Outdoor & Bathroom recepticles not working

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  #1  
Old 02-25-07, 11:41 PM
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Post Outdoor & Bathroom recepticles not working

During a snowstorm, the outdoor recepticle in which the Christmas lights were plugged went out. Have since discovered that 3 recepticles in two guest bathrooms are also not working ... all 4 of these recepticles are on the same side of the house as the master bathroom, which has a GFI recepticle. There are two recepticles in the master bathroom, and both of them are working. The GFI recepticle (located north of the 1 working recepticle, and both of which are located north of the 4 non-working recepticles) never tripped; none-the-less, I've "tested" it and reset ... Still, have 4 non-working recepticles. Am confident that the moisture from the snow is the cause (have exterior covers, but not "in-use" covers). Would appreciate your guidance ... would it be a matter of replacing the 4 recpepticles? Many thanks for your assistance!
 
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  #2  
Old 02-26-07, 04:04 AM
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What else is on the circuit? You most likely have a GFCI receptacle somewhere that is not working. It could be in the basement, the garage or somewhere else. Find it and reset.

A less likely cause is an open neutral or hot wire. When you use a tester on the receptacles what do you get?
 
  #3  
Old 02-26-07, 04:09 AM
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What racraft said. All bathroom outlets must be GFI protected, but the GFI does not have to be in the bathroom. I once found the tripped GFI for a 3rd floor bathroom in the basement utility room.
 
  #4  
Old 02-26-07, 06:31 AM
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Outdoor & Bathroom recepticles not working (followup)

Thank you for your replies ...

My "tester" is a little two-pronged voltage tester ... when I use it in those four recepticles, nothing lights up ... As we're fairly new to this house, I know that the recepticles did previously work as the testers lit up on 120 ...

I'm puzzled as to where else I might find another GFCI ... no doubt there are different configurations ... the only one I'm familiar with are the one's that are evident as part of a recepticle ...

Right below the recepticle is a covered unit from which we can plug in a pump to operate a fountain ... we've never used that unit, and when I removed the cover there was nothing that suggested to me a GFCI switch ...

I will need to do some systematic "testing" in order to have confidence in answering the question about what else might be on the circuit ...

I appreciate your assistance in trying to sort this out ...
 
  #5  
Old 02-26-07, 06:55 AM
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Tell us in what year your house was built, and we can give you better hints as to where to look for the GFCI.

Probably hundreds of times in this forum, somebody has asserted strongly that they have reset ALL the GFCIs in their house and the problem persists. If they are a persistent person, we convince them to keep looking and they eventually find it (usually after protesting three or four more times that there cannot possibly be another one anywhere). If they are not persistent, they usually pay an electrician $50 to come out, find the button, and push it for them.
 
  #6  
Old 02-26-07, 09:08 AM
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Also check your circuit breaker box. While the GFI receptacles are certainly more common, many houses do have GFI breakers as well. Look for a breaker that doesn't look like the others - and has a TEST button on it.
 
  #7  
Old 02-26-07, 11:19 AM
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It is a GFCI some where in your house that you have not found yet. The ones that can not be found most of the time turn up in the garage. Look behind the pile of boxes or old fridge you have stored in your garage.
 
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Old 02-26-07, 06:42 PM
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How did you use your two wire tester? Did you test for power between the hot and the neutral only, or did you also test between the hot and a known good ground?
 
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Old 02-27-07, 08:36 PM
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Outdoor & Bathroom recepticles not working (follow up)

I can be most persistent; however, I will attempt to avoid plaguing you with repeated assurances, at least until I've exhausted my persistence. Responding to John Nelson's question: the house was built approx. 1970 - 73; however, there have been several upgrades. For instance, we know that the kitchen was remodeled in 2003, and the master bathroom was probably redone about that same time. ALL of the light switches in the house are (excuse the lack of proper terminology) the "rocker" types ... that is, distinct from what I think of as "levers" that were prevalent in homes through the 60s & 70s (if not later). Interesting thing about this recently upgraded kitchen; I can't locate a recepticle that has a GFCI reset button on it to save my life, and I don't see any switches or buttons under the sink. So, as Zorfdt suggested, will check again my circuit breaker box. To the best of my knowledge, we've got 3; one by the pool equipment; one by the main box, but clearly marked as "pool"; and the main box. I don't believe we've noticed a TEST button on anything in that box, but will check again, while we're documenting what appears to be on every circuit. With respect to joed's observations about garages (which is opposite the side of the house with the 4 "dead" recepticles, across a courtyard) ... as we're fairly new into this house the garage has not been loaded/filled up ... aside from the controller for the sprinkler system, a 240 recepticle, two other 120 recepticles, the garage door unit, a light switch, and two florescent light banks, we see no other evidence of "electricity". In addition to the "dead" exterior recepticle, there are four other exterior recepticles that are working fine. While we can't yet answer racraft's question as to what else is on the circuit, the four "dead" recepticles seem to be the only non-working items that we've found ... And, to the question of how I used the two wire tester ... ALL recepticles are "three-pronged" ... so, I inserted the two "wires" on the tester into the two "slots" ... I don't suppose that the "hole" for the ground on these "three-pronged" recepticles necessarily constitutes "a known good ground"? Again, I thank you for your time and for your insights.
 
  #10  
Old 02-28-07, 07:08 AM
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It certainly could be a loose connection on any of the devices on that circuit. However those receptacles are ones that should be GFCI protected so that is the logical first place to look for problems.
If you garage is detached then it will not be in there.
Do not discount any GFCI you see just because of how it is labled. It was not uncommon in the 70s to group unassociated items on a GFCI.
 
  #11  
Old 02-28-07, 07:41 AM
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Go back to your dead outlets and use your two-prong neon tester to test between each of the slots and the grounding hole.

Or, better yet, spend $6 on an outlet tester, the kind with three prongs and three lamps.
 
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