I've recently put in a new electrical outlet, which was working at the time. Today I went and plugged the lamp and it was not working.

Tried the receptacle tester, and this is what I saw when plugged in :

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By the looks of it it looks like the rightmost light indicator is lighting up and there is barely any light on the middle one.

And if I take a look at the receptacle legend:

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There is no one and a half light on the legend, so I interpreted it as a open neutral. Then I went and removed the neutral all together from the outlet and this is that picture below

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So in this one it's really just the rightmost light is on, no middle light. At this point I got confused, not sure what is wrong with this outlet.

This is how the correct lights look according to my tester:

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What do I do next? How do I get to the bottom of this?

1 Answer 1


That would seem to indicate a failing neutral connection, if you get a voltage tester it will likely report something well below 120v. You'll need to trace the circuit back to find the point where the neutral first fails and then check the connections for anything loose or arcing. If you can't find any bad connections on either end, then it could be a nail or faulty wiring and you'll need to replace that section of the circuit.

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    Following @BMitch's advice, I would recommend first checking where the new wiring for this receptacle was connected to the existing wiring in the home. You'll also want to rule out the new receptacle itself as the culprit.
    – mjohns
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 10:52
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    That sounds more like an open than a short -- if neutral were shorted to ground, his tester wouldn't notice (since neutral is supposed to be shorted to ground... at the service panel), if neutral were shorted to hot, he'd be tripping breakers. Though I agree with the troubleshooting, just work backwards along the circuit (after checking this receptacle itself) to find out where the problem starts -- could be a bad neutral connection where the circuit passes through an upstream outlet or a junction box.
    – Johnny
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 17:12
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    @BMitch I found the other outlet which was in the middle of the circuit in between my non working outlet and the power source. So in there one of the white wires coming to my outlet got disconnected, had to use different wire nut it's all that was to it Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 1:05

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