We moved into a house a couple of years ago and found that one of the sockets, at the back of the house, simply didn't work. It wasn't too much of a problem as I ran a power supply from a nearby socket into the room and ran the washing machine from this.
I've revisted this socket as I want to put both my washer and drier in the same room.
After examining the socket using a mains tester, I found that the live supply was exactly that - live; the screwdriver lit up as expected. I tested further by plugging my drill charger unit into the socket, but this did not work (though it did work fine in another socket). Strangely, however, when testing the neutral wire inside the socket, the mains tester lit up as it should do, proving that there was a circuit being formed with the device. The socket is clean; there's no apparent damage to it, and it does not trip the consumer unit.
The socket, as stated, is located to the back of the house and is spurred from a live socket in the kitchen. At the time of examination, it did not have an earth cable from the switch to the casing, but that's probably not necessary as the earthing cable from the spur was already in place (belt and braces).
Is this a sign of a faulty switch or poor wiring involved in the spur?