Dead outlet in basement for a cube freezer


About two months ago, I purchased an Igloo cube freezer for my basement. I plugged it into a standard 120V grounded outlet and it turned on and ran apparently normally for a three weeks before I found that the freezer had turned off and all of the food had spoiled.

I quickly realized that there was no power to the outlet. Upon inspecting my circuit breaker panel, there were no tripped breakers. I eventually got around to cutting power to the whole house - I wasn't sure what individual breaker the outlet was on - and I replaced the outlet. I noticed that the old outlet was a little beat up, with the plastic around the ground broken off. I figured that the outlet was old or had become defective over time.

Well, the freezer ran fine for about a week, and now the new outlet is dead. No response from anything else plugged into the outlet and again no individual circuit breakers are tripped. I'm at a loss as to why this has occurred. I will likely kill the power to the...

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Several outlets in the basement bedroom do not seem to work. The same thing with the overhead light. However some other outlets in the same room which are mounted at the top of the wall instead of the bottom actually do work. The circuit breaker is not tripped.

Is there anything I can do to troubleshoot or do I have to call an electrician? I don't remember there being anything in the home inspection report saying that these don't work however this is the first time I've tried to use them and they're not outputting any power.

Here are some photos of the circuit breaker and one of the outlets. In case you're wondering where the light is coming from it's from the one outlet that does work near the ceiling:

Adding some things from my home inspection report:

OPERATION OF GFCI & AFCI (GROUND FAULT & ARC FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTERS) [Inspected] PLEASE BE AWARE -- Recommended upgrade -- GFCI's (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) were not required, or were ...

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Number 4 is the big clue. One side of your electric service is dropping out, turning on the stove causes it to back feed. This is likely caused by a loose connection on one of the service lines feeding your house. There are however a few other possibilities I'll cover below.

For the sake of explanation, let's say the location of the problem is a loose lug inside your electric meter. Over time that loose connection has been building up heat, it's likely aluminum wire that melts and burns and produces black carbon. As this continues over time it eventually works its way "open" and will no longer feed that side of your electric service resulting in partial lights out in your house, that might mysteriously just come back on as that burning lug cools down. You turn on the stove (which uses both sides of the electric service) and it back-feeds current through the circuit back to that bad lug, when that happens and the two opposing sides of the electric service meet it arcs and it...

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Posted By: gruenke I don't see any burn marks or soot on the outside of the outlet. Any thoughts?

First, are you


there isn't a GFCI on that circuit? Sometimes they're in out of the way spots like behind the storage rack in the garage, in the basement or outdoors.

Next, turn off the breaker, pull the receptacle out of the junction box, and check the inside of the box for burn marks or broken wires. Also check the last working receptacle on this circuit if you can identify where the power is coming from.

Or did I just replace a working freezer (albeit old and probably needing replacing anyway) because of a dead outlet?

Perhaps you did, but at least you'll save on your energy bill with the new one. A modern freezer probably uses less than half of one 20 years...

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Mark the spot where the Handy Box is to be mounted. There is no code requirement for mounting height, but 48 inches above the floor is standard industry practice for basement and garage receptacles. Hold the box against the wall and mark two holes diagonally opposite one another for mounting the box.

Using the recommended masonry bit size for the plastic anchors being used, drill the mounting holes. Tap the plastic anchors in place with the hammer.

Remove one of the knockouts from the end of the Handy Box, install one of the 3/8-inch cable connectors in the box, and secure the box to the wall with the screws provided in the anchor kit.

Route the cable from the service panel to the Handy Box. Run the cable through the rafters through...

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I flipping love ice. I have ice cubes in all my drinks. It's the little luxuries that make life worth living, after all :-)

I'm not fortunate enough to have one of those huge American style fridge freezers with a built in icemaker, so I've always just frozen water from the tap in those little ice trays, but when you have as much ice as I do, it becomes time-consuming to do this every day. I recently bought a tabletop ice maker, which I had for about six months. I loved it, but the quality and size of cubes just weren't up to my abnormally high standards...! I'm currently buying 2 2Kg bags of ice every week, and whilst at...

