Electrical outlets in 3 upstairs bedrooms not working?

There's about 10 outlets that stopped working last night in 3 upstairs bedrooms.  We had little heaters in 2 different rooms going so I think something blew because of that.  I checked the breaker box first and didn't see any tripped.  I reset them all just in case.  I checked the GFCI outlets and they are ok in the bathrooms upstairs.  I inspected the outlets that had the heaters plugged in. They looked fine and no loose wires. But I replaced the outlets on both just to be safe.  I know if one goes out, a line will go out.  I replaced the bad ones that are on the ends of line of the bad ones.  I'm not sure which outlets are downstream.  Nothing still?? Any help. I don't want to call a electrician or replace all 10. 

8 Answers

  • M.
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    Did the receptacles that you changed have the black and white wires under the heads of screws on the sides of the receptacle bodies?


    Did the receptacles that you changed have the black and white wires stabbed into little holes on the backs of the receptacles?

    Because those retarded stab-in-the-back receptacles were a great idea for the lazy electrician when they appeared in the 1960s, but they have been the cause of fires and problems like you have, often in conjunction with high wattage heater usage, many years later.

    I can't tell you how many houses have had the same problem that you suddenly had, and those retarded receptacles were the cause.

    If you have them, put the wires under the screwheads on the sides, if the receptacles have screw terminals.  I would buy new, high quality receptacles (not the 59¢ type) and replace ALL in the house.

    Additionally, the problem may not be at the receptacle that isn't working.  It may be at the next receptacle in the "daisy chain" that does happen to work.

    Sometimes there is a loose screw on a standard receptacle.

    Sometimes there is a loose wire nut somewhere, not necessarily in a box with a receptacle, so the problem may not be where the symptom is.

    This is generally not a job for an untrained homeowner, because finding an open circuit needs a voltmeter or test light and some electrical logic.  The average person runs out of electrical logic after they have flipped the circuit breaker handle back and forth a few times with no change in the symptoms.

    My educated guess from afar is those stab-in-the-back receptacles.  If it's not what you have, the next step is electrical circuit troubleshooting with a voltmeter or test light.

    Then you need to determine which wire has lost its connection to the supply, the HOT (black) wire, or the NEUTRAL (white) wire.

    I've never met an untrained homeowner who knew how to trace neutral faults.  And many electricians have problems in this area too.

    Source(s): -Home wiring since the 1960s -Commercial/industrial wiring since the 1970s
  • 7 months ago

    You need to inspect or check your energy heaters for possible leak. If the electrical heater is not fitted correctly or wiring is loose then it can cause damage in other wiring as well. So, call HVAC or plumbing experts to inspect the wiring..

  • 7 months ago

    unplug EVERYTHING on those outlets. then try the breakers again. [while you do this, you should write down which breakers do what for future reference].

    if that doesn't do it, try every outlet in the 10 with a simple light. write down which ones work and do not work.

    using good safety practices -- then do the following if they all still don't work: [rubber sole shoes, and with correct breaker turned off, and touching only with one hand at a time as much as possible]

    starting at the end furthest from the breaker box, of only the outlets that work [or the one closest if none work], open the outlet and examine the wiring without disconnecting it. You are looking for a place where the wiring is disconnected already or has melted through to touch something inappropriate. Fix anything you find that is wrong.

    Only if these steps do not restore power do you need a handyman or electrician. handyman is cheaper.

    Using a multimeter makes this job easier ... and a simple one is under 10 at the hardware store.

    PS: you obviously discovered that having both of those heaters on the circuit upstairs is too many. remove one of them permanently.


    Source(s): granddad
  • 7 months ago

    Why did you have to replace all the outlets?

    As it seems that there's no voltage across the outlets, then you must check the supply end of the circuit.

    Now you must be very cautious.Because you are about to meddle with the business-end of the supply circuit.

    In the fuse-box find the trip-fuse that protects the circuit in question. Using a volt meter measure if there is a voltage across the circuit trip-fuse or not. If there is, then the circuit has failed somewhere form the trip-fuse to the outlet, if there is no voltage to be measured then the trip fuse is at fault.If you value your health then DON'T attempt to replace it yourself.

    BE VERY CAUTIOUS: you could be meddling with 60 amps of power at 240 volts.

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • Anonymous
    7 months ago

    You wont be fixing anything without a multimeter.  Replacing outlets and other parts will not do it.  Voltage and continuity needs to be checked. A main line or neutral wire is likely "open".

  • 7 months ago

    All of those outlets share circuit and the circuit can't handle more than 1 space heater.

    The breaker only moves about 1/4" when it trips any you have to move it all the way to the off position to reset. I BET if you look closer, you will see which breaker you tripped.

    Update to comment: NO, he DID NOT say he reset any breakers. He said he LOOKED and didn't see any tripped.

  • Pearl
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    i would pay someone to get it fixed

  • 7 months ago

    You did all the right stuff.  Check the outlets that do work since the wiring runs from outlet to outlet, the feeder from the outlet upstream ( which works) may have a loose wire.

    Also, do the light switches work?

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.