Blown outside outlet

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  #1  
Old 12-09-06, 08:30 AM
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Blown outside outlet

I have a single non GFCI outlet on my front porch that we hook up all Christmas lights, yard tools, 14V light timer, etc to. I was pressure washing my front porch last weekend and forgot to unplug the lights from the outlet. When I noticed the lights didn't come on that evening I knew I had screwed up as I am sure I doused that live outlet with my pressure washer.

I used a voltage tester and got no response plugging it into the front plugins and also tested the two metal tabs on the sides of the outlet so it seems as no power is coming from the wires at all.

I have searced for other outlets that might have been affected by the one I got wet for a tripped GFCI but I cant find one. Nothing tripped on my main circuit breaker and it's like this one porch outlet is an island to itself. I have no clue where the power source to this outlet is coming from and why it isn't working now. I would replace the outlet but I feel like I would be wasting my time.

Am I missing something obvious? I've done all I know to do without calling an electrician.

Thanks in advance.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-09-06, 09:07 AM
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When was your house built? Do you live in the US?

If there is no power coming to the receptical, you've tripped a GFCI somewhere. You've just missed it. The ones you have checked...how did you check them? Did you press the test/reset buttons? Did you verify power at them?

Are there other outdoor recepticals? If so, check them first. Reset GFCI's on them and ensure they are working.

Do you have GFCI breakers in your panelbox? If so, switch them to off and back on even if they do not look tripped. Do you have a second panelbox somewhere in the house? Check it.

Depending on when your house was built, the outside recepticals were often put on the same GFCI circuit with bathroom and garage recepticals. Are they all working? Do you have stuff stored in your garage that may have recepticals hidden behind them?

If all else fails, maybe someone put a GFCI in the crawl space and fed this from there.
 
  #3  
Old 12-09-06, 09:51 AM
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Two thoughts. First, it is time to map out every circuit in your house. It takes some time, but will be a real timesaver in the future. Second keep looking for, and checking G.F.C.I.'s. My front porch outlet is actually protected by one in the garage - a good 40' away from the front porch.
 
  #4  
Old 12-09-06, 10:02 AM
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Shame on you for not knowing what else is on this circuit. You should have completely mapped out your circuits shortly after moving in. Now you know one reason why. The other reason is that information could save your life.

As others have stated, You have a tripped GFCI, and just haven't found it. Depending on when your house was built, it might be in a bathroom, the basement, the garage, somewhere else outside. You have to look and find it.
 
  #5  
Old 12-09-06, 10:07 AM
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Thanks for the quick response:

"When was your house built? Do you live in the US?"

Live in the US and house was built in 1993


"If there is no power coming to the receptical, you've tripped a GFCI somewhere. You've just missed it. The ones you have checked...how did you check them? Did you press the test/reset buttons? Did you verify power at them?"

I pushed the test button then the reset button then plugged a digital alarm clock in each one to verify power.

"Are there other outdoor recepticals? If so, check them first. Reset GFCI's on them and ensure they are working."


There are 2 other outdoor outlets in the back that are on a loop with a GFCI in my kitchen (which is also in the back of the house). Those have tripped before and regained power when reset on the kitchen GFCI.

"Do you have GFCI breakers in your panelbox? If so, switch them to off and back on even if they do not look tripped. Do you have a second panelbox somewhere in the house? Check it."


There is one breaker with a "test" button that I have pushed/reset. I flicked all of the breakers on and off. I don't have a second breaker box.



"Depending on when your house was built, the outside recepticals were often put on the same GFCI circuit with bathroom and garage recepticals. Are they all working? Do you have stuff stored in your garage that may have recepticals hidden behind them?"


I tested the GFCI in the garage and the bathroom. They're okay. Have looked on all walls in the garage and only found the working one.

If all else fails, maybe someone put a GFCI in the crawl space and fed this from there.

This was actually what I was wondering. Was going to get in the crawlspace,(yee-haa), today and see where the wires go and see if there was some type of circuit breaker under there.

Thanks
 
  #6  
Old 12-09-06, 11:02 AM
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Thanks!!

Hello all, thanks for all the great advice. I just thought I had checked all the GFCI outlets. Found one in a rarely used downstairs bath that was the culprit. Trust me, I will be pulling out the blueprints and documenting everything else. Can't say I'm too disappointed about missing the trip into the crawlspace. Happy Holidays!
 
  #7  
Old 12-11-06, 07:37 PM
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Glad you found it...

It sounds like there are some electrical code violations in your homes wiring. Those outdoor recepticals on a GFCI in the kitchen is almost certainly a code violation. Also, I believe that by 1993, outdoor recepticals were no longer allowed on the same circuit with bathroom recepticals.

Maybe some code historians will clarify that for us.

A 1993 home is not required to meet 2006 code, but certainly it's existing wiring should meet code that was in effect in 1993. I'm 99% sure both of these situations were code violations in 1993. While neither of these situations present an immenent safety hazard, they may be a symptom that other deficiencies exist.

Oh, and as others mentioned, you REALLY need to map out your circuits, so that next time you will KNOW exactly what circuit your outlets (recepticals, lights, etc) are on.
 
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