Please help - some outlets don't fully work with some devices

We are having a new home built and move in next week. I went around to
each room and tested each outlet with a night light. Out of the 70+
outlets about 8 did not light up the nightlight (all located within 2
rooms). I brought it to the attention to the electrical technician and
he tested it with an GFCI tester and it passed. I then plugged in a
boombox and it worked but the nightlight still did not. Is this a
problem I should be worried about and what could be causing it? We go
through closing next week and I want to make sure we don't have any
major issue before we sign. I'm also curious why one thing may work
and another may not? The electrician could not explain it but with it
passing with the GFCI he didn't care to help and walked away.
Reply to
Stogie
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Not sure what might be wrong. Nor should you. I might suggest calling the electrician and politely voicing your concern again. If he gives you grief you might politely mention asking the local inspector what it could be. That might get him going. Fail that, do ask the building inspector and ask the GC.
I can only assume that you are doing your own home inspection. Might be a bad idea. If all else fails, write to the GC and list your concerns, tell him that you will not close until they are corrected. It is your money, should not be your problem as well. Extending a closing is not uncommon, especially for new homes. Plus the GC might have a construction loan out on the home. Missed dates do not make the bank happy.
Good luck.
BTW To try to solve the problem, it might be worth mentioning what the 2 rooms are. I will bet they are bedrooms, meaning same breaker. Secondly did the boombox have a ground plug?
Thirdly, I would be jumping mad if the electrician witnessed your light not working and did nothing. You might need to remind him who is ultimately paying him.
Chris
Reply to
Chris
On 8/26/05 6:16 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com, "Stogie" wrote:
It is not clear to me just what a GFCI tester includes. At most hardware stores there is a readily available gizmo that tests whether an outlet is wired correctly. It does not really check on how well the connection is made but it will detect things like missing grounds or reversal of conductors. Some of them also have a built-in GFCI tester.
Bill
Reply to
<salmonegg
Not sure about a GFCI tester as well. GFI breakers are based on a two wire system and may not be testing for the ground??? Not sure. If the boom box has a ground plug, than it should be clear what is wrong. Still it should not really be his problem, but good thing he checked it out before hand. Chris
Reply to
Chris
Have you tacken your nightlight to a friends house and tried out their sockets :o), or get your nightlight tested, I'm suprised the electrician didn't offer to do this when you voiced your concern on the circuit.
Reply to
Lonely1
"Stogie" wrote in news:1125105410.291423.278750 @g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:
Are the ones that did not work switched outlets? if so did you switch them on? (switched outlets are those that are controlled by a "light switch" on a wall somewhere)...
Reply to
me
Good suggestions so far, but I will also add my own experience. I have so far replaced about a dozen outlets in my home which failed due to cheap construction (of the outlet, not the home). Not a failure actually, since they never really did work right. Everything was wired correctly, but certain appliances that I plugged in would not function. It had to do with the contacts inside the outlet that were not making proper contact with the blades of the plug on the appliance cord. Different appliances (with different plugs) acted differently when plugged in. Some worked, and some not. I got by for a while by slightly bending the prongs of the plugs before inserting them in the outlet, but the only correct fix is to replace all the outlets. I am gradually replacing all the outlets with better quality units. The ones originally installed are the cheapest bulk-quality type sold (to many contractors) in all the budget home supply sources. In my own case, the old adage applies -- You get what you pay for. Buy a 29 cent outlet, and it's worth every penny you paid for it.
Nels
Reply to
Nelson Johnsrud
Why would any one test bedroom recpts with a gfci tester? Are the bedrooms on gfci's? Where I live the requirement is Arc Fault breakers for bedrooms.
Your testing with a night-light why? The builder and his subs guarantee their work for a period of time. Where I live it is two years.
As others have said check with the general contractor's person in charge and give your concerns.
Try to stay away from the worker bees. They are just doing their jobs. Stick to management when you have concerns.
Reply to
SQLit
To be fair he did not say they were bedrooms. I did bet that they were two low load rooms, meaning on the same breaker. Thus guessing at bedrooms.
All good advice, but I guess we will never be able to solve the mystery........
Reply to
Chris
=>
=>> We are having a new home built....snip....
=>Your testing with a night-light why? The builder and his subs guarantee their work for a period of time. Where I live it is two years.
It's obvious to me you have never attempted to get a contractor to come back and fix something in a reasonable time after he has been paid in full.
Cheers-- Terry--WB4FXD Edenton, NC
Reply to
Terry
=>All good advice, but I guess we will never be able to solve the =>mystery........
I vote for the comment above re 29-cent receptacles.
Cheers-- Terry--WB4FXD Edenton, NC
Reply to
Terry
Guess we will never know the answer to the mystery....
Reply to
Chris
Bingo. Nelson pointed out the problem, exactly. Home Depot has those $0.29 outlets, if you are lucky they work twice, then the flimsy contact lose shape and spring. I would ask the GC to replace all the outlets, if he spent $1.29 per outlet to start with it would have been only $80 more.
MG
Reply to
MG
I could never figure out HOW in the world someone could produce such a unit for 29 cents ?????
Unless it is a loss leader?
What are the odds of all the bad ones in only two rooms?
Reply to
Chris
The night light may have a photoeye that will not turn on until it is dark. Check the outlet with a regular lamp.
Ben Miller
Reply to
Ben Miller
[snip]
Good point. And forget about the boom box. It might automatically switch over to batteries if no AC power is available.
GFCI testers (the types with the neon lamps) might show OK if there is a high resistance connection.
Reply to
Paul Hovnanian P.E.
The collective wisdom here seems to be that your nightlight and boombox probably have different thickness pins on their plugs.
I suggest that you plug your nightlight + boombox into an extension cord w/ double adapter (or one of those power boards that transforms one outlet into 4 or 6 or 12, etc.) and test those dodgey sockets by plugging in that extension lead's plug to see whether the outcome is unchanged. My thinking being that an extension lead or double adapter will be of sturdier manufacturing quality whereas your nightlight may have been manufactured with thinner pins because of its light load. The nightlight has just two pins does it?
Reply to
John Savage
I use an electric drill or other power tool to test outlets. It eliminates false positves from a neon, and the only switch is the trigger on the tool.
Reply to
Michael A. Terrell

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