We have 2 bedrooms on the same circuit and there are problems in one room.

Judith B
by Judith B
My son has things plugged into a ups and sometimes it will start beeping. Nothing new plugged in, it just starts and its sporadic. It was suggested the outlets be checked to see if anything is loose. An electrician is not in our budget right now. Is that something we can (or should) do? The other bedroom has no signs of any problems.
  6 answers
  • 3po3 3po3 on Mar 11, 2012
    I am always very reluctant to suggest DIY electrical work, but you can check for loose wires in outlets by yourself. Just turn off the breaker to that circuit (and double check EVERY outlet you are taking apart). Then you can remove the cover, take out the outlet box and check for loose connections. You can also use outlet testers to check the wires and outlets.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Mar 14, 2012
    Judith...one common problem with old plugs is they tend to loosen up over years of service (the part where the plug actually sticks in) another issue is many plugs and switches were quickly installed using the "back stab" type of wiring rather than striping the wire and using the side screws. This configuration does not provide the best "contact" for the wire and the current voltages can vary. I have seen 120 volt lines at 80 to 90 volts due to wimpy back stab installs. The best remedy would be to install a new plug, as Steve mentioned above kill the power at the breaker and check that it is out with a volt meter or basic circuit tester...the tester is pretty cheap and can be purchased at the home center when you pick up a few outlets ( get a few and upgrade those that seem "loose" when something is plugged in) use the screws on the sides not the back stab. Let us know how it comes out...BTW the plugs are pretty cheap you can get really good ones for about $2 ea....stay away form the basic .69 to .99 cent ones.
  • Ana M Ana M on Mar 14, 2012
    Judith, you are getting awesome advice here from Steve G and KMS Woodworks, as a DIY Toolchick Girl, I can tell you I have done the repair myself on both instances, I have changed out a bad outlets and I have also tightened them. Very easy to do. Just MAKE sure you turn off power at the Circuit breaker.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Mar 15, 2012
    Ana...still digging that pink tool belt...;)
  • Susan S Susan S on Mar 15, 2012
    You want one don't you?? Admit it, you're among friends - YOU REALLY REALLY WANT ONE!!!
  • Belco Electric Belco Electric on Mar 15, 2012
    Hi Judith, A UPS unit will "beep" for several reasons. Inconsistent AC voltage is one and can be caused by the reasons listed by the members above, loose wiring, old & worn outlets that don't allow the plug to make good contact, or you could also be getting power surges associated with your utility company or loose connections at your electrical service. The other common cause of a UPS "beeping" is that the internal battery may be reaching the end of its life. The unit will "beep" to indicate that you need to change it our. If you still have your paperwork that came with the unit, it will likely have a few trouble shooting tips that you can check out as well.