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Been living in my house for 9 years. I've got a certain outlet in my master bedroom that just started doing something strange.

Let's say I have a light on in my master bedroom...and I try to plug in my phone charger into this outlet. It causes everything in my bedroom to go out. I went downstairs to the fuse panel and see master bedroom has been tripped. I flip it off and back on and try again to plug something into this outlet. Sure enough it goes out again...

What exactly is causing this to happen. Is it a bad connection or bad outlet or bad break or....

I've used this outlet generally to plug in my phone or tablet for charging...nothing else. Now it's tripping the fuse causing me to lose power in this room. I called an electrician and he said he'd charge me 100 bucks just to look at it. Can anyone give me some ideas of what this could be.

Additional note this is just a standard outlet, it doesn't have a reset button, it just has two outlets to plug things in.

  • Could be a bad device being plugged in, a bad receptacle, a faulty connection, or the circuit is simply maxed out. If it trips immediately, it's most likely a short-circuit. Which could be a bad receptacle, a bad device, or a bad connection to the receptacle. – Tester101 May 11 '15 at 22:43
  • Sorry I'm not an electrician, can you explain more. Would I need to replace the outlet completely? – JonH May 11 '15 at 22:47
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    Maybe. Can't say for sure from this side of the Internet. – Tester101 May 12 '15 at 0:51
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Let's start with what it likely is NOT:

You plugged in multiple devices and they all trip the breaker. Therefore, it's very unlikely a bad device is shorting out the circuit. A phone charger, tablet etc. draws such tiny amps, it's very unlikely you're overloading the circuit. It's possible you have a bad breaker or other issue. But, also unlikely since other devices on that circuit work (lights etc.)

I'd bet with 90% certainty you have a bad receptacle. They are about $5 - $10 at Home Depot / Lowes. An electrician might charge you a minimum ($100 sounds reasonable) to replace it. It's pretty simple to do yourself. That said, I would not recommend someone who is totally void of any electrical understanding do this.

Here's a good answer on doing that yourself: How do I safely replace a worn out electrical outlet?

  • Ended up being a bad outlet, simply replaced it and all is well. – JonH May 19 '15 at 19:53
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Another possibility is that there's too much bare wire exposed, and the act of inserting the plug is pushing the whole outlet enough to cause a short. Again, you'd need to turn off power, confirm that it has been turned off, and open thing up to check... and if you're going to do that much work putting ina new outlet only adds a few bucks. Or you could put in a gfci for a bit more.

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