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Electrical Outlets Not Working in 1940s Home

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Joseph on the line with an electrical question. What’s going on at your money pit?

    JOSEPH: I’ve got an older house. It was built in the 1940s and my daughter’s nursery, the overhead fan and lights work but none of the sockets in the room function. And I have no breakers that have tripped.

    TOM: So somewhere, those sockets are disconnected. Now, are you sure the sockets are not connected to a light switch?

    JOSEPH: I am 99-percent positive, sir.

    TOM: There’s a seed of a doubt there that perhaps they could be. You know, sometimes the light – the outlets are operated by a light switch. But I would say that it’s not normal for that to happen in a 1940s house.

    But what you need to do is this – and when I say “you need to do,” more accurately an electrician needs to do. You’ve got to get into the wiring that’s supplying those outlets and try to figure out why it’s disconnected. I can’t imagine a reason it would have been physically disconnected, which means it’s most likely some failure in the wiring of the outlets themselves. But if you open up the outlets, you can see if you have hot wires there and try to figure out at what point they became de-energized. Because they are probably wired in series, so the wiring goes from one to the next to the next. And you need to do a little bit more investigation to figure out why that is.

    But it’s really not a do-it-yourself project. I don’t want you to make a mistake and I don’t want you to get electrocuted.

    JOSEPH: Yes, sir. Then I will definitely look at calling an electrician.

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