree, and his stated experience as an electrician's helper a few decades ago will likely make good instructions easy to follow.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jul, 2013 01:27 pm
Our house was built in 1946. There are at least 2 sets of wires running through the walls, newer ones replacing the old.

Maybe those outlets have not been updated. Be sure that the outlets are even connected to live wires.
0 Replies
 
 

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