I have an outlet in my home that not only does not work if it is not in a certain position, but shuts off the power to about a 1/4 of my home if it’s not in an awkward angled position.

At first I thought it was being overloaded, and I even tried flipping the breakers with nothing plugged in, and it will keep the power down. There must be something plugged into that outlet and it must keep the outlet in an odd angle for it to run and not shut off electricity in other areas of the home.

Does anyone know what’s causing this or what I can do to fix it?

  • If there children or pets in the house exclude them from the room with dodgy receptacle. Turn off the breaker to the circuit with the receptacle. Remove the cover plate (usually one small screw in the centre of plate). Remove the two screws top and bottom holding the receptacle in place and pull out the receptacle. Look for something amiss. Do you have any devices for testing for voltage? How many wires are connected to the receptacle and how are they connected? Are the wires pushed into a hole in the back of the receptacle or are they wrapped around the screws on the side? – Jim Stewart Jul 6 '18 at 18:38
  • If the wires are in the holes in the back you could pull them out and reconnect them to the receptacle by wrapping about a 3/4 turn around the side screws on each side. Don't overlap the wire on itself. The black wire goes on the side with the slightly shorter slot and the white wire on the side with the longer slot.Plug something into the receptacle and if you can insure that no child or pet can gain access to the receptacle switch the breaker back on and see if it now works properly. Wiggle the receptacle. If it is Ok, then turn the breaker back off, push the receptacle back in and fasten. – Jim Stewart Jul 6 '18 at 18:52
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    Sounds to me like bad backstab connections. It also sounds like it’s loose, where it should be completely tight, not allowing movement. I agree with bib’s answer tho, it sounds like you need a professional—perhaps a handyman type that might save you a little over a full service electrician. – Tyson Jul 6 '18 at 18:56
  • Would be nice to have pictures - I mean something has to be plugged into it - yet it is at an odd angle - and obviously looking at the outlet you should be able to easily determine if something is plugged into it or not. Take a picture and post it here in an edit of your post. The receptacle itself is probably bad and it could be also that the junction box is loose or broken as well. – Ken Jul 6 '18 at 22:43

It sounds as if you have a bad connection in that outlet as it feeds other fixtures and outlets downstream. The pressure from the cord is probably pulling the connection closed, and it breaks when the pressure is removed.

This may be due to a loose screw, a broken wire, or a defective outlet body.

It also sounds as if you have little to no experience in dealing with electrical circuits. They can be dangerous for the inexperienced, and you may wish to bring in a professional (or an experienced friend) to help solve the problem.

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