There is a room in my house that has three outlets. For the longest time, I knew that one of them was causing an issue where it would just suddenly stop working. me being a procrastinator however, I never got around to fixing it.(please wait to scold me after I get a solution.

I had a roommate move in about 2 months ago and they have their tv plugged into said out. well just last night it stopped working. No burnt smell, no tripped breaker and no GCFI. I told him to plug into the next closest outlet and i would get a new outlet from the store and replace it in the AM.

Well the next closest outlet also produced no electricity. The one on the opposite side of the room however has power.

So I ended up picking up two new outlets just in case and started this morning changing out the one furthest from the TV(not the one the tv was originally plugged into.) After hooking the wires up Black to bronze, white to silver and stripped ground to green, i still have no power on That outlet.

Can someone tell me what could be causing this? my theory is that the problem with the one by the TV could be stopping the flow of electricity to the other outlet(I'm not an electrician and have very limited experience with the craft.) I have installed several new outlets in my house before this, so i know enough to know how to do that properly.

Little fun fact, in a stroke of sheer stupidity, I curiously touched the white terminal to the ground terminal with a pair of spaced needle nose pliers, which gave me electricity to the lamp i had plugged in to test(again scold me for my stupidity later.)

Should i go ahead and try replacing the other outlet or what?

  • 2
    No; before you do anything else, you need to learn something about the craft, and get the appropriate tools. You were apparently trying to replace an outlet while the power was still on. You also need to find the fuse box, and learn how to determine which breaker/fuse corresponds to a given outlet. Commented Feb 5, 2018 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


No one I know of can tell you exactly what's happening. From a troubleshooting aspect, your problem is probably a disconnected or loose wire. It can be either a neutral or hot wire.

The procedure to find the wire is to first find the circuit(s) that are having the problem. Then check for power at the breaker and check the neutral and ground at the buss for loose connections (warning this would require you to pull the cover off the panel and expose live conductors). Once you have established that the problem is not in the panel then you need to pull each device and fixtures on the circuit and examine them for loose connections. Also look for burn marks or damaged components. Make sure every splice is secure and making a sound electrical and mechanical connection.

If your residence was wired by someone who used the push in back wire connection on the receptacles, remove them and reconnect to the screw lugs on the receptacle. You can probably go on youtube for the proper way to make a connection.

Remember you are looking for a loose or disconnected conductor so the problem may not be at the receptacle not working, but somewhere downstream of the problem. If all of this seems a little overwhelming, then you should consider to bring in a service electrician to assist you in finding the problem.

I should also mention that if you are removing covers and pulling components you can be exposing yourself to live parts and there is a risk of electrical shock or burn. So make sure everything is dead inside the boxes before pulling devices out for inspection.

Good luck

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