help with testing a receptacle or plug

in the garage, I have a dual-receptacle, grounded, where the top plug is reserved for the distiller, the bottom for the washer/fan
the bottom part contains a dual-split extender and the washer uses one side and the fan the other, both plugged into the bottom hole
today, the breaker tripped sometime during the day, so upon returning from work, I unplugged everything and reset breaker
once I re-insert the distiller plug into the top receptacle, the power plug arced slightly and the breaker tripped
I left the distiller unplugged and reinserted the dual-split extender with washer and fan, plugged into the bottom receptacle and they run fine - no breaker trip, so it's something with the either (1) distiller or (2) top receptacle but not sure how to check it out
the distiller and the dual-receptacle connection has been in place for several years, so it's not something that was changed recently
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It sounds like the distiller has gone bad. Try plugging the things from the bottom into the top. If they work properly, it's safe to assume the distiller is your problem

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