no power to outlets

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  #1  
Old 06-11-07, 06:58 AM
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no power to outlets

I think I know what my problem is here, but whuld like more input just for a second opinion.

While working outside in the shed last week, we blew a breaker. Naturally, we came in and flipped it and all was well. Then about an hour later the power went off again. Came in to reset it again and it as not flipped, still in the on position.

The breaker is only a 15 amp breaker and i'm not sure what he was running in the shed when it happened, just know that it has blown it before.

Came to find out that this is the same breaker that runs the outlets in both bathrooms,so now they do not work either.

Please tell me why you think this is happening to see if what I am thinking is correct.
 
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  #2  
Old 06-11-07, 07:00 AM
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It is either a tripped GFCI or an open circuit.
 
  #3  
Old 06-11-07, 07:18 AM
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??

i'm going to sound stupid here, but what exactly does that mean. (tripped GFCI or open circuit)
 
  #4  
Old 06-11-07, 07:33 AM
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A GFCI is a receptacle with two buttons on it labeled either "TEST" and "RESET" or "T" and "R". Depending on when your house was built, you could have anywhere from one to ten of them. Find them all and press the "R" button on each. Note that the location of the GFCI that needs resetting is not necessarily anywhere near where you are having problems.

An "open circuit" is a wire connection that has come loose. This too could be almost anywhere. A common problem is a failed "backstabbed" connection, where a backstab is a wire stuck into a little hole in the back of a switch or receptacle.

You can help narrow this problem down somewhat by purchasing a $6 outlet tester at your home center. These things have three lights and plug into a receptacle.

The solution could involve a lot of investigation and testing. It's not difficult, but could be time consuming. Based on the last question you asked, you might consider calling in help (after spending a little time resetting all the GFCIs you can find).
 
  #5  
Old 06-11-07, 07:42 AM
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I'll expand on what John said.

GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. This is a device that trips and shuts off power in the event of a ground fault. A ground fault is a situation where the current on a circuit finds a path back to it's source through some method other than the neutral wire. The GFCI shuts off the power very quickly, before it has a chance to kill the person that might be in the path of the current. They are required in places in a house where problems might occur, such as in the bathroom (hair dryer or curling dropped in a bathtub full of water), an basement unfinished basement (due to concrete possibly wet floor), outside (wet ground), etc.

As John stated, depending on the age of your house they may or may not have been required when the house was built. They may or may not have been added by previous owners.

Look for and attempt to reset any that you have. You will know of they reset because the reset button will click into place when you press it.

You need to check for these anywhere on the circuit in question. If you don't know what is on the circuit in question (and I mean everything) then you will have to go looking. Look in the garage, the basement, outside, in the bathrooms, etc.
 
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