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Default electrical help needed

What's happening inside a socket (presumably) when turning on a light
causes the circuit to shut off? Not plugging/unplugging it, but rather
activating it? Here's the situation:

The room has a clock radio and a lamp with a CF bulb in it, and was
plugged into outlet #2 in the series. Sometimes when the light is
turned on, it then shuts off the power to it, and being a series
circuit, to the overhead light that comes after it in the circuit
(connection #4). I plugged the light/radio into the outlet that comes
before it in the series (outlet #1), and it worked, and also allowed
the overhead light to work again.
I had problems with this outlet (#2) a couple months ago. It had been
backstabbed when installed, so I re-wired it to the side posts, but
used the same outlet. I'm assuming my first move is to assume that
something's wrong with the outlet and to replace it, but I'm curious
as to what's happening in there to cause the problem, that's being
triggered by the light pulling current? Or could it be the lamp is
causing the problem, and just doing so sporadically, and will likewise
cause a problem in outlet #1?

Sorry, but this happened at my son's bedtime, so I wasn't able to
troubleshoot it with a multimeter at the time. Will do so tomorrow,
but wanted to get a post up here to get any feedback as soon as
possible. Thanks!
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Default electrical help needed


"albee" wrote in message
...
What's happening inside a socket (presumably) when turning on a light
causes the circuit to shut off? Not plugging/unplugging it, but rather
activating it? Here's the situation:

The room has a clock radio and a lamp with a CF bulb in it, and was
plugged into outlet #2 in the series. Sometimes when the light is
turned on, it then shuts off the power to it, and being a series
circuit, to the overhead light that comes after it in the circuit
(connection #4). I plugged the light/radio into the outlet that comes
before it in the series (outlet #1), and it worked, and also allowed
the overhead light to work again.
I had problems with this outlet (#2) a couple months ago. It had been
backstabbed when installed, so I re-wired it to the side posts, but
used the same outlet. I'm assuming my first move is to assume that
something's wrong with the outlet and to replace it, but I'm curious
as to what's happening in there to cause the problem, that's being
triggered by the light pulling current? Or could it be the lamp is
causing the problem, and just doing so sporadically, and will likewise
cause a problem in outlet #1?

Sorry, but this happened at my son's bedtime, so I wasn't able to
troubleshoot it with a multimeter at the time. Will do so tomorrow,
but wanted to get a post up here to get any feedback as soon as
possible. Thanks!



Since you already had a problem with one outlet and the back stabbed
connections it is quite possible that other outlets on the same circuit have
the same problem. I would also double check the connections on the one
outlet that you already replaced. Don't reuse the existing outlets. Start
fresh with new ones and get a better grade than what you have now.

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Default electrical help needed

On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 08:33:38 -0400, "John Grabowski"
wrote:


"albee" wrote in message
.. .
What's happening inside a socket (presumably) when turning on a light
causes the circuit to shut off? Not plugging/unplugging it, but rather
activating it? Here's the situation:

The room has a clock radio and a lamp with a CF bulb in it, and was
plugged into outlet #2 in the series. Sometimes when the light is
turned on, it then shuts off the power to it, and being a series
circuit, to the overhead light that comes after it in the circuit
(connection #4). I plugged the light/radio into the outlet that comes
before it in the series (outlet #1), and it worked, and also allowed
the overhead light to work again.
I had problems with this outlet (#2) a couple months ago. It had been
backstabbed when installed, so I re-wired it to the side posts, but
used the same outlet. I'm assuming my first move is to assume that
something's wrong with the outlet and to replace it, but I'm curious
as to what's happening in there to cause the problem, that's being
triggered by the light pulling current? Or could it be the lamp is
causing the problem, and just doing so sporadically, and will likewise
cause a problem in outlet #1?

Sorry, but this happened at my son's bedtime, so I wasn't able to
troubleshoot it with a multimeter at the time. Will do so tomorrow,
but wanted to get a post up here to get any feedback as soon as
possible. Thanks!



Since you already had a problem with one outlet and the back stabbed
connections it is quite possible that other outlets on the same circuit have
the same problem. I would also double check the connections on the one
outlet that you already replaced. Don't reuse the existing outlets. Start
fresh with new ones and get a better grade than what you have now.


