Fixing/understanding an outlet failure
In my living room, I have a quad outlet that powers all the electronics and television. Most of the stuff is plugged into a Tripp Lite surge protector, with the power amp for the stereo and a couple of older items plugged straight into the wall.
The other night, all 4 outlets just shut down. I basically unplugged everything and then plugged it back in, and it seemed to work. I did check the breaker (not tripped) and upstream outlet on another wall (working fine). Happened again last night and nothing worked to get power back to the outlet.
Here's what I found when I pulled the outlets out to see what was going on. They're on a 20A circuit, and this was a DIY job a while back, where I put in industrial-grade outlets (backwired- not backstabbed). The quad outlet was set up with the ground pigtailed, but the hot and neutral were daisy chained between the two outlets.
Plugging in one of those Sperry testers before I powered it down showed "hot/ground reverse." And the neutral on the incoming connection to the upstream outlet was fried- insulation melted back a little from the outlet. I had to pull pretty hard to get it loose after loosening the screw.
I'm going to replace that outlet, and I'm going to pigtail both outlets off the incoming line. But I'm worried that I don't know the root cause, and that I won't have really fixed the problem. Any suggestions about what else to check? I'm a little nervous that it's a short of some kind caused by the TV.