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this is my second question on this problem, i hope it's ok to ask another question because i'm pretty stressed about a fire in my walls like someone said could happen. In my kitchen we had a outlet that would crackle when i plugged something into the outlet on the other side of the counter. So in other words when i plugged something into outlet A outlet B would make noise. Yesterday outlet A stopped working and today outlet B is making noise when i plugged in my hot plate. So the two outlets must be connected. Here is my question, if all the outlets in the house are connected could may be say plugging something in the bedroom cause a problem "Fire" in the bad wiring in the kitchen. Now that i'm not using it anymore i don't hear it making anymore noise but right next to it is another outlet that has my icebox plugged in. So is wiring in the house like a chain where if one link is bad the whole chain is effected?

  • Maybe take a picture of it like your IPhone and show to us so it will help us or the audience can see more in detail. – PROBERT Sep 6 '18 at 14:36
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It sounds like your outlets are daisy chained. This is a very common problem and easily repaired. Over 95% of the time when I am called for this exact problem the outlets with backstabs were used, however in the kitchen the circuits should be 20 amp and back stabs will not work with 12 gauge wire so it may be a loose wire nut or broken wire in the box. Turn the circuit breaker off. Pull the noisy outlet you will probably immediately identify the bad spot by finding some melted insulation or soot covered areas from the arcing (that is what is making the noise) I usually replace outlets with spec grade back and side outlets they cost a few more dollars than the 98cent cheap construction grade outlets but are worth the few dollars extra. The clamps are very solid compared to construction grade. Replace the outlet and any damaged wire. This may require pigtailing the whites together and blacks together if the wires are damaged (I prefer pigtailing any way) then put the white wire on the silver screw side and the black on the gold or brass colored screw side bare copper to the green screw attached to the yoke and reinstall the outlet. Now turn the breaker back on and everything should work again.

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This is a VERY serious problem and MUST be attended to by a licensed professional electrician immediately. It's possible that your other outlets are on a different circuit that the kitchen; modern codes in the US and Canada would require it (but we don't know where you are) however if your house is old enough, maybe not. Be that as it may, these are the symptoms of bad connections in the devices and/or wiring and will not only get worse, not better, but may get to the point where it will no longer matter whether you plug anything into it or not! Get it taken care of immediately!!!

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    I'd be mapping the circuits out by pulling fuses/breakers in the basement. Low wattage test light. Sounds like you've got an old house, maybe even knob and tube wiring. Mapping will at least tell you which outlets are likely dangerous, and possibly pin down where the problem lies. It may be as simple as a loose connection in one of a chain of outlets. If you are not comfortable messing with 120VAC, hire that electrician as Raefield says. If something's comes loose, there's no telling where it could go, or what it might short out to by moving a few inches. – Wayfaring Stranger Sep 6 '18 at 4:52
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    You know, redirecting people to licensed electricians in an urgent tone is really not our format here. – Harper Sep 6 '18 at 5:32
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Regardless of where exactly the fire would happen, it sounds like you have faulty outlets they do create a fire hazard. You probably want to take care of them.

You could possibly identify which outlets are connected, however it would be a somewhat complicated and dangerous process and I don't think it's worth trying: Even if you did identify the exact issue, I don't think it's a good idea to attempt to fix the electrical wiring in your house, since that requires technical knowledge to avoid serious problems (like death, injury, property damage, legal trouble). So you would need to hire an electrician to fix it anyways. It's not like figuring out exactly what's wrong would save you any trouble either: It wouldn't save you much money on the electrician's fee (because diagnosing is much easier for him than fixing it) and he probably wouldn't want to take your word for it anyway, since he has no way of knowing that you know what you're talking about.

So I would stop worrying about it and just hire an electrician, describe the problem to him and tell him to fix it. You have a few days of higher fire risk until he shows up, so just be careful until then and don't plug too many things in. You could also ask your fire department about it, but likely they will err on the side of caution and advise you to get it fixed by an electrician.

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    Although there is arcing the chance of a fire in a outlet box is not reality, The NEC approves of back stabs the leading cause of this exact problem to this day. The back stabs may be unreliable but do not pose the risk you are suggesting, I have made tens of thousands fixing this exact problem, I believe there are other professional on this site that believe back stabs should not be legal but they are and if you search this site alone you will find dozens of explanations and upvotes from quite a few professionals and others that have assisted DIY folks on how to fix. – Ed Beal Sep 7 '18 at 1:18

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