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How can I check if there is electricity in a power socket without a tester or any other specialized tools?

Note: The method should not involve the destruction of the socket or my whole power supply!

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    Due to the danger associated with this question I feel this should be on a Electrical/electrician SE site. – Phlume Dec 10 '14 at 21:10
  • DANGER DANGER!! – Experimental Rocket Feb 22 '17 at 16:27
  • You didn't specify that you want to stay safe. Use your fingers! – Jacob Jones Mar 19 '17 at 4:35
41

Plug in a working electrical appliance (like a phone charger) and see if it works.

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    I can't believe how hard I was thinking for an answer to this question... Then this simple answer popped up. – Luke Dec 9 '14 at 22:14
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    Haha, it works every time. – J. Musser Dec 9 '14 at 22:15
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    Please expand your answer that there might still be dangerous electricity on the socket, even if the appliance does not power up (eg if the neutral is disconnected). Your method is good at finding positives, but can have false negatives. – Silent-Bob Feb 22 '17 at 11:35

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