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Another electrical question

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Another electrical question

Old 11-27-10, 11:46 PM
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Another electrical question

My built in (over range) Microwave went out. Or so I thought. But it turns out it is the plug in the cabinet above the microwave that went out. I tested by by plugging something else in it and got nothing.

turned on and off every breaker. And noted that everything else and all other plugs in the kitchen are working fine.

Should I just replace the plug and see if that solves it? Maybe just a lose wire or something. Is there anything else to test?

I've got very basic wiring skills. I've put in new outlets and switches run off other existing one's. I just find it odd only one single plug is giving me issues if it is not the plug itself.

Any other ideas, suggestions?
Old 11-28-10, 12:00 AM
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Re: Another electrical question

i'd turn off the main power just to be sure (not just the breaker, in case you don't know which one), before you start poking around.

220v is a meanie...
Old 11-28-10, 12:07 AM
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Re: Another electrical question

Just jam a fork in there and you'll find out quick enough.
Old 11-28-10, 12:10 AM
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Re: Another electrical question

Have you tried to pee in its butt?
Old 11-28-10, 12:48 AM
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Re: Another electrical question

I'd switch it out because that is the easiest and quickest thing to do.
Old 11-28-10, 01:18 AM
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Re: Another electrical question

Yeah, I'd replace the outlet as they can fail just like a switch, albeit less often.

There is a 20-30 dollar device, like the Fluke VoltAlert, that you can get at Home Depot or Lowes; it will tell you if you have power coming to the outlet just by placing it near the plug. Good for testing lines in the wall as well as it sense the electrical field.
Old 11-28-10, 10:30 AM
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Re: Another electrical question

Buy yourself a digital volt/amp/ohm meter. It doesn't have to be an expensive one. They are pretty self-explanatory.


Always assume a wire is hot until you test it.

Set the meter to 'volts' and stick the probes in the socket. It will probably read zero.

Turn off the circuit breaker that shuts off the rest of the kitchen. Set the meter to 'volts' and stick the probes in the socket. It should read zero. Take off the plate. Test the wires screwed onto the sides of the socket. They should also read zero. Then you can check if they are properly connected to the outlet.

If the wires are properly attached, pull out the socket and take it to the store. Buy another one like it. Install the new socket. Put everything back together. Turn on the breaker. Stick the probe into the socket to see if it has power.

If it still doesn't have power, it's time to call a professional.
Old 11-28-10, 11:21 AM
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Re: Another electrical question

Thanks! I do need to get some sort of volt meter or something to read if there is power to it. I'm not sure what breaker it it. I know what breaker is for the kitchen lights, but not sure if that runs all the outlets.

Hoping it is just a plug. House built in the 70's. I know an electrician is going to scare wife and I into wanting to replace everything.....
Old 11-28-10, 02:07 PM
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Re: Another electrical question

It's easy enough to find out which breaker controls the outlets. Plug in a radio, turn it on loud enough to hear in the garage, go out to the garage, and turn off the breaker that controls the lights. Does the radio turn off?

If it doesn't, start making educated guesses on which breaker to turn off next. I turn off all the computers before I start turning off random breakers.
Old 11-28-10, 02:24 PM
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Re: Another electrical question

Yea, that is what I do. Or have the kids yell at me. But with no power to start with, that doesn't really work. I'd hate to "assume" it is on the same breaker as the other plugs on that wall. I'm sure it is. I have a fairly small breaker box for such a medium/large house. But I don't want to assume. So I either have to get a meter or turn all breakers off. Which since it would only take minutes to swap out the plug, I might just do that...
Old 11-28-10, 02:38 PM
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Re: Another electrical question

How can a guy who's skilled enough to build his own barroom not have an electric test meter?
Old 11-28-10, 02:44 PM
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Re: Another electrical question

The thing with a Multimeter is that you are just testing for power but the fault can lie in the internal wiring. A voltage detector can sense through the wall to find if you are getting power to socket, helping to identify if it's the socket or something else.
Old 11-28-10, 02:46 PM
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Re: Another electrical question

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
How can a guy who's skilled enough to build his own barroom not have an electric test meter?
Actually, built bar (with adding an outlet in the bar) and plumbing and also built media room (tho I didn't add any power)....LOL....

