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I was using my toaster this morning, when it suddenly stopped working. I assumed the device itself had gone wrong, but then I noticed my cooker, on the opposite wall, had also stopped. The toaster proved to be functional when plugged into a different socket.

So I've got a broken plug socket and a broken cooker, on opposite sides of the kitchen. The cooker, I presume is wired into a hard fuse point. There are a lot of these in my kitchen, and I have no idea which is connected to what.

There's nothing off or blown on the fuse board. I assumed the problem was a blown fuse inside one of those hard points. But three of them have lights on - so are presumably still functional - and I changed the fuse on the other three. Still no luck.

I'm confused as to what could have gone wrong to cause two appliances on opposite sides of the kitchen to stop working. If it's not a fuse, what else can I look at to locate a fault?

  • If you don't know what circuit/fuse the appliance and outlet are on, then it's going to be tough. You could turn off the main breaker and look inside the toaster outlet box for something obvious, but beyond that, you'll want an electrician who will have remote current sensors, heat sensors, and long test cables that will reach from the fuse box to the trouble area. – Paul Nov 2 '14 at 18:08
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The first thing to do is positively verify what is and what is not working. Plug the appliances in elsewhere to make sure the appliances are working. Plug in a known working lamp (or other simple device like a drill or a mixer) to every socket in the kitchen to test them. BTW, usually outlets are fused, not individual sockets in the outlet.

Let's assume that two of the outlets, both having two sockets, are completely off, having no power, and no circuit breakers are tripped. You write "fuse board". Do you really have fuses, not circuit breakers? This would have to be a very old house for that to be the case.

If you have two outlets without power and no tripped breakers, that is very bad because it indicates a potential wiring problem inside the walls. In this case I would strongly recommend getting an electrician, because you may be at risk of a fire and if there is a problem with old wiring in the walls, you will not be able to fix it yourself.

  • Please note that the OP is from the UK. USA-referenced answers are likely to be incorrect. – DoxyLover Nov 2 '14 at 18:49
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After further investigation, I discovered the house actually has an additional circuit breaker that I never knew was there. It was wired off the main circuit breaker board, and I found it by tracing the connection. It contained one trip switch, which had turned off.

I'm posting this as an answer simply so that other users know: if it looks like a tripped circuit problem, it could well be that it is. Make sure you check out all your electrical systems before looking for professional help!

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