One of the circuit in my house has all of a sudden died. It happened
when I was trying to plug in a (working) device in the outlet, and
something in the outlet popped with a bright spark. Now the circuit is
down, except when I use a voltage detector it beeps and when I use a
meter it shows a voltage of 3V. I don't think it's the circuit breaker
because I swapped it out and it didn't affect anything. What could
Many thanks in advance!
Outlets are frequently daisy-chained. Start from the circuit breaker and
check each outlet till you get to the last live one. Check the wiring leading
to the dead outlet.
Flip the breaker off to see which outlets are on the circuit.
The outlet is likely fried.
I've experienced several of these. The outlets are connected via stab-in
connectors. The current draw is just too great for the minimal contact, the
socket heats up, partially melts, distorts, rusts, barnacles develop, and
god-knows-what, such that the next time you plug in an electric clock, the
whole thing goes BOOM!.
The fix is simple. Replace the outlet. Might as well get a good one and
don't use the stab-in connections.
Thanks for responses.
Actually, it's not just the outlet - it's the entire circuit. I've
just replaced the outlet, but it didn't fix anything. Also, it's the
last outlet on the circuit. Could the event have broken a connection
somewhere else or killed the circuit breaker (although I think I've
Make sure you have really checked all the outlets. I had a similar problem
with all the outlets in one bedroom. Fuse box was labeled for that bedroom.
It also went to one outlet in the living room on an adjoining wall. My wife
found this while I was scratching my err head when she plugged in the vaccum
in there and found it didnt work either. It was then I noticed there was no
livingroom on the breaker panel. every outlet there was shared from some
other room in the house.
Check outlets on adjoining walls.
The outlet you replaced was blown all to hell, right? Black. Necrotic.
Melted. Covered with barnacles.
It's possible that the excessive current draw that fried this outlet put a
strain on some upstream outlet(s) and similarily caused them to fail. Sort
of a poor-man's GFCI.
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