2 outlets in kitchen have no power to them


Electric Outlets Don't Work

I have two outlets on one wall that don't work. I have replaced both outlets so have concluded that isn't the problem. There is power in the black wire so I assume the problem is continuity in the white wire. Other Outlets and lights on the circuit work. Any suggestions on the cause and solution would be greatly appreciated.

You checked the black wire and it was energized. Since the white seems to be the problem, then I assume you tested black to ground to determine there was juice there. But when you test black to white, you get nothing.

Thus, the white has an open some where. Do you know where the feed to the outlets comes from? Is there an outlet that feeds them, or perhaps fed from a light fixture in the floor below?

Not knowing what floor these are on, and if you have access to the ceiling below, I am not sure where to tell you to look. But you need to find where they are being fed from. Then you check to see if the...

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April 29th, 2015 | Kitchens

If you are planning for a kitchen remodel, big trends tend to take the drivers seat for design and planning. When planning big picture design, electrical outlets should be carefully planned & placed with thought and purpose.

Your kitchen is an electrical outlet hub that has various needs for different tasks. From major appliances to small appliances, to lighting, exhaust fans & built-in appliances, each has their own space restrictions and needs that need to be thoughtfully planned out. A place to charge and store your phone or tablet might be a high priority, or perhaps a small electric hub that holds your coffee pot, juicer & blender is a must.

Between electric codes, aesthetics, placement and more, we are here to help break down your questions and concerns to create a perfectly groomed space that meets all of your electrical needs.

Introduction to Electrical Outlets

The first step to outlet success is...

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I have a series of outlets in the kitchen. I think the power comes in from the house panel (20A breaker) to a GFCI outlet, then is connected to two outlets to one side and one to the other. We began to notice that these 3 outlets worked intermittently, and if we pushed the reset button on the GFCI outlet, they would work again. However as I test each outlet, the light in the tester is noticeably dim in the single outlet to one side, as if there is power but not enough for the device plugged in. The two outlets to the other side do not work at all. We plug a standard coffee pot (lots of watts) to the GFCI outlet, which will sometime 'trip', however no red light or 'snap' of the button. Just no power to the coffee maker.

Also, the breaker in the panel does not trip, the outlets were installed about 7 years ago by an electrician as part of a renovation. If I manually switch the breaker off and on, all outlets work again, but for how long is unknown.


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We tracked down an electrician who, not surprisingly, adds kitchen outlets all the time. He showed us how he adds an outlet to a kitchen backsplash by running conduit through the back of the cabinets. This method is fast, inexpensive, super simple, and best of all, doesn’t require a whole bunch of wall repairs or painting. This article shows how to install one new outlet, but you can add several by following similar steps.

Step 1: Before you get started

Kitchens need to be on a dedicated 20-amp circuit and require 12-gauge wire. Today, 12-gauge wire is wrapped in a yellow sheath, but your old cable may be white. New circuits in kitchens need both arc fault and ground fault circuit interruption (AFCI, GFCI) protection. In this story, we’re adding an outlet to a kitchen that already has GFCI protection, which has been required for many years. If your kitchen is not on a 20-amp circuit, or doesn’t have GFCI protection, you’ll have to install a new circuit...

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Just in case I am not here to guide you along. Here are the first steps:

1. Turn off the power to that circuit at the service panel.
2. Remove the four screws holding down the receptacle cover plate. Remove the cover plate.
3. Remove the two screws securing the GFCI receptacle. Withdraw the GFCI receptacle outwards until you can access the terminal screws on the side of the receptacle.

You might see something like this:

Your installation may differ. If you are not certain of what you see, take photos on both sides of the GFCI and post them here.

On the lower screw terminals you should see a WHITE cable on the left hand side and a BLACK cable on the right hand side.
There will also be a bare copper wire which is the earth connection.

Here are the standard colors for AC mains in North America:

L = LINE = BLACK = brass screw terminal
N = NEUTRAL = WHITE = gray screw terminal
E = EARTH = COPPER = green screw...

