Outdoor outlets stop working

Reply

  #1  
Old 08-21-04, 10:07 PM
df1
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Outdoor outlets stop working

I have two outdoor outlets. One is in front of the house and the other is in the back. They both were working fine until today. While I was trimming the grass, the trimmer lost electricity. I tried to plug to the outlet in the back, and it also doesn't have any electricity. For troubleshooting, I plugged a night light into both outlets. But nothing happens. For some reasons, both outlets stop working. I checked the electrical panel and none of the breakers was tripped. The two outdoor outlets are not GFCI because I don't see the "Test" button. Do you know what's going on here? How do I trouble shoot and fix this problem? Thanks
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 08-22-04, 06:37 AM
HandyRon's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 1,365
Most likely the two receptacles are GFCI protected by another receptacle on the same circuit. Check for the test/reset buttons on other receptacles in and around your home. Such as garage, basement, maybe even bathroom or kitchen.
 
  #3  
Old 08-22-04, 09:48 AM
df1
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I reset all the GFCI outlets in the house and even reset the breaker labeled "Bathroom GFI" in the electrical panel. But the outdoor outlets still are not working. I don't have any GFCI in the garage.
 
  #4  
Old 08-22-04, 12:20 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Keep looking, you probably have a GFCI that you don't know about.
 
  #5  
Old 08-22-04, 05:19 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
I don't have any GFCI in the garage
Yes you do. You just haven't found it yet. Did you look behind the canoe? Behind the paint cabinet? Behind that sheet of plywood leaning against the wall?
 
  #6  
Old 08-22-04, 09:18 PM
df1
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I don't have a GFI outlet (with the "Test" button) inside the garage.
But there is GFI breaker in the electrical panel for the garage. It is not tripped. I tried to reset the breaker but the two outdoor outlets are still not working. All the outlets inside the garage are working.

There is also a GFI breaker in the electrical panel for all the bathrooms upstairs (bedroom level). Those are the two GFI breakers in the electrical panel.

The kitchen and bathroom in the basement have their own GFI outlets (with the "test" button.

Since both front and back outside outlets stop working at the same time, are they on the same circuit? Does that make sense?

Any suggestion where I shoud be looking for the mysterious GFI besides the obvious places (bathroom, electrical panel, basement)? Thanks
 
  #7  
Old 08-22-04, 10:08 PM
Rlfrazee
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Just as an example in my home the garage outlets and the front outside outlet are on my bathroom GFCI. The backyard outside outlet is a GFCI type. So it can be anywhere. I found one once on the back side of a built in bookcase. However your problem does not have to be a tripped gfci, though it sure as heck sounds like it. Why dont you try a few things, go purchase a receptacle tester, some of them will also test the gfci's. First look for that mystery GFCI. Plug this receptacle tester into one of your bad outlets and a series of lights and how they light up will tell you what wiring problem exists. For instance dead hot, open neutral, etc. Second and I dont mean to imply you dont know how to reset a breaker but they need to be moved all the way to the off position and then to the on position. Thing is outside outlets are Gfci protected so this is what makes everyone think you have a tripped gfci. So be sure your gfci's are actually resetting when you push the reset button....Hope this helps....RL
 
  #8  
Old 08-22-04, 10:27 PM
Speedy Petey's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,455
I'll have to jump in here and agree with the tripped GFI theory. You have GFIs all over the place and logic says that the outside is protected as well. If you had none in the house like an oll original 50's house might then the GFI throry is shaky.

Is this a newer modular? Many of those have a GFI in the living room inside in the general location of the front outside receptacle.
 
  #9  
Old 08-23-04, 07:50 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
But there is GFI breaker in the electrical panel for the garage. It is not tripped. I tried to reset the breaker
Exactly how did you try to reset the breaker? Push it hard to the off position, and then push it hard back to the on position.
 
  #10  
Old 08-23-04, 07:52 AM
df1
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
The house was built in 1998.

