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Thought my space heater had died when I plugged it in and it wouldn't turn on, not even the "on" indicator light, so I went out and bought a new one. When the new one wouldn't work either, I tested the outlet and a lamp worked just fine. Carried the heater around the house and had no problem with the heater working in other outlets -- just not in the room where I want it!

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Are you plugging the lamp and heater into the same outlet in the receptacle? Receptacles are sometimes split, to allow the top outlet to be controlled by a switch while the bottom is always hot. – Tester101 Jan 10 '12 at 11:59

The outlet contacts may be too dirty to carry a heavy load. Or they may be loose. Or the wires to the outlet may be loose either at the outlet or the in the breaker/fuse panel. I would recommend not using this outlet for anything until the point of cause is determined and corrected.

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+1, the number one diagnostic step would be to shut the electricity off in that room and open the outlet for inspection. – sharptooth Jan 10 '12 at 6:49
The outlet is probably just worn out or the connections bad. just replace it and be done with it. – shirlock homes Jan 10 '12 at 10:40

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