garlicdNovember 19, 2010

My husband turned on the TV, heard a pop, then the lights and TV went out. After some investigation, we found that on three outlets, the top receptacle works but the bottom receptacle is out. No breakers tripped. What happened and is this dangerous.

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Ron Natalie

Are these all in the same room? Is there a chance that one side of the receptacle was on a swtich (is there a wall switch somewhere in the room that appears to control nothing now?). It's especially possible if someone improperly put a dimmer in the place of a switch that controls a receptacle. You plug something in that the dimmer can't handle and pop!

The only other thing I can think of is you have split receptacles on multiwire circuit. This is common in Canadian kitchen circuits but pretty much unheard of elsewhere though.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 6:25AM
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Are you certain that no breakers tripped? When they trip, the handle may still appear to be in the "on" position. It does not move to the "off" position when it trips. Check them all again and see if any wiggle around. If so, move the handle to "off" then back on. Oh yeah, unplug everything on that circuit first. Something is wrong, probably with the TV if the problem appeared the moment the TV was turned on.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 3:01PM
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Thanks for the feedback!
Yes, these are all in the same room. I believe one receptacle is on a wall switch which we always have on, but is not a dimmer. And we don't live in Canada, but our house is over 30 years old.
My husband checked the breakers and they seemed ok. I plugged the TV into the working receptacle and it worked fine.
Maybe a mouse ate into the wiring? There is something dead in our walls, I can smell it. I was just worried about an electrical fire.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 3:03AM
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well, the smell may be the beginnings OF an electrical fire, so if the smell appeared at the same time as the problem, I'd recommend turning off the power and calling an electrician to come check it out pronto.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 3:14AM
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