04:57AM | 12/19/05
Member Since: 12/18/05
3 lifetime posts
Please advise-- I have two electrical sockets not working on same wall-- I'm assuming it's not a fuse because my breaker shows all fuses "on". An electrician told me to check for a GFI, but I don't see one. Perhaps the GFI is in the fuse box? These two sockets are in the basement. My husband plugged a vacuum in the socket and the tv flipped off. Please advise!



05:26AM | 12/19/05
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
A GFCI breaker will have a test and rest buttons.

But more likely if it is a tripped GFCI then mroe likely it is GFCI receptacle. And depending on the age of the house that might be anywire. It might be in the garage, in a crawlspace, outside receptacle, in a bathroom or 1/2 bath.

In a similar case someone finally found it in a closet.


05:29AM | 12/19/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
If it is a gfi receptacle, it could be in a bathroom, garage, or outside. If it is a gfi breaker, look for one with a yellow or red button.


05:50AM | 12/19/05
Member Since: 12/18/05
3 lifetime posts
thanks-- given the situation I detailed above then you suggest I look around for a gfi receptacle? Is there anything else I should do to troubleshoot? I know there is one upstairs--- but the sockets that aren't working is downstairs?


doug seibert

06:14AM | 12/19/05
Member Since: 08/10/02
842 lifetime posts
You really need a tester to locate and repair the problem......a simple Non-Contact Voltage tester is a great tool to protect the beginner.....

a vaccuum cleaner pulls a lot of amps and Often the fault occurs at the receptacle in use or the receptacle before it......

......the broken receptacle is often "backstabbed".....the wires are merely PUSHED into the holes in the back of the device.....while the device was originally approved for this the devices have a high failure rate since the wire contact is weak.....

BEFORE TOUCHING ANY WIRES......CHECK FOR VOLTAGE WITH A TESTER!!!.......Remove the cover plate and use the tester on the screws and also in the slots .......Generally you will find power comes TO a device BUT the power will not be available AT the device......then disconnect fuses or circuit breakers to kill the power....Relocate any "backstabbed" connections to the side screws or replace the device and use the screws....... ......


06:20AM | 12/19/05
Member Since: 12/18/05
3 lifetime posts
I will absolutely get a voltage tester today-- I don't want anyone getting hurt!

Now, I understand your thread up to this point:

Relocate any "backstabbed" connections to the side screws or replace the device and use the screws....... ......

So, if the tester indicates that the power is coming to the device I'll certainly kill power... but tell me please how I relocate the connections? I can read online about how to replace the device... but what do you mean "use the screws"?

Forgive my ignorance.



09:42AM | 12/19/05
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
With backstab connection there is a whole in the back of the receptacle where the wire is pushed in. Next to is is a slot. To release the wire you need a small narrow flat blade screw driver in the slot.

But those are cheap (39 cents) receptacles anyway and it is often easier to just cut the wire and install a new receptacle.

Make a loop in the wire and it will go clockwise under the screws on the side.

Silver screws for the neutral (white wire).

The black (or red) will go on the dark or gold colored screws.

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