Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

A single receptacle suddenly stopped providing electricity in my living room. It is not a GFCI. The other outlets work fine and the circuit breaker didn't trip. Any ideas?

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 17 down vote accepted

Some possibilities:

  • it's controlled by a wall switch and you turned off the switch.
  • the receptacle is old and worn and no longer making a good connection to the plug. The main symptom of this would be the plug being loose in the socket; it's unlikely to happen suddenly so you might have noticed it beforehand.
  • the receptacle was overloaded and got damaged. You might see some visible signs of charring or smoking around the receptacle -- especially if you remove the cover plate and look inside the electrical box -- if this is the case.
  • a loose connection in the wiring has finally failed (this might be in a different part of the circuit).
  • it's on a completely different circuit from the other receptacles in the room. If you're adding an outlet, the most convenient place to get power from may not be other points in the same room; it could be from an adjacent room's circuit, or even from a different floor in the house.

A non-contact voltage tester will help you find out if you're still getting power to that receptacle. If so, replacing the receptacle will probably fix the problem.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks. Turns out it was a wall switch I hadn't noticed before. –  Two Bit Gangster Dec 8 '11 at 0:59
1  
Attaboy up vote for getting on the first line. –  lqlarry Dec 8 '11 at 1:29
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.