I just bought a recently renovated house and the house inspector said that all the plugs in the basement worked.
Well... I plugged in several devices into the plugs and they don't power on. If I use my voltage tester I can see that the plugs are indeed 'hot', however they do not actually provide any juice.
All of the affected plugs are on the same breaker as well as the lights for the basement. The lights have no issues turning on.
What are some steps I can take to figure out what the problem is?
I opened up one of the plugs to see if there was anything visibly wrong. All of the contacts appeared to be wired correctly. I swapped out the receptacle for a new one I had purchased and I wired it into place. I attempted to plug a small test lamp into the new receptacle without fully screwing it into place and a bolt on the hot side that wasn't fully tightened brushed the side of the metal box thingy and caused a spark! eep! I'm guessing that means the power and the ground are working. I turned off the breaker and screwed the receptacle in properly and tried the lamp again and still nothing.
I purchased a receptacle tester and the receptacles all show
blank, yellow, yellow which seems to indicate that they are wired correctly. Next step I will hook up a volt meter.
Ok I plugged in the multimeter and it only goes to 30... to make sure my multimeter wasn't out of whack I plugged it into my working outlets and the needle went to 120V. Soo, for some reason I only have a quarter of the voltage I should have, weird.
Update 4: Resolution, so I caved and hired an electrician. It turns out the wiring for the plugs ran through a light fixure. Inside the light fixture all of the neutrals for the plugs were wired to each other, however, they were not wired to the main neutral! The electrician screwed a wire nut on the 2 bundles and low and behold, working plugs everywhere. Thanks for the help everyone!