I have been replacing all the electrical outlets and light switches in my home. In one bedroom, one of the outlets stopped working after replacing all of the outlets in the room. I even tried several brand new outlets just to make sure I didn't have defective ones. I have checked every single outlet in the house, and they all work. I have tried every switch in the house to see if for some strange reason that was the cause. This particular outlet should be downline from a GFCI plug that I installed, the GFCI is not tripped, and every outlet down the line works. I have an old fuse box, and none of the fuses are burnt out. Any suggestions are much appreciated. I am not an electrician, just a DIYer.

Thank you

  • What kind of wiring methods are you using? Back stabs, screw terminals, screw clamps? Mar 18, 2018 at 4:41
  • 3
    The problem is most likely in the last outlet in the chain that is working, rather than in the first outlet in the chain that is dead. Mar 18, 2018 at 4:42
  • I am using screw terminals
    – Frank
    Mar 18, 2018 at 12:03
  • Can you elaborate on why the last outlet on the chain would be the issue
    – Frank
    Mar 18, 2018 at 12:04

2 Answers 2


I found the solution guys!! I traced the wiring of that outlet to the basement, and it isn't hooked up to anything. Hahaha. I don't understand why the outlet is even there if it isn't hooked to anything, but now I can rest easy knowing that my house won't burn down. Thanks for the help and the suggestions.

  • So, the outlet was dead even before you replaced it. Good to know. Mar 18, 2018 at 18:13
  • A dedicated circuit fir something like a micro or washer or refrigerator? Or a window ac unit ?
    – Kris
    Mar 18, 2018 at 19:23

I upvoted A I Breveleri's answer but don't have enough rep to comment yet. This answer is only good if your non-working receptacle has only one set of wires going to it. The reason it is probably , or most likely could be the last working recep in the chain causing the issue is this is where the feed is from. If the non-working receptacle is just downstream of a GFCI receptacle, it could be the GFCI is defective (which does happen occasionally, straight from the factory). If there are one or more working receps between, it's not the GFCI. I would go to the last working recep that feeds your outlet and check to make sure the screw terminals are firmly down on the metal part of the wire feeding to the receptacle. Be sure the insulation is not keeping the wires from making a good connection. Make sure the wiring looks good going to that receptacle. Since you said you have a fuse box, it leads me to think your wiring might also be the older type. It's possible that one of those wires got broken somewhere else between your non-working receptacle and the last working one. If you have a multimeter, ohmmeter, or continuity tester, you could do a continuity test on those wires between to make sure one is not broken. Another possibility, if all of your receptacles have just one cable or set of wires feeding them, you might have a junction box in the Attic, and the wiring feeding the non-working receptacle may have fallen out of its splice in that junction box. One last possibility I can think of that I've seen recently in an older house, they did have the receptacle switched from the switch box. If the wiring fell out of the splice in the switch box then it also would not work.

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