Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>Really Weird Electrical Problem in My Home
12 posts / 0 new
Last post
aromeda
Really Weird Electrical Problem in My Home

Hello! I have a troubleshooting question I have a home built around 1997. Receptacles gradually quit working in the master bedroom and bath. Well, the receptacles still work, but they aren't getting any power. I wired a new circuit from the box and tapped into the existing line (disconnected old circuit) where the line goes into the living area from the fuse box in the garage and the receptacles worked again for probably 6 mths, but then stopped again. It has now spread to some kitchen receptacles. I thought maybe rodents, but there are no signs of droppings even in areas where I have cut holes in the drywall to try and access the circuit's wiring. A couple of electricians have come out to no avail. I am hoping someone here might have experienced the same issue and found a solution. Thanks!

function
Re: Really Weird Electrical Problem in My Home

Have you tried simply changing the receptacles as they go out? Also have you tried checking to see if the line itsself is energized at the box that houses each receptacle?

You might just have garbage receptacles, but if more than one or two go bad that seems unlikely.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Really Weird Electrical Problem in My Home

A common complaint for receptacles installed using the stab connectors instead of the screws.

Jack

dj1
Re: Really Weird Electrical Problem in My Home

If a receptacle works fine then quits after 6 months, you got to think that the connections are bad. Check the connections. If they stab connections, change them to the screw connections, like jack mentioned.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Really Weird Electrical Problem in My Home

Stab connections are not to code in my fair city

Mastercarpentry
Re: Really Weird Electrical Problem in My Home

Legal or not, stab connections are awful and need to be made illegal. They are some engineer's idea of a way to save money that makes something simple more complex with no thought about the long-term effects in the real world.

Another 'fix' for something that wasn't broke, a common personality flaw found in most engineers :rolleyes:

Phil

dj1
Re: Really Weird Electrical Problem in My Home

One more thing: the stab system only works for thin 14 gauge wires, making it practically useless these days. And to release the wire you need a tiny little flat screwdriver, that you can never find in the tool box...

function
Re: Really Weird Electrical Problem in My Home
dj1 wrote:

One more thing: the stab system only works for thin 14 gauge wires, making it practically useless these days. And to release the wire you need a tiny little flat screwdriver, that you can never find in the tool box...

. . . and even when you find the screwdriver, the connections often don't want to let go without a LOT of wiggling, which eventually cracks the cheap plastic on the bargain bin receptacle, meaning you fave to throw the fracking thing away even if you liked it

dj1
Re: Really Weird Electrical Problem in My Home

function,

I have so many tools, but every time I need a tool I rarely use, I can't find it...you too?

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Really Weird Electrical Problem in My Home

We use them little screw drivers all the time. Your better bathroom trim fixtures sometimes come with a shiny new one inside the box.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Really Weird Electrical Problem in My Home

I got one of them in my tool pouch- they fit well in a nail-set holder. That doesn't mean I will remember this when I need it- that usually happens a few steps short of reaching the truck to go get one :rolleyes: On bath fixtures I use an altered a 2" flat hex-bit as it's easier to manipulate after being stuck into my convertible-tip screwdriver. It's a lot easier to handle with the bigger grip

Unless the wires are super-short, I just clip the stabbed buggers off as close as I can, then once the outlet is free I push the clipped ends back in just below flush with whatever is on hand, usually a regular screwdriver. If you take a close look at a wire that came from a stabbed connection, often it is slightly crimped or burned where the connection was made- this is a weak spot mechanically and electrically that you want to get rid of anyway so there's nothing to gain by putzing with the release buttons. They're there only for the wires that were stabbed all the way in that I can't push in below flush.

Phil

Pages

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.