No Power to Outlet(s)

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  #1  
Old 07-05-05, 04:41 PM
bwalifer
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No Power to Outlet(s)

I have two bathroom wall outlets that both stopped working. They are tied to the same circuit at the electical panel. I replaced the circuit breaker with an identical replacement, but that did not fix the problem. I swapped out both of the outlets with new GFCI outlets and secured all of the wiring. This has not worked either. At this point, I'm not sure what else I can try as I have swapped all of the components which I am able to swap. Any ideas?
 
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Old 07-05-05, 06:47 PM
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My guess would be another GFCI on the circuit. What else is on the circuit? (If you don't know, shame on you.) What about a GFCI in the garage, basement, or outside?

Have you determined if there is power to the receptacles? If there is no power to the receptacles then you can change the GFCIs till the cows come home, it won't make a difference.

Use a two wire tester, or even a regular plug in receptacle tester to test for power at the receptacles.
 
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Old 07-05-05, 07:04 PM
bwalifer
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No Power to Outlet(s)

The two bathroom outlets should be the only outlets on the circuit. I did not originally install them so I am relying on appropriate documentation at the panel, which reads that the bathroom outlets are the only outlets on the circuit.

I probably should have stated earlier that these outlets had been working since I bought the house in 2003. They are located in different bathrooms, but on the same circuit, and they both went out at the same time, so I figured that I needed to swap the circuit breaker.

First, I swapped the breaker. After testing to verify that the problem remained, I then swapped the outlets, so as to not change multiple variables in the process.
 
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Old 07-05-05, 07:25 PM
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So you do not know what else is on the circuit. Now you know why you should have spent an afternoon mapping out the entire electrical system. Relying on the panel labels is never a good idea.

My money is still on a GFCI somewhere else in the house that you haven't found or haven't checked.

Verify that there IS or IS NOT power at the receptacles in the bathrooms. Not at the output of the receptacles, but at the wires. This is where you need to start.
 
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Old 07-05-05, 08:49 PM
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Depending on the age of your home, you may find the GFCI outlet that protects the bathrooms in the garage. I thought one of my homes was special, but I've run into several folks with the same GFCI placement.
 
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Old 07-05-05, 10:10 PM
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Also check the basement, laundry room, front porch/deck/patio; anyplace where local code may require a GFCI. Also look at any large closets or other spaces that the builder or a previous owner may have intended to convert into bathrooms at the time the circuit was originally wired.
 
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Old 07-07-05, 11:19 AM
bwalifer
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No power to Outlet(s)

Thanks for the replies and assistance. I spent most of yesterday mapping out the electical system in the house and did find a GFCI outlet on the same circuit. I've reset that outlet and it is working fine. I still cannot get the GFCI's in the bathrooms to work. I've double checked the mapping and am certain that I am correct in understanding what is on the circuit. I can get a standard (non-GFCI) outlet to work in the bathrooms, but cannot get a GFCI outlet to work. Still not sure what the problem is, but I am going to use the non-GFCI outlets in the interim.
 
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Old 07-07-05, 01:12 PM
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Now we're getting somewhere... Were the original receptacles GFCI? When you trip (test) the GFCI receptacle you found on the same circuit do the regular receptacle you installed lose power?
 

Last edited by rodek01; 07-07-05 at 01:13 PM. Reason: correct 'outlet' to 'receptacle'
  #9  
Old 07-07-05, 01:37 PM
bwalifer
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No power to receptacles

The original receptacles were not GFCI receptacles they were regular. When I found the other GFCI on the circuit, I hit the reset; at that point power returned to the receptacles..

Yes, when I trip the GFCI receptacle power is lost to the regular receptacles. I very much want to change the regular receptacles to GFCI.
 
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Old 07-07-05, 02:00 PM
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The regular receptacles are already GFCI protected by the one you found. A GFCI receptacle on the load side of another GFCI receptacle will always cause the upstream one to trip.

Use a couple of the labels that came with the new GFCI receptacles and apply them to the regular receptacle cover plates.

You may also want to take the opportunity to identify what other receptacles are protected by the GFCI receptacle you found and label them also.
 
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Old 07-07-05, 02:36 PM
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A GFCI receptacle on the load side of another GFCI receptacle will always cause the upstream one to trip
This is a bit of an overstatement. In the old days, a GFCI on the load side of another GFCI would sometimes cause the upstream one to trip. With the better GFCIs we have these days, it almost never does. So these days, a GFCI on the load side of another GFCI is usually nothing worse than a waste of money.
 
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Old 07-07-05, 02:50 PM
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John, Agreed - I did over generalize. I was focused on the fact that this particular GFCI was tripping when a GFCI was added downstream, I should have stated it in that way. Thanks for pointing this out to me!!!
 
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Old 07-07-05, 10:07 PM
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bwalifer,

If you want to use GFCIs in the bathrooms, then change the wiring of the GFCI in the basement.

Make all connections to the basement GFCI receptacle on the LINE side terminals. Do not use the LOAD side terminals.

Note: If there are other receptacles on this circuit in the basement or outside or in the garage then you will have to make all of these GFCI receptacles as well.
 
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