Why would having too many outlets on one circuit cause problems?
It's not the outlets themselves which are the problem, it's what might be plugged in to them. The more outlets, the more loads that can be added to the circuit. Having lots of outlets simply increases the opportunity to add loads, and ultimately, to overload the circuit. Overloads, as you may know, can result ultimately in fires with attendant loss of property or even lives. Of course, if only small loads are plugged in to the outlets, and/or if many of the outlets are unused, then there would be no problem -- except possibly for one: you need to make sure your installation is "up to code"; that is, it complies with the laws and regulations that apply to your electrical wiring. In the USA, a good place to start if you have questions about code requirements is http://www.nfpa.org/freecodes/free_access_agreement.asp?id=7008SB This site gives you free access to the 2008 National Electrical Code.
What would cause a 20A circuit breaker to remain on but have power with only two outlets and nothing anywhere else?
A disconnected or broken wire along the path somewhere. If you have 5 outlets (in a row) on a breaker and the wire breaks at the 3rd outlet, the first two outlets will still work but the others will not. Rodents are known to gnaw on wires and that can cause the break. Or maybe a wire just came loose from a recepticle.
Why does your inside 4 outlet circuit randomly go off under no load only to come on again at random without tripping the breaker while outside lights on the same circuit stay on?
When your house was wired the outlets were probably wired using the stab in terminals on the back of the outlets, these tend to cause trouble over time.Turn off the power and rewire the outlets using the binding screw terminals.By chance if the outlets are wired on the binding screws, inspect all for loose joints.You may have to inspect every box and outlet on this circuit to find the problem. I once had a customer…
All of the outlets in one room in your basement quit working none of the breakers are tripped what might cause this and how can it be repaired?
What would cause all the outlets to short on the same circuit without the breaker being tripped and you replaced the outlet and there was no power but 2 hours later power returned?
Open or short? If it's truly a short you have a major fire hazard. If it's an open circuit you may just have a poor connection at one or more of the duplex receptacles. Does your home have aluminum wire to the outlets? If so, you'll keep having problems and that too is a fire hazard. Aluminum wire tends to oxidize and otherwise end up with poor connections. You may need to get an electrician…