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Just moved into home. None of the master bedroom outlets are working. Same breaker. I tested all four outlets via 3 pronged tester and all show as correct and working. Also tested voltage via multimeter and showing around 123v.

When I plug in a lamp I get dim light versus same lamp in other rooms. And a cell phone plugged unto charger keeps going from off to charging over and over. On off on off and so on at a steady pace. The whole breaker panel was changed/updated right before we moved in.

Scratching my head on this.

  • Sounds like the breaker panel version of "white carpet". You know, when the homeowner does work right before he sells the home... I gather you measured the voltage open-circuit (nothing plugged in)? What does it measure with the lamp plugged in? (be incandescent, or use a heater instead). – Harper May 20 '18 at 17:10
  • I just measured with the lamp on its dropping down to in the 70s on other outlet – Chris Arnold May 21 '18 at 3:21
  • You say the circuit breaker panel was changed. But have you tested it? Do you know what breaker/switch controls what? Could be they put a 15 Amp breaker in a spot where a 20 Amp breaker should be. – JakeGould Jun 1 '18 at 4:19
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You have a high resistance connection somewhere in the line. I would bet that if you have the lamp plugged into one of the outlets and turned on, if you then check another outlet, it will show a low voltage. The reason the tester and meter alone don’t show a problem is that they draw very little current.

First thing to check, with the lamp on, is voltage between neutral and ground. If it’s high, the bad connection is the neutral. If hot-neutral and neutral-ground are both low voltage, the bad connection is in the hot line.

Since you say the breaker panel was recently changed out, I’d start there. If you’re comfortable working on the panel with the cover off, check for a loose wire to the breaker or neutral bus. Remove the wires, clean or cut and restrip the wires and retighten. If you’re not comfortable, call an electrician.

One more note: you didn’t give the age of the house but if it was built in the ‘60s or ‘70s, you may have aluminum wiring. If the wires look silver colored instead of copper, stop and call an electrician. Aluminum wiring needs proper treatment to avoid future overheating and house fires. Judging from your question, I doubt you’re qualified to handle aluminum.

  • It was built in 57. I am definitely not qualified to handle anything above replacing outlets and checking for loose connections. But i am always up for learning and growing my knowledge as to be able to do things myself(with google and youtube) – Chris Arnold May 20 '18 at 16:41
  • I don't know, that was a pretty competent question, I suspect OP could train up on the aluminum-handling rules. AFCIs change the priorities quite a lot because they catch the major failure mode of aluminum. – Harper May 20 '18 at 17:21
  • Not likely all the outlets will have the same problem at the same time but old outlets will get loose over time not providing proper contact. – user76730 May 20 '18 at 19:17

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