Outside outlets not working

Old 12-03-04, 07:51 PM
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Outside outlets not working

My wife and I set up our Christmas lights today, and when we plugged in the outside lights, we found that none of the outlets on the front or back of the house are working. All the light strings work fine inside. The circuit breaker is not tripped, and I tried resetting the circuit anyway, just to be sure. There is no reset button on the outlet itself. If anyone has any other easy fixes, I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!
Old 12-03-04, 07:56 PM
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The GFCI is tripped. It's in the garage behind the canoe. Press the reset button.
Old 12-03-04, 09:02 PM
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John is right on target. Look all around the basement, garage, outside, kitchen, bathroom, etc. It's there, just push the reset on it.
Old 12-04-04, 06:02 AM
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Hi guys, I believe John Nelson is right here. But it brings up a point. In theory, IF someone couldn't find the reset with the naked eye (like many of us men can't do), is there a way to find it other than just "looking around"?

Old 12-04-04, 07:23 AM
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The short answer to that question is no. While it is possible to follow wiring where it is exposed, it is not possible to do so with any degree of accuracy when it is not exposed and when there is no electricity flowing through it.

Whenever someone moves into a house or apartment, whether brand new or owned by someone else, one of the first things they should do is to completely map out the electrical circuits in the dwelling. This doesn't mean that you need to know where all the wires run, but you do need to know exactly what receptacles, lights and/or appliances are on each circuit.

The goal is that, by looking at your chart, you can immediately know what circuit breaker or fuse control any particular outlet or appliance and what else is on the same circuit. Part of this process is also knowing what GFCI receptacles are present and what other downstream outlets are protected by those GFCI receptacles.

Knowing this information could save your life and would certainly make situations like this easier. In this case, the homeowner would know what other receptacles are on the circuit, and could easily go and check them.

Gr8wyte, keep looking. Check the basement, the garage, the utility room. You might also try making sure that all breakers are really on. Sometimes a tripped breaker appears to be on, and must be turned completely off before it can be turned back on. When you resolve this issue, take the time to properly map out the circuits.

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