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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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