Thanks, that was my thinking, though didn't think it would be a
different outlet, as only one was in use. And again, wasn't actively
being plugged/unplugged when problem occurred, so can you/someone
explain what goes on inside the outlet when a current is pulled
through it that might cause the disruption? Or could it be the lamp?
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Default electrical help needed

albee wrote:


Since you already had a problem with one outlet and the back stabbed
connections it is quite possible that other outlets on the same
circuit have the same problem. I would also double check the
connections on the one outlet that you already replaced. Don't
reuse the existing outlets. Start fresh with new ones and get a
better grade than what you have now.


Thanks, that was my thinking, though didn't think it would be a
different outlet, as only one was in use. And again, wasn't actively
being plugged/unplugged when problem occurred, so can you/someone
explain what goes on inside the outlet when a current is pulled
through it that might cause the disruption? Or could it be the lamp?


Often (like 50%) the problem outlet is not the one with the symptom.

The problem COULD be that the contact surface area is down to 0.001 sq mm.
Any current drawn causes immediate heating which deforms the contacts enough
such that they ceases to conduct.


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Default electrical help needed

On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 08:14:50 -0500, "HeyBub" wrote:

albee wrote:


Since you already had a problem with one outlet and the back stabbed
connections it is quite possible that other outlets on the same
circuit have the same problem. I would also double check the
connections on the one outlet that you already replaced. Don't
reuse the existing outlets. Start fresh with new ones and get a
better grade than what you have now.


Thanks, that was my thinking, though didn't think it would be a
different outlet, as only one was in use. And again, wasn't actively
being plugged/unplugged when problem occurred, so can you/someone
explain what goes on inside the outlet when a current is pulled
through it that might cause the disruption? Or could it be the lamp?


Often (like 50%) the problem outlet is not the one with the symptom.

The problem COULD be that the contact surface area is down to 0.001 sq mm.
Any current drawn causes immediate heating which deforms the contacts enough
such that they ceases to conduct.


Thanks for the possible explanation. I was just about to go get a new
outlet, and decided to retry things. I plugged back into Outlet #2,
and it gave a brief spark, although it did work and didn't affect the
circuit. Is that helpful at all? Needless to say, I'll be replacing
that one, at least. I had hoped to have the problem occur so I could
test the outlets with the multimeter.


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Default electrical help needed


"albee" wrote in message
...
On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 08:14:50 -0500, "HeyBub" wrote:

albee wrote:


Since you already had a problem with one outlet and the back stabbed
connections it is quite possible that other outlets on the same
circuit have the same problem. I would also double check the
connections on the one outlet that you already replaced. Don't
reuse the existing outlets. Start fresh with new ones and get a
better grade than what you have now.

Thanks, that was my thinking, though didn't think it would be a
different outlet, as only one was in use. And again, wasn't actively
being plugged/unplugged when problem occurred, so can you/someone
explain what goes on inside the outlet when a current is pulled
through it that might cause the disruption? Or could it be the lamp?


Often (like 50%) the problem outlet is not the one with the symptom.

The problem COULD be that the contact surface area is down to 0.001 sq mm.
Any current drawn causes immediate heating which deforms the contacts
enough
such that they ceases to conduct.


Thanks for the possible explanation. I was just about to go get a new
outlet, and decided to retry things. I plugged back into Outlet #2,
and it gave a brief spark, although it did work and didn't affect the
circuit. Is that helpful at all? Needless to say, I'll be replacing
that one, at least. I had hoped to have the problem occur so I could
test the outlets with the multimeter.



What do you expect or hope the multimeter will tell you? You know you have
a problem and you were already told what the solution is.

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Default electrical help needed

On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 16:22:00 -0400, "John Grabowski"
wrote:


"albee" wrote in message
.. .
On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 08:14:50 -0500, "HeyBub" wrote:

albee wrote:


Since you already had a problem with one outlet and the back stabbed
connections it is quite possible that other outlets on the same
circuit have the same problem. I would also double check the
connections on the one outlet that you already replaced. Don't
reuse the existing outlets. Start fresh with new ones and get a
better grade than what you have now.

Thanks, that was my thinking, though didn't think it would be a
different outlet, as only one was in use. And again, wasn't actively
being plugged/unplugged when problem occurred, so can you/someone
explain what goes on inside the outlet when a current is pulled
through it that might cause the disruption? Or could it be the lamp?

Often (like 50%) the problem outlet is not the one with the symptom.

The problem COULD be that the contact surface area is down to 0.001 sq mm.
Any current drawn causes immediate heating which deforms the contacts
enough
such that they ceases to conduct.


