Outlets Progressively Loosing Power?


My home, built in 1970 has several outlets (some GFI, some not) that seem to loose power over time. My wife's blow dryer used to work in all outlets, then quit working in some of them. Her curling iron will work in outlets that the blow dryer will not. I have had appliances that do the same thing in my home office (same home). An appliance will work in one outlet, then quit, I plug it into another outlet, it works, but may eventually quit, try another and so on. Once any given appliance quits working in an outlet, it never works again (in that outlet). The home has copper wiring.
Thanks for any ideas or advice.
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If these are the original outlets, I would go around the whole house replacing them with a good quality recepticals. The originals may have been wired with the back-stab method, don't use this method again, clamp the wires down with the side screws. It takes longer but is much more reliable. The appliances you mentioned are all large draw items, and would result in any bad connections getting worse.
If this doesn't help, you may have to go around to all the junction boxes, mostly behind light fixtures, to check for bad connections, as well as your fuse/breaker panel connections.

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Elliot T. Hill wrote:

Both EXT and Eric pointed to the same mechanism - the current flow causes the receptacle's connections to heat up and expand to the point where contact is broken - and I have to agree. If it's only a few outlets, and they're the most often used, then that would point to the receptacles' contacts and not the back stab problem. It's also possible that you only use those particular high wattage often-removed devices in those particular outlets. Use those same devices in some receptacles that you never use and see it you can recreate the problem that way. If you can, you may have a loose connection further down the circuit(s). As suggested, replace a problem receptacle and see what's what.
I'm kind of surprised that it's not tripping a breaker if that is what's happening. When you check the receptacle, check for any blackened areas around the connections or inside at the plug contacts.
http://www.allabouthome.com/tips/electrical/troubleshooting.html
R
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I am also wondering if you have copper or aluminum wiring, given the time frame that your house was built...
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Thanks for the replies. My office (in my home) was built last year, has new receptacles and has the same problems. Some of the troubled outlets are GFI, they don't look very old. Was GFI used in 1970? Truly perplexing. I am going to buy a volt meter and see what I am getting. Thanks again.

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my old house was doing that,i stuck a volt meter into elec plugs and got some low and some high readings, 120v being normal . the ground wire from the pole had a bad conection at the house. elec co figured it out after i told them of the voltage readings.about 15 yersago one of the 110 wires were burned thru on the line to the house caused about the same thing. lucas
http://www.minibite.com/america/malone.htm
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