I have three outlets in the bedroom that are not working. No breakers are tripped(all have been shut off and turned back on, just to see if something has been tripped someplace). No GFCI are involved.

I took the cover off an outlet and used a tester. I have electricity coming to the outlet off the hot (black) wire, but the ground I had to use to get the tester to light was the ground wire off the green screw. I looked at each dead outlet and they all test the same way. The white wire or screw on the side of the receptacle would do nothing to light my tester.

These are the only outlets not working in the house.


3 Answers 3


What you describe says that the neutral (white wire) is broken somewhere upstream from these outlets.
Try to trace the wiring back along its path and I'm certain you'll find a bad/broken/loose connection on a white wire somewhere.


As the other answers note, you have a broken or disconnected neutral wire somewhere upstream.

Using a tester was a good idea; to make testing plugs safer and much faster, you can get one of these for ten bucks from any hardware store:

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That way you'll know very quickly that you have an open neutral somewhere. It's also not a bad idea to do a quick check of all the plugs in the house to make sure none have swapped hot with neutral, have open grounds, and so on.


I had a wire come loose in the breaker box recently. Thought the breaker went bad until I started to replace it and the wire popped out of the connector.

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