This is not the first time that my mom and I have had to change the outlets in my bedroom because three of them were broken and needed to be fixed. Every time I plugged something in to the one behind my headboard it would spark. One time I plugged something in wrong and it tripped the breaker, so we had to immediately get them fixed. In 2017 the outlet behind my headboard and one at the far end of my bed stopped working all of a sudden, and we haven't tried to fix them since. (In the same year, during the summer my father and brother broke a plug in our hallway, and we decided to change that one also.)

So, we started with the one in the hallway and we did it all and turned our breaker back on and it didn't work. We told one another that maybe that it didn't work because of mine being broken. (The hallway plugin and my headboard plugin are on the same wall together and same spot mostly.) So we changed the one in my bedroom and I tried mine and then the hallway's and it still did not work.

Does anyone know what we did wrong or what could be wrong? We are absolutely confused and frustrated. (By the way we had an electrician and he had fixed three plugs in my room and my light switch, just to give that info) Please, if anyone could give us some advice, that would be great. Thank you so much.

  • At the very minimum, a list of the wires (and colors) going in and out of each outlet, along with the connections you made would be necessary.
    – Jeffrey
    Feb 2, 2018 at 22:49
  • there are black wires and white wires, the one in our hall way has one of each but the one behind my headboard has two whites and two blacks, but we got each of them put on the right screw (black on gold and white on silver) sorry for not adding the details Feb 2, 2018 at 23:03
  • in 2017 my plugin behind my headboard and one at the far end of my bed stopped working ... you need to find the cause
    – jsotola
    Feb 3, 2018 at 2:51
  • 2
    All due respect it's time to consider that the repeated failures may reflect on your techniques, or less likely the quality of products you are buying. There are also bonus techniques you can do which will help further. It will also go a great deal easier if you can divide and conquer: do you know the sequence the wires go from the breaker to each outlet? It may be a tree with branches rather than a string (and that's fine)... Feb 3, 2018 at 3:54
  • Meagan, are you saying that after the electrician fixed the plugs in your room that the outlets in your room still do not work?
    – wallyk
    Feb 3, 2018 at 5:01

1 Answer 1


Ok, trying to figure this all out.

Is this a rental or do your parents own the home?

Are you saying the outlets are physically or electrically broken?

Do any outlets or lights in the affected areas work?

Now that that is out of the way...Why are these outlets "breaking?" You must have a short in either the house wiring or the device you are plugging in.

Do any of the outlets have test and reset buttons? If so, make sure they are reset.

DO NOT TOUCH ANY OF THE WIRES, THEY CAN KILL YOU WITH THE BREAKER ON Now, the best thing to do is to take a picture of all the outlets that are "broken" and post those so we can see what is going on and also draw a diagram of all the outlets. If you don't have the proper tools or the house is a rental, don't try to "fix" this issue. Get the tools, help of a friend that knows what to do, or the landlord.

First, to help with the hall outlet, this one with only 2 wires (3? is there a ground? bare copper), after being replaced, for some reason, it has no power. This is probably because it is the end of a chain of outlets. This means that until the outlets before it are fixed, it won't have power.

So, where do you start...well, turn the breaker off at the main panel to the room(s) with issues. Take the covers off the outlets (ALL outlets) and pull them out of the boxes. Turn the breaker back on and test for power at each wire with a non-contact voltage tester.

If there is power, then you can proceed. Turn the breaker back off.

If you have an outlet with 2 wires (3 if you have ground) then save it for last. If you have an outlet with 4 wires (6 if you have ground), is this a GFCI/AFCI? If this is, that must be wired correctly to function and if it is the first in a daisy chain of outlets, no other outlets will function correctly if not wired correctly. If it is a GFCI/AFCI, you need to determine which pair of wires are the line (Hot) and which are the feed (goes to the next outlet.) Hook those up in the correct places on the outlet. If not GFCI/AFCI, then make sure that the wires are hooked and tightened completely. Then move on to the next outlet.

It might be easiest to start with one outlet, replace/rewire, turn the breaker on and test. Then if it works, repeat with the next outlet.

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