Thanks for the possible explanation. I was just about to go get a new
outlet, and decided to retry things. I plugged back into Outlet #2,
and it gave a brief spark, although it did work and didn't affect the
circuit. Is that helpful at all? Needless to say, I'll be replacing
that one, at least. I had hoped to have the problem occur so I could
test the outlets with the multimeter.



What do you expect or hope the multimeter will tell you? You know you have
a problem and you were already told what the solution is.


I thought it would help diagnose WHICH receptacle had the problem,
because I wasn't told THE solution, I was told one possibility. But
thanks for the input.
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On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 16:46:38 -0500, Terry
wrote:

On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 14:58:16 -0400, albee wrote:

On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 08:14:50 -0500, "HeyBub" wrote:

albee wrote:


Since you already had a problem with one outlet and the back stabbed
connections it is quite possible that other outlets on the same
circuit have the same problem. I would also double check the
connections on the one outlet that you already replaced. Don't
reuse the existing outlets. Start fresh with new ones and get a
better grade than what you have now.

Thanks, that was my thinking, though didn't think it would be a
different outlet, as only one was in use. And again, wasn't actively
being plugged/unplugged when problem occurred, so can you/someone
explain what goes on inside the outlet when a current is pulled
through it that might cause the disruption? Or could it be the lamp?

Often (like 50%) the problem outlet is not the one with the symptom.

The problem COULD be that the contact surface area is down to 0.001 sq mm.
Any current drawn causes immediate heating which deforms the contacts enough
such that they ceases to conduct.


Thanks for the possible explanation. I was just about to go get a new
outlet, and decided to retry things. I plugged back into Outlet #2,
and it gave a brief spark, although it did work and didn't affect the
circuit. Is that helpful at all? Needless to say, I'll be replacing
that one, at least. I had hoped to have the problem occur so I could
test the outlets with the multimeter.


If you plug something in that is "on" it is normal to see a spark.

Like he said, your problem could be a weak connection in upstream box.

Changing the recptical in question with a heavy duty or at least not a
cheapey would be the first place to start and don't use the backstabs.


Thanks. Just got back from HD, and I definitely won't be using the
backstabbing part (only ones they had, but will use the side posts).
In ref: to John's post, I wanted to use the multimeter to diagnose
WHICH receptacle had the problem, if I could (that is, if I could
re-produce the problem).
Thanks again for the replies.
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Default electrical help needed

On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 14:58:16 -0400, albee wrote:

On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 08:14:50 -0500, "HeyBub" wrote:

albee wrote:


Since you already had a problem with one outlet and the back stabbed
connections it is quite possible that other outlets on the same
circuit have the same problem. I would also double check the
connections on the one outlet that you already replaced. Don't
reuse the existing outlets. Start fresh with new ones and get a
better grade than what you have now.

Thanks, that was my thinking, though didn't think it would be a
different outlet, as only one was in use. And again, wasn't actively
being plugged/unplugged when problem occurred, so can you/someone
explain what goes on inside the outlet when a current is pulled
through it that might cause the disruption? Or could it be the lamp?


Often (like 50%) the problem outlet is not the one with the symptom.

The problem COULD be that the contact surface area is down to 0.001 sq mm.
Any current drawn causes immediate heating which deforms the contacts enough
such that they ceases to conduct.


Thanks for the possible explanation. I was just about to go get a new
outlet, and decided to retry things. I plugged back into Outlet #2,
and it gave a brief spark, although it did work and didn't affect the
circuit. Is that helpful at all? Needless to say, I'll be replacing
that one, at least. I had hoped to have the problem occur so I could
test the outlets with the multimeter.


If you plug something in that is "on" it is normal to see a spark.

Like he said, your problem could be a weak connection in upstream box.

Changing the recptical in question with a heavy duty or at least not a
cheapey would be the first place to start and don't use the backstabs.

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On Mar 17, 4:10 pm, albee wrote:
On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 16:46:38 -0500, Terry
wrote:



On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 14:58:16 -0400, albee wrote:


On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 08:14:50 -0500, "HeyBub" wrote:


albee wrote:


Since you already had a problem with one outlet and the back stabbed
connections it is quite possible that other outlets on the same
circuit have the same problem. I would also double check the
connections on the one outlet that you already replaced. Don't
reuse the existing outlets. Start fresh with new ones and get a
better grade than what you have now.


