Last night power in living room went out. Flipped all breakers and bought a gk7 voltage detector. Outlets and breakers show hot but nothing plugged up comes on...?

  • 1
    were breakers tripped? do you have GFI outlets in living room? If so, the individual outlet may need to be reset.
    – Yehuda_NYC
    Jul 26 '19 at 16:46
  • 3
    Gk7 is a non-contact voltage detector. Voltage may be present, but that detector won’t tell you if neutral is good. Could be an open neutral cause by a bad backstab connector on an outlet. Gets tricky to find on open neutral, trial and error is usually most efficient, especially if you can guess how the circuit is running.
    – Tyson
    Jul 26 '19 at 17:30
  • Is all of the power in the living room off or is there something like a light fixture still burning? What happened just before the lights went off? Are there any other outlets not working in other areas like a bedroom? Have you checked each outlet with a device like a lamp or a hair dryer or some such to make sure they are all not working? We are just trying to help you narrow down the possibilities before we can answer your question. Also how old is your house? Jul 26 '19 at 18:11
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. We'll need more info before we can help you. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. Jul 26 '19 at 18:15
  • 2
    It sounds like a neutral has opened I agree with Tyson, I would be going to the last working outlet of first non working outlet and opening those up looking for a bad connection. If backstabs were used this is a common failure.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 26 '19 at 18:20

The non-contact tester isn't telling you the whole story

A circuit requires 2 functioning wires. One of them is "hot" which you are familiar with. However power has to return to complete the loop. This is very often done with "neutral", and neutral is so near ground that it won't register with a non-contact tester. Normally.

However, if hot is working and the socket is not, there's a good chance neutral is broken. You can use the non-contact tester to find it.

You need a load you can plug in that is definitely turned on. Something very simple like a heater or an incandescent light. You plug that into the problem socket. Now, anywhere past the neutral break, the neutral will test out as "hot". When you find the first outlet where this is true, check it. Also check the last "good" outlet before this point.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.