Jan. 4th, 2011

One electrical box in the kitchen stopped working, both outlets of it. It definitely worked until the day or two before.

My little outlet tester says hot/ground reversed. I'm not 100% certain but I'm pretty sure I tested every three-prong outlet in the house (to find the ones that aren't actually grounded), and there was sure no hot/ground reversal. Which sounds like a weird condition to have, ever, plus extra-weird to spontaneously develop. I o_Oed and breakered that circuit off.

Now I ask Dear Doctor Internet (Electrical Dept.) and it sounds like that reading probably means "open neutral" and a load somewhere else on the circuit. The "backstabbed outlets" that the Doctor mentions seem to be described here.

I ♥ Doctor Internet (all her Departments), but I like a second opinion from Doctor Livejournal on electrical work. Also... if I find these are backstab, I'll probably change them all over to screwed, but I'm curious if there's also a way to debug which one went bad before opening them all -- it should be either the last *working* one in the circuit chain (if the fault's in the "outbound" neutral), or the first non-working one (if fault's in the "inbound" neutral), I believe?

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Eli

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