3 none operating outlets


Old 08-21-05, 12:23 PM
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3 none operating outlets

Okay, here is the problem. I have three outlets on a circuit that seems to operate only to a specific point. All outlets had been working until I plugged a pressure washer to the outside outlet. After that the outside and 2 inside outlets do not work. I bought an analyzer and what I get is confusing. Best I can tell is that out of the three lights on the analyzer I get one good amber light on the right and the middle amber light appears to be on but is dim. This is the case with all three outlets. There is a GFCI outlet just before the first bad outlet which is functional and appears to have no problem. I get two solid amber lights on that one. The other three outlets appear to have absolutely no power going throught them. Any Ideas? The breaker is a 15 amp breaker. Could this be going bad and not allow the power to complete the circuit?
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Old 08-21-05, 02:50 PM
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If you know the outlay of the circuit, then the problem has to be with the first non-working receptacle, which I would have suspected to be the GFCI. If you are SURE the GFCI is working (plug something into it) then after turning off the breaker, remove and inspect the wiring in the first receptacle that doesn't work.
Old 08-28-05, 05:13 PM
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I have removed all three non working outlets and checked the wires. everything appears okay. The GFCI has power and all when tested with the reset, works as well. I had some one mention a bad ground or neutral, but I don't see any problems with the wiring. It's very confusing. the circuit works all the way to the GFCI but not after. I tried replacing the old outlets with new GFCI's but no matter how I wired it, I could not get the new GFCI to reset.
Old 08-28-05, 05:23 PM
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Could you have possibly reversed "line" and "load" on the GFCI?

Is this circuit wired with 14/2, 14/3, 12/2 or 12/3? Is the breaker 15-amp or 20-amp? Is the breaker single-pole or double-pole?
Old 08-29-05, 05:31 PM
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Well I didn't install the wire, but it looks like it is 12/3 on a 15 AMP single breaker. The house was built in 86 and the breaker and wire appears to be original.

As for reversing the line and load, I thought of that so I tried it both ways. One way gave me the one bright and one dull amber lights on the tester and the other gave me nothing at all. Neither way allowed me to reset the GFCI.
Old 08-31-05, 09:31 AM
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You have a classic open circuit, most likely an open neutral. The probable cause is a failed back stab connection.

Check ALL the receptacles on the circuit, those that don't work AND those that do work. While checking, move any back stabbed connections to screw terminals.
Old 09-01-05, 07:35 PM
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Thanks, Every one of the connections are the back stab. I'll try that and let you know how it comes out.
Old 09-02-05, 08:25 AM
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Thanks for your help. You were absolutely correct. It was an outlet outside that was working already. I removed the back stabs and moved the wire to the screws and everything works again. While I was at it I replaced the old outlets with the GFCI. Thanks again.
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