As I mentioned before, there are only two breakers in the electrical panel. The one for the bathroom is just a breaker without the "test" button. The one for the garage has the "test" button. Is that normal? I tried to reset all the breakers in the panel but nothing works
 
  #11  
Old 08-23-04, 08:00 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Keep looking. There will be a GFCI recepticle somewhere that feeds the outdoor recepticles.
 
  #12  
Old 08-23-04, 09:22 AM
df1
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
For the bathroom GFI breaker, I moved the switch to off and the on position. For the garage breaker, I pushed the "test" button
 
  #13  
Old 08-23-04, 09:46 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
The "test" button trips the breaker. To reset it, you must physically move the lever to off and then back on again. After you do that, do not press the test button again.
 
  #14  
Old 08-23-04, 01:53 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Hamilton County, Ohio
Posts: 4,294
df1, I copied one of your posts.
If your house was bulit in 1998, it almost has to have more than two breakers. Are you looking at a sub panel instead of the main service panel?
You should have 100 - 200 amp main breaker plus numerous other breakers.


"The house was built in 1998.

As I mentioned before, there are only two breakers in the electrical panel. The one for the bathroom is just a breaker without the "test" button. The one for the garage has the "test" button. Is that normal? I tried to reset all the breakers in the panel but nothing works"
 
  #15  
Old 08-23-04, 11:02 PM
df1
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Finally, I found the GFI for the outdoor outlets. It is hidden behind the hot water tank in the furnace room. After reset, the outlets are working again. Thanks for all your help.
 
  #16  
Old 08-24-04, 11:21 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Hamilton County, Ohio
Posts: 4,294
John Nelson probably won't say I told you so, but I'll bet he is wearing a big smile.
 
  #17  
Old 08-25-04, 09:57 PM
df1
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I thought that my problem is over but not quite. There is a GFI breaker (without the "test" button) in the main panel for all the outlets in the 2 bathrooms upstairs. When I was troubleshooting the outdoor outlet problem, I switched that breaker to off and as expected, the outlets in the bathrooms were shut off. I then switched the breaker back to on and moved on to other breakers. Today when I tried to use one of the bathroom outlets and found out that it is not working. Actually all the outlets in the 2 upstairs bathrooms are no longer working. (They were working fine about a month ago). I checked the panel, and breaker is still set to on. Just to be sure, I set to off and then on again. But the oulets are still not working. Do you know what is going one here? Do I have a bad breaker or did I screw up something? Thanks
 
  #18  
Old 08-26-04, 05:04 AM
HandyRon's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 1,365
All GFCI Breakers that would be in your 1998 home have a test button. If this doesn't, then the GFCI test/reset button for your bathroom recepts must have tripped. Similar to your experience with the outside recepts, now you have to look around for that receptacle that serves the bathrooms. Look in garage, outside, basmt, all bathrooms and kitchen as maybe they circuited weird.
 
  #19  
Old 08-26-04, 11:41 AM
Cruizer
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I'm starting to think it would be better to use GFCI outlets at all outlets where it's required rather than wiring them in with another GFCI outlet or using GFCI breakers. It may cost more, but at least you know that you can reset it right at the outlet.
 
  #20  
Old 12-10-10, 08:56 AM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 1
Thumbs up

Just had to say how valuable this thread was to me! All our outdoor outlets stopped working (just in time for Christmas lights!) We thought we knew where all the outlets could be that the GFCIs could be tripped. That was until "behind the water heater" was mentioned. Ta-Da! There it was and we're up and running once again.
 
  #21  
Old 12-10-10, 09:07 AM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: orange county
Posts: 285
Smile

Wow all the old pros back together on the same thread. Racraft, Nelson, Speedy, Handyron. Very cool Have a great holiday
 
  #22  
Old 12-10-10, 09:42 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,133
I almost think this post should be pinned. This has happened more then once and would be a great reference for people with a dead receptacle.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes