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If you have repeated problems with tripping circuit breakers, it's easy to blame the breakers, but you may have defective appliances or wiring problems in a wall socket. You can troubleshoot the wall sockets on a particular circuit using a wall socket tester, a device which plugs into the socket to indicate whether there is a fault, no power to the socket at all or if the outlet is working perfectly. If the wall socket is fine, you may be able to move on to testing a circuit breaker next.
Searching on the Internet for these devices will turn up plenty of items for use in England, but finding these devices for use in America may be trickier. The good news is that you can use a multimeter to do the same thing but setting the meter to AC volts, in the 200 volt range. Do not put your multimeter on "current". If you do not know how to use a multimeter properly, it's best not to attempt to troubleshoot a wall socket until you have read the instructions carefully.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|