Switches not working


Old 09-07-05, 01:07 PM
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Switches not working

Here's the situation:
Two outlets in the garage and two exterior outlets quit working. One minute they were good, the next they were not. None are GFCI and the circuit breaker did not trip. Also, when the circuit breaker is shut off, the black wire leaving the breaker is still showing HOT (according to an electrical tester). I have already tried to replace the breaker, but it did not do the trick. The house was bulit in 1998, so the wiring isn't too old.

Any help would GREATLY be appreciated.


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Old 09-07-05, 01:19 PM
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These outlets may not be GFCI, but they are controlled by a GFCI somewhere. You just need to find it. It usually takes more searching than you think, probably because the GFCI is somewhere that you haven't seen it for years. The GFCI is probably in the garage, basement, crawl space, one of the bathrooms, or outside somewhere, not necessarily anywhere near the dead outlets.
Old 09-07-05, 01:20 PM
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As John stated, there is a GFCI somewhere. Keep searching, you will eventually find it.

Have you check the other receptacles on the circuit. It sounds like you haven't. Do you know what else is on the circuit? You should. Having that information could save your life some day. It will also make it much, much easier to find and fix problems that occur in the future.

If you donít know what is on each and every circuit breaker, now is a good time to figure that out. Spend a few hours (less with help) and identify what circuit breaker controls each and every receptacle, light and appliance in your house. Then make a complete and accurate listing that is posted next to your breaker panel. Do this on computer and save the file so you can make changes as needed. The space the manufacturer provides on the panel is not enough to do this job correctly. It's fine for single load circuits, like "water heater", "refrigerator", and "range", but as soon as a circuit spans multiple rooms, like "northeast bedroom and southeast bedroom" or only serves portions of a room, like "kitchen lights, dining room lights", those small spaces are basically useless.
Old 09-07-05, 04:01 PM
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I've checked most of the GFCI's in the house...I will check again.

I know which circuit it is and actaully my box is pretty detailed. Whoever built the house did a good job lableing it.

Anyone know why there is some current in the wire that exits the breaker when it is shut off?

Thanks for all your help thusfar. I will keep you posted on the progress.
Old 09-07-05, 05:08 PM
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Well don't I feel like a dumb-a$$!

I thought I checked all the GFCI's in the house, but I went and double checked the main bath. Low and behold it was tripped! A little reset later and all is well. Thank you for making me realize you really need to check the little things first.


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