weird elecric problem

Would somebody please tell me how it is possible that my computer (notebook-Toshiba) works on only one outlet in the whole house? If I have it plugged into a receptacle in the bedroom, it will work for weeks or even months and then go dead. The battery has discharged because it has stopped getting electric energy. In order to turn it on again, I may try every outlet in the home, but only one will succeed, the one in my office. Once this one turns it on, it will recharge in a few hours and then I can return it to the bedroom outlet where it may work for weeks or months. Once it goes dead again, only one receptacle ill bring it back to life, the one in my office.

If the only information you’re going by is when the thing runs out of battery power and dies, you’re going to have a hard time narrowing this down. Is there not an LED on the laptop that tells you when it’s getting AC power? You’re going to need some immediate feedback.

Assuming you have verified that the other receptacles in the house actually work, I can think of nothing that would explain this. Bent prongs on your laptop plug maybe. A few amps through them from the office receptacle might be enough to heat them up slightly and make proper contact when you take the laptop back to your bedroom. But that’s really a stretch.

How old is the house?
How old is the wiring?
Used any testers on the receptacles?
Carried a lamp to each receptacle looking for a brightness difference?
Know how to use a multimeter?
You know how to tell if your laptop is on power or battery?
Model & age of laptop?

Just use an extension cord from the receptacle that works to your bed room. Fixed…


See above.

Possible that there is also a problem with the cord and plug on laptop. The outlet that works may be just a little higher or lower then the rest of the outlet causing the angle that the cord hangs to b e different.

check voltage between the hot and neutrals on all outlets. Check voltage between the hot and ground the ground and neutral of all outlets. Then plug in laptop and recheck all voltages.

Other than that I can not think of any reason a properly wired house should be giving you this problem.

I tend to agree - it’s probably a bad connection between the laptop and the cord and the way you are holding it in the office is different- or if you are using it on a soft surface it may overheat and shutdown until you take it somewhere else

Also agree on getting outlet tester - they are like $7

I cannot even think of any reason an improperly wired house would be causing this problem. OP did say the laptop would work fine for weeks or months at a time which rules out most things. My vote is for the cord angle / soft surface ideas suggested above, or some other coincidence unrelated to the wiring/receptacles themselves.

But here’s a possibility: The receptacles in question could all be on the same circuit, and there’s a failing backstabbed connection in the office receptacle which feeds all the others. The very act of plugging something in could cause the rest to start working, possibly because the receptacle was moved slightly (loose yoke screws). And then weeks later it opens up again by itself which isn’t all that unusual.

Of course one would assume that the OP would notice the bedroom alarm clock going dark when this happened or notice other dead receps, but I suppose when your laptop goes dead you want to get back to whatever you were doing in the bedroom with it ASAP.

Can’t explain why it’s only one outlet in your house that seems to be working.

But, I also have a Toshiba Netbook. I had really weird charging problems with it.

What is the model number of the Toshiba? I have an NB505.

Do this though. Pull the battery out and clean the contacts. It’s very, very easy. Takes 5 seconds. Near the rear ‘feet’ on the back there are two thumb ‘nubbins’ that can be moved to the outside of the computer. Move those out, and the battery module will come out. The right one is spring loaded, the left is not.

Looking down at the back of the computer, move those out and the whole battery pack will slide right out.

I was flumexed for weeks because sometimes it would take a charge. Sometimes not. I thought it was the charger. It wasn’t. The battery contacts had become unseated.

I did end up buying a new battery for it on Amazon. $25. Battery life went from ~2 hours back to about 5.

Agreed. If all the outlets are functional, but the load isn’t responding properly, the problem is with the device, not the source.

[quote=“core, post:6, topic:749457”]

I cannot even think of any reason an improperly wired house would be causing this problem. QUOTE]

Bad wire nut connection. Daisy chaining outlets so a loose connection at one outlet can cause problems down stream. Floating neutral. There are several others.

The OP said plugging the laptop into the office receptacle would fix it and then immediately taking the laptop back to the bedroom would cause it to work fine for weeks/months. None of your possibilities would fit that. Except if the failed connection (not necessarily “improperly wired”) was at the working recep which I already mentioned above.

I have seen some strange things with wiring problems. turn on computer lamp goes out and such.