Everything I've done so far with electrical (installing fans, changing light kits, adding/moving plugs, moving/changing switches, etc) has been very obvious how to kill the power. Yes, as an added safety I should test even after obviously killing power...but....haven't.

This is the first time I've had to mess with something that is not obvious how to turn off the power. Yes, the plug is on the same wall as several other plugs (lower at back splash area) on the same wall. It makes sense to me that all these would be on the same breaker (which I know which one that is). But I'm wondering since a plug this high would obviously be sued for a microwave, if on a different breaker. However, I had kitchen remodeled including all drywall removed. But I don't remember if microwave was over there before. I don't think it was. So this might be a new plug. Which would also be odd....but....

Anyway...yea...your right....I need one....lol
Old 11-28-10, 04:10 PM
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Re: Another electrical question

You certainly don't need a voltmeter to wire electrical. A circuit tester is useful. If you're a true idiot then a simple tester with a polarity check is nice.
Old 11-28-10, 05:19 PM
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Re: Another electrical question

Originally Posted by Mole177 View Post
220v is a meanie...
220 for a microwave?
Old 11-28-10, 05:38 PM
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Re: Another electrical question

It's not 220. It's just a normal plug.
Old 11-28-10, 06:10 PM
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Re: Another electrical question

oops. haha... for some reason i thought OP said "big" plug, meaning the 220v often seen in laundry rooms...
Old 11-29-10, 02:33 PM
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Re: Another electrical question

Can someone link to an inexpensive meter? I don't do this enough to get anything fancy.
Old 11-29-10, 03:07 PM
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Re: Another electrical question

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053
Old 11-29-10, 03:32 PM
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Re: Another electrical question

220, 221...whatever it takes.
Old 11-29-10, 04:32 PM
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Re: Another electrical question

Originally Posted by Bandoman View Post
220, 221...whatever it takes.
222



anybody?
Old 11-29-10, 04:59 PM
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Re: Another electrical question

You need a voltage sniffer. They're cheap and fun!

http://www.ehow.com/how_5193111_use-...l-sniffer.html

After buying my own home, and paying a couple of electricians $100 to do some simple things, I quickly learned that the fear of electricity is highly oversold. Hell, I can rewire 120v household current switches and outlets without even turning the breaker off now (the electricians never bother to). You just have to know which wire is hot and not to touch the wires together when you work with them. Fortunately, household wiring is so stiff that it's easy to keep them where you want them, and the worst that will happen if you DO touch the wire is that you'll get a "bite", as the electricians like to say. It'll scare you, but it won't hurt you.

That being said, I still do kill the breaker if I know off-hand which one it is, and I ALWAYS use the sniffer to determine which wires are hot or not.
Old 11-29-10, 08:16 PM
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Re: Another electrical question

That looks cool! I'll have to pick one up some time....just to have....

I had to stop at Walmart for something and they had a $2.00 thing with probes. So I got it. I like the 3-prong plug in model. But of course, I'm thinking/hoping it is the plug that is the problem. And I know there is no power coming out of the plug now. What I need to check is the wires. So hopefully this little gadget will do the trick.

I have an extra plug from when I put one in the bar. So tomorrow, when everyone is gone anyway, I'll start the operation.

If I don't post by noon...send help!!
Old 11-29-10, 08:25 PM
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Re: Another electrical question

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
So tomorrow, when everyone is gone anyway, I'll start the operation.
That's a good idea...if you're worried about being electrocuted, do it when no one is around to call 911.
Old 11-29-10, 10:48 PM
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Re: Another electrical question

Originally Posted by Numanoid View Post
That's a good idea...if you're worried about being electrocuted, do it when no one is around to call 911.
LOL...good point. Maybe I'll wait for boy to get home from school....

I was thinking I'd wait till no one was home so I could turn off most of the power....but...hum....

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