Thanks, that was my thinking, though didn't think it would be a
different outlet, as only one was in use. And again, wasn't actively
being plugged/unplugged when problem occurred, so can you/someone
explain what goes on inside the outlet when a current is pulled
through it that might cause the disruption? Or could it be the lamp?


Often (like 50%) the problem outlet is not the one with the symptom.


The problem COULD be that the contact surface area is down to 0.001 sq mm.
Any current drawn causes immediate heating which deforms the contacts enough
such that they ceases to conduct.


Thanks for the possible explanation. I was just about to go get a new
outlet, and decided to retry things. I plugged back into Outlet #2,
and it gave a brief spark, although it did work and didn't affect the
circuit. Is that helpful at all? Needless to say, I'll be replacing
that one, at least. I had hoped to have the problem occur so I could
test the outlets with the multimeter.


If you plug something in that is "on" it is normal to see a spark.


Like he said, your problem could be a weak connection in upstream box.


Changing the recptical in question with a heavy duty or at least not a
cheapey would be the first place to start and don't use the backstabs.


Thanks. Just got back from HD, and I definitely won't be using the
backstabbing part (only ones they had, but will use the side posts).
In ref: to John's post, I wanted to use the multimeter to diagnose
WHICH receptacle had the problem, if I could (that is, if I could
re-produce the problem).
Thanks again for the replies.


If changing out that receptacle does not clear up the problem the next
step is to turn off the circuit and try to find the next upstream
receptacle.

One good way to find the problem receptacle is after you identify
which receptacles are on the same circuit you can leave the light on
you have just fixed and try to make it blink by plugging something
into the upstream receptacles.

If you have a loose connection upstream wiggling the receptacle might
make it obvious.



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On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 16:39:17 -0700 (PDT), Terry
wrote:

On Mar 17, 4:10 pm, albee wrote:
On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 16:46:38 -0500, Terry
wrote:



On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 14:58:16 -0400, albee wrote:


On Mon, 17 Mar 2008 08:14:50 -0500, "HeyBub" wrote:


albee wrote:


Since you already had a problem with one outlet and the back stabbed
connections it is quite possible that other outlets on the same
circuit have the same problem. I would also double check the
connections on the one outlet that you already replaced. Don't
reuse the existing outlets. Start fresh with new ones and get a
better grade than what you have now.


Thanks, that was my thinking, though didn't think it would be a
different outlet, as only one was in use. And again, wasn't actively
being plugged/unplugged when problem occurred, so can you/someone
explain what goes on inside the outlet when a current is pulled
through it that might cause the disruption? Or could it be the lamp?


Often (like 50%) the problem outlet is not the one with the symptom.


The problem COULD be that the contact surface area is down to 0.001 sq mm.
Any current drawn causes immediate heating which deforms the contacts enough
such that they ceases to conduct.


Thanks for the possible explanation. I was just about to go get a new
outlet, and decided to retry things. I plugged back into Outlet #2,
and it gave a brief spark, although it did work and didn't affect the
circuit. Is that helpful at all? Needless to say, I'll be replacing
that one, at least. I had hoped to have the problem occur so I could
test the outlets with the multimeter.


If you plug something in that is "on" it is normal to see a spark.


Like he said, your problem could be a weak connection in upstream box.


Changing the recptical in question with a heavy duty or at least not a
cheapey would be the first place to start and don't use the backstabs.


Thanks. Just got back from HD, and I definitely won't be using the
backstabbing part (only ones they had, but will use the side posts).
In ref: to John's post, I wanted to use the multimeter to diagnose
WHICH receptacle had the problem, if I could (that is, if I could
re-produce the problem).
Thanks again for the replies.


If changing out that receptacle does not clear up the problem the next
step is to turn off the circuit and try to find the next upstream
receptacle.

One good way to find the problem receptacle is after you identify
which receptacles are on the same circuit you can leave the light on
you have just fixed and try to make it blink by plugging something
into the upstream receptacles.

If you have a loose connection upstream wiggling the receptacle might
make it obvious.


Thanks. I changed the #2 receptacle, the receptacle I was plugged
into, and the one upstream, just in case. Eventhough there wasn't
anything plugged into it, thanks to the help here I now understand how
having a load downstream of it could've caused it (#1) to fail. Though
it sounds as though the ones I got at HD weren't heavy duty
receptacles (guess I need to go to an electrical supply house for
them?), them being new and now hooked up via side-posts hopefully will
allow them to work for a decade or two, anyway.

Thanks again for all the help, everyone.
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