Having problems with my outlet

+17
Answered
My lamp suddenly dimmed and went out. I tried it in other outlets, and it works fine. I know the outlet works because other lamps will work there.
So, if both the lamp works and the outlet work, why won't they work together?
  15 answers
  • Five little hens Five little hens on Sep 05, 2016
    Well, there's "works" and then there's "works." Either the lamp or the outlet has a short somewhere and you should use neither until it's repaired.
  • Peter Richards Peter Richards on Sep 05, 2016
    Please check the outlet for a loose connection. Then check your lamp for shorts or loose connection. Pay attention to above post.
  • Phil a Phil a on Sep 05, 2016
    Does the outlet make a "crackle" sound when you plug the lamp in? If so, don't use it and replace it. Phil
    • Nancy Albert Nancy Albert on Sep 05, 2016
      nope, no crackle. I'm going to assume the lamp has the problem rather than the outlets. I can replace the lamp, but finding a competent and responsible electrician in PR to fix an electrical problem is just not possible. Thank you, Phil.
  • I do not want to sound stupid but did you change the lightbulb and make sure the lightbulb works in the working lamps?
    • Nancy Albert Nancy Albert on Sep 05, 2016
      Thank You The Garden Frog Boutique with C. Renee. My 1st thought was I needed to change the bulbs, tho' I was stunned that all 10 of its tiny bulbs went out at once. But, since i put them all in at the same time, I figured it was possible for them to burn out at the same time. So, I ordered some new bulbs from Amazon and replaced a few of them with extra bulbs I happened to have. [they are odd bulbs.] The replacements didn't light up, so that was my 1st clue that old bulbs were not the problem. Then, i plugged the lamp into a different outlet, and all the bulbs, old and new, lit up. But it won't light up in any outlet where I can use this lamp. I'm going to assume, for the time being, that the lamp has the problem, not the outlets. I can replace a lamp, but there is no such thing as a competent electrician in PR that can fix a house wiring problem.
  • William William on Sep 05, 2016
    You may have an intermittent short in the lamp or outlet. Any slight vibration is enough to cause the short. Agree with Marnag. Get the outlet replaced and check the connections and cord on the lamp for any damage.
  • Meticularius Meticularius on Sep 05, 2016
    I agree.
  • Nancy Albert Nancy Albert on Sep 05, 2016
    I've decided to just chuck the lamp. [too bad coz I still like it], but i need to use the outlets. I live in PR, so there is no hope of getting a competent or responsible electrician [or any other kind of service] here to fix it, tho' they will all charge you for their botched 'efforts'.
  • Nancy Albert Nancy Albert on Sep 05, 2016
    I'd love to see more diy lamp projects. I have made a few out of pvc pipes and flower pots with sometimes good and sometimes painful results. I can never figure out which wire is supposed to wrap around which screw. The directions distinquish the 2 wires either by color or some groove, and none of my wires seems to have these distinctions. I love the idea of making my own lamps since most commercial lamps are either boring or expensive, but I'm scared of experimenting with anything electrical. I've not only gotten shocked, but I've also plunged rooms into darkness.
  • Jbrandt000 Jbrandt000 on Sep 05, 2016
    MY experience is that, the electrician who put in the outlet DID NOT tighten the screws that hold the wires, OR he switched the ground wires. The Dutch HOUSING modular home company did that to me on SEVERAL outlets
    • Nancy Albert Nancy Albert on Sep 05, 2016
      Thank You Jbrandt000. It could be that something is loose or switched, but I'm too scared to mess with anything under the outlet cover. I guess I'll just keep plugging things in until I light up myself. After 10 years I have come to believe that there is no such thing as a competent, reliable repair person in PR, so I just have to take my chances. If I move back to the States, I'll be sure to avoid Dutch HOUSING. I think the electricity is about to go out here because it is raining, so thanks and bye
  • Phil a Phil a on Sep 05, 2016
    Try one more thing to verify... plug the lamp into a socket that works and wiggle the cord down near the plug end. It could be a broken connection inside the wire insulation. Inserting it in one way might work, turning it upside down might not IF it's just a 2 prong connector and one blade is NOT wider (the neutral side) than the narrow blade (hot side) . Either way, if it is a weak connection that works depending on how the cord is moved, it can cause a hot spot and heat up the wire and possibly cause a fire if close to flammable materials like drapes. They make replacement plug ends that fit 2 and 3 blade wiring. Not difficult to replace, but you need a few skills with wire cutters, strippers and screwdrivers. When in doubt check YouTube. This link shows how to replace both kinds of plug ends. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnncXVpoL3g If you still don't feel comfortable, get a handy neighbor or friend to do it for you. Should be a lot less expensive than buying a new lamp, especially if you like the lamp. Good luck. Let us know. Phil
  • JoLeen Bolton JoLeen Bolton on Sep 05, 2016
    If this is a plug that is used a lot and is older, it probably just needs to be replaced. It isn't hard to do. Lots of instructions on You Tube. And sometimes the plug on the lamp, too, but you said it works in other outlets. I wouldn't trash the lamp before checking out how easy and inexpensive it is to change out the outlet.
    • Nancy Albert Nancy Albert on Sep 05, 2016
      Thank You I'm going to look at youtube to see if i can change the outlet or plug. I do like the lamp. I should try to save it. The thing is that the lamp and the outlet work, just not with each other.
  • Judi Judi on Sep 05, 2016
    If you know where your circuit breakers are find the one that turns off the power to that socket turn it off to make sure you are not using a live circuit Take the cover off, should be only one screw to remove. Check the screws under the cover to see that the wires are under the screws and that the screws are tight. Replace the cover on, then you can turn the circuit breaker back on. Try your lamp. Like others have said don't throw away lamp that you like. You can find out from your local hardware store how to rewire the lamp if necessary. It is real easy to do
  • Jane R. Jane R. on Sep 06, 2016
    I have two touch lamps that work on some outlets and not others. They will turn on by themselves, go from dim to bright, turn off and continue to cycle from off to dim, brighter, and brighter and off again. They used to work fine on the same outlets. Now I have to keep them unplugged. I love them and don't want to get rid of them but don't know what to do. Wish someone could help me.
  • Nancy Albert Nancy Albert on Sep 06, 2016
    Your lamps sound scary. I think machines are developing personalities and evolving a will of their own, and they don't much care for humans.
  • George Lopez George Lopez on Sep 09, 2016
    This is only for those that know how to work with electricity. I once had an outlet that had intermediate power. After calling an electrician, we found that the orginal wiring was pushed into the back of the outlet and not screwed to the side. NEVER USE THE HOLES IN THE REAR OF AN OUTLET TO PUSH THE WIRES INTO.. ONLY ESE THE SCREWS ON THE SIDE. What happens is that after a few years of use the spring heats up and cools down causing the wire not to contact. Then you have intermittent power at that outlet.
    • Nancy Albert Nancy Albert on Sep 10, 2016
      Thank You George Lopez I've decided to retire that lamp. I think it had several short circuits [or something - I don't know anything about electricity], but it did have what looks like burn marks around several of its tiny bulbs. I'm going to take a course on lamp making from 'Instructibles' since a couple of my previous attempts at this have shocked me and put out my electricity. As for fooling around inside an electrical outlet, I just won't go there, and it is useless to try and find a competent/responsible electrician [or any kind of service person] in PR. I just may need to buy more candles. Electricity is a mess here.
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