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Here is another question that came to me from a website visitor, but before I answer the question, I have to set the record straight on exactly who is allowed to work on electrical systems.


My Father-in-Law changed the outlets in my kitchen in my apartment. He’s a Superintendent in another townhouse complex so he has some idea of changing outlets. What happens is that when we turn on the breaker, all the power to the outlets trip out. When we try it again the main power switch board in the hallway trips out leaving me with no power to our apartment. We checked all the outlets to see if they were installed correctly but we can’t figure out what’s causing the problem. Every time the breaker in the hall trips, we have to call the Super to reset the power but he won’t do it anymore. He says he’ll have to call an electrician to fix problem and will charge us, which is what I’m trying to avoid. The super said that one of the outlets has to be cut or something to...

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OK this one is killing me. I have done tons of research and I'm at my wits end! I lost power to all of the outlets in my kitchen. No biggie - went downstairs and looked at the box and none of the breakers were tripped. Reset it anyway. Nothing. Got a volt meter and the line inside the breaker box is live, but the lines leading to the outlets in the kitchen are all dead. So I replaced the 20A breaker, replaced the GFCI, reset everything and still nothing.

I did have an outlet outside on a GFCI that had been tripped, but I reset it (never use it, so I later I removed it, pigtailed the wires and capped them, and sealed everything up) and still nothing. It's not on the same circuit as the kitchen, and both black wires have juice.

So my question is two-fold:

1. Is the problem in the kitchen a loose/broken connection in the wall somewhere, or are there still things I can try?

2. Is it OK for me to have pigtailed (black pigtailed to black, white pigtailed to white)...

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Because it is an island, it should have GFCI breaker or outlets - and it is probable the light was wired into the same circuit as the island outlets since the switch is on the island.

If your breaker is a GFCI type, push the TEST button on it. If it trips to off, then probably not a breaker issue, and reset it to ON. If it does not trip to OFF or trips right back to OFF after you reset it, could be a failed breaker that tripped inside its guts but did not trip the lever - call an electrician to check if he needs to replace the breaker.

If one of your island outlets has a GFCI outlet, with TEST and RESET buttons, try pushing the TEST, then the RESET button - it may have tripped out when a light bulb went out. If it will not reset, you have a wiring issue and need an electrician.

It is also possible the island is on the same circuit as other wall outlets in the kitchen - check them power, and if any are dead check for a tripped GFCI outlet in the convenience...

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The circuit breaker will trip if there is an overload condition on the circuit. Sounds like you've got a broken or loose connection, not an overload. Another possibility, is that the breakers are run to a GFCI outlet, and it has tripped.

Check your kitchen and bathroom outlets first - these are normally the GFCI outlets in a home. Either the breaker is a GFCI breaker, or the outlets are -- if the GFCI is built into the outlets, they will have a 'test' and 'reset' button. Ordinarily, the button pops out on the outlet, when the circuit has been tripped, but I've seen a few cases where plugs overlapped the button, and you couldn't see it had been tripped.

If the GFCI circuits are ok, then most likely, the wall outlets (without power) are wired in 'series'.. that is, power is run from one to the next, to the next. Locate the first outlet in the series, and you'll probably find a broken or loose wire. Note -- don't go pulling outlets before turning off the breakers.


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First off, I want to thank all of you for your advice. I will certainly come here with any more problems because I try to do most of the stuff around here while my husband is at work so he doesn't have so much to worry about when he gets home. No, I can't clone myself.....

The problem ended up being in the light switch. Both of the ground wires were actually wraped together and grounded out somewhere other than the switch box. When I re-wired the switch, finding a black wire on the screw, I ASSumed that it was the ground wire and put it to the ground screw, then the black and a red wire (go figure) I attached as they had been. Turns out the second black wire I had put on the ground screw was the hot wire. Since it is grounded somewhere else there wasn't anything on the ground screw. Once both hots were connected, one in the hole and one on the screw and the red in the other, it all works.

That is just amazing. It did help me to realize that power was feeding from...

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