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Troubleshooting the outlet

When an outlet goes dead, it’s easy to jump to conclusions and assume the worst. But more often than not, the problem is something simple, and you can save the cost of a service call just by taking a few steps to trace the cause. Don’t worry if you’re not comfortable doing electrical work. Better than half the time, you’ll solve the problem without even lifting a tool. We’ll show you how to start your search for the problem by checking in the most likely places. If that doesn’t work, we’ll show you where to look for loose connections that may be to blame, and how to fix them.

Of course, there will always be problems that are best left to an electrician. But if you take these steps first, there’s a good chance you’ll find the solution.

Check for Simple Solutions First

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The energy hog in question

Last month, Mr. Frugalwoods and I made a startling discovery: we’ve been harboring an energy hog in our basement. When we bought our home three years ago, it came outfitted with a behemoth, aged refrigerator in the basement in addition to the newer, smaller fridge on the main floor. Huh, we thought at the time, a second fridge! Not a looker to be sure, but it was already there and we figured we could put it to good use. We proceeded to store a few items in it, dub it “The Hulk,” and not think much more about it.

Enter: The Energy Use Monitor

Until… Mr. FW was beset by a nagging suspicion a few weeks ago that this hulking downstairs cooling machine was responsible for sucking up the vast majority of our energy bill. The horror!

To corroborate this theory, he trotted out our energy use monitor, which measures the amount of electricity a given device uses over time. The beauty of this gadget is that it averages energy usage over...

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If your freezer makes ice, then your ice cube tray is probably sitting empty, frozen and alone, in the freezer door, or abandoned in the back of a cabinet somewhere.

Go and get it right this instant, because the ice cube tray is a brilliant cook's tool, and can — nay, should! — be used for freezing many other things besides ice. Individual storage areas? Check. Small portions? Check. Totally freezer-friendly? Obviously. Here are 15 foods perfectly suited for freezing in an ice cube tray.

1. Homemade stock

The perfect way to store a small amount of stock (about two tablespoons per well) to use for reheating leftovers or making a sauce.

2. Smoothie ingredients

Rushing out the door in the morning? Throw a few frozen smoothie cubes into a to-go cup and they'll be defrosted (but still chilly!) by the time you reach work.

3. Coffee

No more coffee-flavored water! This trick keeps that iced...

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Four new-born babies have been found dead - two of them in a basement freezer - at an apartment complex in the southern Austrian city of Graz.

Police are questioning a woman aged 32 - believed to be the mother - and her 38-year-old partner.

The first body was found on Monday - reportedly when a tenant went to get an ice cream for his daughter. Later another body was found in the freezer.

The third and fourth were in a paint bucket and under a pile of debris.


Sniffer dogs led police to the bucket, which had been filled with cement, and to the debris, which was in a garden shed.

The fourth body was found in a plastic bag on Friday at the residence, about 200 km (120 miles) south of Vienna.

Police are now trying to determine the cause of death in each case.

The woman, a bookkeeper, is reported to have admitted killing the babies in despair after giving birth.

The suspicious deaths are believed to have taken...

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Upright freezers use more electricity because heat rises, cold air sinks. So when you open a chest freezer, the cold air stays put, but when you open an upright, all the cold air falls to the floor and the freezer if flooded with warm air.

I just wanted to mention that the old freezers that you find on craigslist may be a good deal initially, but if you intend on keeping them a decade they may not be. First, they are older units which may just decide to die and you have to replace it. Ok, you can counter that by looking at the manufacture date on the serial plate. But second the older freezers are more inefficient. Yes, the old ones probably used better material in the chest and will not dent/break as easily, but that compressor and the insulation are horribly less efficient. Living in a state where the electricity costs are WAY higher than most of you, that electricity cost is VERY important for me to consider.

With my electrical rates, I decided I could ‘dig’ in the...

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You’re looking for a portable refrigerator, but you’re not sure which one to buy. Your specific needs and how much you’re willing to spend will determine if you get a true portable refrigerator or just a cooler. This article takes a look at true portable refrigerators and freezers and leaves the less expensive, less effective thermoelectric coolers for another article.

The difference between a thermoelectric 12V cooler and a portable refrigerator is the compressor. A thermoelectric portable cooler has the advantage of being less expensive, but because of its compresssor-less design, it depends on the ambient temperature to determine what temperature it can maintain.

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