11:33PM | 12/25/03
Member Since: 12/23/03
17 lifetime posts
Recently, one outlet in my home has stopped working in the living room area. The immediately adjacent outlets still work. Any ideas on how to find out what caused this one outlet to stop working?


05:47PM | 12/27/03
Member Since: 11/14/00
333 lifetime posts
The wires probably disconncted or the outlet went bad.

The reason it does not interrupt the entire circuit is that electrical code requires that each outlet be fed by "pigtails," and not be directly wired to the circuit. A pigtail is a short wire that connects to the line splice inside the junction box. As such, for each splice in a simple, single outlet box in the middle of a circuit run, there will be three wires going into each wire nut: the (1) incoming and (2) outgoing wires for the circuit (which maintain the circuit even if something goes wrong with the outlet), and (3) the pigtail (which goes to the outlet). For a simple outlet, there will be three wire nuts: one hot, one neutral, and one ground.

That way, if something goes wrong with the outlet (as happened here), it only affects that outlet, not the entire circuit.

[This message has been edited by Lawrence (edited December 27, 2003).]


08:27AM | 12/29/03
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
Do you have a switch on the wall you can't figure out what it controls? It probably controls this outlet. Maybe it's a dimmer that some one turned down. It shouldn't be a dimmer by the way.
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