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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1

    Default electrical outlets burning

    I have an older house, built in the 60's. I have about 15 outlets on one circuit. Five of the outlets are in the kitchen. I used 2 appliances at once (microwave and convection oven). My electric went out after that. I lost 4 of the 5 outlets in my kitchen, only one working is the outlet on a different circuit. No fuses are blown, and when we inspected the outlets, two of them were melted and burned. Also, i seem to have phantom lights in my house. The middle of the house didn't work for about 9 months. All of a sudden they started to work again. lasted 4 months and they stopped working again. Help me. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    294

    Default Re: electrical outlets burning

    There are at least a dozen things you should check, make sure you are very comfortable with electrical work, here are a few that you may have thought of yourself.

    First - the nasty one, do you have a Federal Pacific panel? If yes, you may want to budget for a major investment and overhaul. See Fifth
    Second - do you know the path of all of your circuits? If yes, start close to the panel and work your way out to each outlet to find the issue
    Third - you need at least one more circuit. I think it is not recommended to have more than 8 receptacles on a 20a circuit, but consult your codebook, not some putz on the internet. The codebook will also tell you the microwave oven should have it's own circuit.
    Fourth - Replace the recpatcle with properly grounded and GFCI protected ones if you havent already
    Fifth - If you are not extraordinarily comfortable with any of the above, ask your neighbors, family members and realtor for recommendations for an electrician and then get ready to pay some money. It stinks, but doing the work wrong or having the electrician redo it after you do it once isn't worth it.
    It's this old house, not this built after your dad was born house.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    693

    Default Re: electrical outlets burning

    Quote Originally Posted by njz999@aol.com View Post
    I have an older house, built in the 60's. I have about 15 outlets on one circuit. Five of the outlets are in the kitchen. I used 2 appliances at once (microwave and convection oven). My electric went out after that. I lost 4 of the 5 outlets in my kitchen, only one working is the outlet on a different circuit. No fuses are blown, and when we inspected the outlets, two of them were melted and burned. Also, i seem to have phantom lights in my house. The middle of the house didn't work for about 9 months. All of a sudden they started to work again. lasted 4 months and they stopped working again. Help me. Any suggestions?
    Before starting an inspection or work, turn power off to the affected circuit or the entire house, if your not sure which fuse or breaker things are on.

    Good answer function. Also, I wonder if the wiring is aluminum If so, the fix suddenly is not a DIY project.

    If the wire is copper the short term fix could be to replace the burned up receptacles, using only the screws.
    They may have burned out because the contacts were simply loose or dirty. Be sure to cut back any burned wire so it's shiny and well insulated. And twist all wiring clockwise (only one wire per screw) around a screw so the wire tightens as the screw is turned.

    Doing so may restore power to the rest of the house, if the receptacles were used as "feeds" to downstream devices.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,315

    Default Re: electrical outlets burning

    Fixing it will put you in the same spot as before, but if you want to avoid the same situation, or worse, in the future, start planning on upgrading your entire electrical system: panel and wiring.

    You don't want to be another fire department statistic.

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