Electrical Wiring in the Home/Outlet wiring problem


Hello Bob,

In my living room I have 2 electric outlets along 1 wall that must have a loose wire in one of them.  They are on the same circuit.  One outlet has a lamp plugged into it, and when I plug or unplug something from the other outlet, the lamp across the room will flicker and sometimes go off.  So I'm thinking there must be something loose somewhere.

How do I go about trouble shooting this problem?  I have done some elementary electrical things, like changing out a light switch or fixing a lamp.  But I have no experience with outlets.  Can you tell me what I should look for, and oh yea, where should I start?   lol  Thanks!  


Most likely, the problem is at the outlet where you plug things into causing the problems.  You can try replacing the outlet, or you can just make sure the wires are tight.  If they are pushed into the back tabs, move the wires to the screws on the side. If your house was built in the 1970's, you may have aluminum wiring.  If you do, you should have an electrician check on it periodically.

Replacing an outlet is not much different than a switch. Make sure the white wires go on the lighter colored screws. The bare wires goes on the green screw.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Bob Sponaugle


Just about any home wiring question. (not appliance repair) I have done all kinds of home wiring for myself, including adding a new breaker box, etc. Please, questions from North America only. Please be specific with details.

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