Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


02:23PM | 08/16/06
Member Since: 08/15/06
4 lifetime posts
I have 14 outlets in my home and only one of the two recepticles in each one work. What can I do to fix this problem?


07:23PM | 08/16/06
Member Since: 08/15/06
4 lifetime posts
Let me be more descriptive to my previous message. I have 14 electrical outlets in my home that only half of the outlet works - meaning that I can only plug one thing into an outlet instead of the normal two things.

Does anyone know why this would be occuring and how I would fix it?


07:43AM | 08/17/06
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
The other half of the receptacles should be switched. Do you have a switch (or two) that you are not sure what it controls? Turn it on and see if the other half of the receptacle works.

Another possibility is that whomever installed the receptacles broke off the tab between the hot screws. This may have been due to lack of knowledge or a sick joke.

My bet is the switch.


07:51AM | 08/17/06
Member Since: 03/08/06
192 lifetime posts
My guess is that the outlets were wired to the wall switch. We have several like that with one switched outlet, and on live. I would replace the receptacles with ones that haven't had the tab separating the top and bottom receptacles removed. It is best to cap off the wires going to the receptacle that you think is bad if it was wired to a switch. (are we spelling receptacles incorrectly? )

New outlets are about $.35-$.50 each when purchased 10 at a time.

Don't forget to turn off the breaker and check for power.

replacement instructions....


10:51AM | 08/17/06
Member Since: 08/15/06
4 lifetime posts
No turning switches on and off solved the problem.

Regarding the cruel joke, it seems that that could be the case. The tab on the right side is missing, the left side is intact. I don't know why anyone would want to do this, I will have them replaced.

Thank you for your help.

doug seibert

06:56PM | 08/17/06
Member Since: 08/10/02
842 lifetime posts
The BRASS side is broken so the receptacles can be switched independently.......

The silver side (neutral) remains connected..... no need to replace.....

"...measure once.....cut twice....throw that one away and cut a new one...."

Tom O

04:28AM | 08/20/06
Member Since: 09/17/02
476 lifetime posts
If you can account for all switches working correctly and actually controlling something, you might want to look inside the switch boxes in rooms that have the 1/2 hot receptacles. You might find a cable that isn't doing anything. This cable may have been connected to a switch at one time or it may never have been connected at all.

Another possibility is that there is a wiring error at the receptacle where power was taken to the switch.

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