I have two bedrooms and a shared bath that are on one circuit. Through some initial remodeling/updating, all of the outlets were replaced (3-prong), and all of the light switches. All is fine in bedroom 1 (outlets work, light works). Bedroom 2 nothing works, and bathroom lights don't work, BUT the GFCI in the bathroom does work. Breaker not tripped.

I checked all of the connections and all are tight (not stabbed, but wound around the screws). I purchased a plug-in receptacle tester, and every outlet shows up as wired correctly. I also tried a voltage tester (the pen that beeps and blinks red) and it shows that all are receiving voltage.

Does anyone have any ideas what the problem could be? Thanks so much for the help in troubleshooting.

  • Do you know in what sequence everything is run from the home run(s)? Commented May 9, 2016 at 1:27
  • If the plug in tester, lights up correctly there is power and neutral so the outlet has power and a return path. Find the last good outlet and double check the feed to the non working outlets your neutral may have come loose or broke at a wire nut, it would be there or the first dead one but it sounds like you checked that, the non contact tester shows if there is power but not a return path, neutral
    – Ed Beal
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 9:38
  • Sounds like the GFCI is not in the same circuit as bedroom #2. Commented May 9, 2016 at 15:33
  • Thank you, I will try checking all the connections between the last working outlet and first non-working and make sure nothing's gone awry.
    – shelbot1
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 16:49
  • Only a solenoid voltage tester (a Wiggy) will tell you if the outlet works. You must have had enough transient current to somehow satisfy your plug in tester.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 4:53

1 Answer 1


A plug in electrical tester will show voltage and let you know you have power there, but it will not show amperage. So if you have a loose wire connection or a wire break under the insulation on one of your receptacles that feed the others, you will see voltage, but if you plug a light in or something else that will draw some amperage, the voltage drops due to the amperage draw. If you plug in your plug in voltage tester and then plug a light in to the other socket, you will see that the plug in tester shows no voltage or very little.

  • 1
    Thank you Jon - it ended up that the electrical panel had everything marked improperly - I had to check every outlet in the house and what it ran back to. A (seemingly) unrelated outlet had a wire break, which affected the bedroom and bathroom. Once this was fixed, the rest started working!
    – shelbot1
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 12:09

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