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Old 10-10-05, 07:47 AM
tomslk
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Help!

I need some electrical help. This past weekend I noticed some ants coming
out of an outlet in my bathroom. I also noticed residue on the counter under the outlet and decided to take the outlet plate off to investigate. Well there was a small colony of ants living there and they all started rushing out due to the commotion. I decided to grab some ant killer spray and spray in there to kill all of them. Well I was successful with that part, unfortunetly I must have blown something cause I no longer get any electricity from any outlets on that side of the wall all along that floor in the house. I thought maybe I blew a circuit breaker and checked that, those were fine. I looked for a reset button on a circuit on the wall on a bathroom outlet and pressed that and still nothing. Can anyone give me any suggestions as to what I should do next short of calling an electician? I know I know....what was I doing spraying stuff in there.....obviously I was not thinking but what can I do now? Any help would surely be appreciated.
 
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Old 10-10-05, 07:54 AM
e40
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Sounds like the circuit is shorted out from wet residue of the ant spray. The action I would take is to first make sure the circuit is off. (Check the breaker panel, it should be tripped and leave it that way). Then I'd unscrew the recepticle from the outlet box, and dry everything off, front and back, and inside the box as well. Vacuum out all the dead ants too. Put the recepticle back together, and try flipping the circuit breaker back to on.

If it still trips, then the next step is to replace the actual recepticle, if you are comfortable with that. If not, you might want to hire someone.
 
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Old 10-10-05, 08:10 AM
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The residue should dry fairly quickly. If you are certain that the breaker is okay, start looking for other G.F.C.I. receptacles. They may be far from the origional but it sounds like one of them tripped.
Homeowner electrical rule # 1 is to draw a sketch of each floor of your house, mark the location of every outlet, light , and switch, and then find out which breaker controls each item. It's time consuming but will make future problems much easier to resolve. Be sure to identify all G.F.C.I. receptacles, because several may be on one circuit.
 
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Old 10-10-05, 08:44 AM
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As was suggested, the breaker may be tripped and not appear to be. Some need to be completely shut off in order to be reset after a trip.

I'm not so sure that I would use this receptacle after spraying any killer into it. A little water from an accidental splash and I would worry about it, but in this case I would replace the receptacle.If replacing the receptacle doesn't solve the problem then you will need to start looking for an open. It's possible that the short circuit created caused a weak connection to fail. To do this you will need to examine all the receptacles, lights or other outlets on the circuit. If you donít know whatís on this circuit you should, and now you know why you should, aside from the fact that the information could save your life.

If you do have a failed connection, it will be at either the last working location or the first failed location on the circuit.
 
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