GFCI outlet stopped working - easy fix?


  #1  
Old 06-09-04, 07:52 AM
mstadnik
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GFCI outlet stopped working - easy fix?

I have an electrical outlet in my bathroom that just recently stopped working. It is the only outlet in the bathroom. The vanity light fixture in the same room is still working.

The outlet has "test" and "reset" buttons on it, and from some research this morning see that this is a GFCI outlet I believe.

I pressed the "reset" button and it didn't fix the problem.

Are there any solid diagnostic tests I can run to troubleshoot this issue?

Note: I have very little electrical wiring experience. If I have to call an electrician, I am not opposed to it. But it seems that there are some things I can do first before I take that step.

Thanks for any advice.

mark
 
  #2  
Old 06-09-04, 08:11 AM
J
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Two possibilities: (1) you have a ground fault, (2) you have a defective GFCI.

Consider the first possibility. Ground faults can be caused by a number of things. One of the most common is water. If someone spashed water into something electrical (not necessarily this one outlet), it can cause a ground fault. That ground fault will not clear until it dries out, which could take several days. If you know of water that got into something electrical (perhaps somebody using a power washer outside the house, or the kids playing with the hose in the back yard, or somebody taking a vigorous bath, or a heavy rainstorm), then you can try to accelerate the drying process with a hair dryer. Otherwise, I suggest you wait a week to see if it clears itself. If not, post back.
 
  #3  
Old 06-09-04, 08:42 AM
mstadnik
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Thanks for the response John.

From what I know, the outlet stopped working a few weeks ago. Thus, not sure if giving it more time to dry will resolve.

Is there anything in the circuit breaker box in the basement I need to recycle possibly? All of the circuit breakers are in the "ON" position.

Or could it be a faulty GFCI outlet? That would seem to be the least plausible reason for failure.

thanks again,

mark
 
  #4  
Old 06-09-04, 09:03 AM
R
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It is possible the circuit breaker tripped. Some circuit breakers appear to be on even though they are tripped. Try turning the correct circuit breaker off and then on. If you don't know which is the correct circuit breaker for the bathroom outlet (shame on you, do yourself a favor and determine this) then try turning all the breakers off and then on.
 
  #5  
Old 06-09-04, 09:33 AM
mstadnik
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racraft,

thanks, that sounds like the most logical next step. i am not at home at the time, so i can't test it out right now. i was in the circuit breaker box the other day for an unrelated issue so that is how i know (unless i missed it) that all were in the "on" position.

mark
 
  #6  
Old 06-10-04, 09:03 AM
mstadnik
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outlet is working again!

i "thought" all of the circuits were on but found a lonely, unlabeled breaker that had tripped and switching that back on fixed the problem. threw a label on it and good to go.

thanks for the help all.
 
 

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