outlets out in 3 bathrooms & exterier

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  #1  
Old 02-09-08, 11:51 AM
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outlets out in 3 bathrooms & exterier

Using the blowdryer and the power ended. I checked outlets in 3 bathrooms and they are out as well. The only GFCI in the house is located outside. It does not work and I've tried resetting it but it still does not work. I've removed 3 outlets to test the wires. All black wires test hot except one black wire in my bathroom. What is happening? Do I need to replace the outside GFCI only, or is there more going on to where I need an electrician? Also, when testing the black wires, they are only active when I touch the ground wire, nothing happens when I touch the white wire. I've purchased new outlets, but I'll wait for your reply before doing anything. Thanks
 
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Old 02-09-08, 12:05 PM
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You have an open neutral somewhere in the string.

This could be anywhere on the string, but rule of thumb usually says last one that works, or first one that doesnt.

I suspect there is another gFci in the circuit somewhere.
 
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Old 02-09-08, 04:46 PM
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If the black wire does not measure hot in the one bathroom you need to go to the box before this one ans look for a loose or open connection. The other box might still be working.
 
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Old 02-10-08, 01:27 PM
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Lightbulb 3 outlets out but situation has changed

Thanks (I think) for you encouraging me to look for another GFI. I found one used by my jacuzzi (located inside my wall panel. I reset it and thought "This could be it". However, not the case. I then switched my breaker back on for the 3 outlets (in all bathrooms) and the outside (GFI) but now there is no power at all registering on my tester from any black wires. I did try to reset the GFI outside but the buttom refuses to set. Since I was getting power readings before from the bathroom outlets, and now I'm not, what just happened? I am hoping that you will tell me that the outside (GFI) is faulty. I can replace that tomorrow. Thanks and awaiting good news.
 
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Old 02-10-08, 02:56 PM
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GFCIs won't reset unless there is power to them. If all those GFCIs are on the same circuit you will need to reset the first one in line before the others can be reset.
You should not be using the LOAD terminals if you have multiple GFCI on the same circuit.
 
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Old 02-11-08, 09:27 AM
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Lightbulb outlets (3) making progress-power on but no action

Thanks for the help. I think that there is light at the end of tunnel, but this is what is going on now.
Earlier I replaced my bathroom outlet and switched the power on. I tested each bathroom outlet black wire and they all show power, even the black wire that did not initially have power does now. However my outlets are still not operating with anything plugged in them. I then went outside to the one and only GFI that appears to be affecting my bathrooms. The other GFI that I reset yesterday had not tripped but I just reset it anyway hoping for a miracle. The exterior GFI is still not working, and I tried resetting it but the button does not stay in. I have yet to replace that outlet. IS THIS MY LAST HOPE BEFORE CALLING AN ELECTRICIAN? I thank you so much for your patience.
 
  #7  
Old 02-11-08, 09:44 AM
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You are showing "voltage", not "power".

If you have voltage other than phantom voltage, then you have an open neutral (which can sometimes be caused by a defective GFCI).

If you have no voltage, or only phantom voltage, then you have an open hot (or simply a tripped or defective GFCI).

Phantom voltage is voltage often detected by a digital voltmeter. Try testing with a simple $8 plug-in outlet tester (the kind with three lamps) or an analog voltmeter to rule out phantom voltage.

For $10, I try replacing the GFCI. It may or may not solve your problem, but it's a cheap attempt.

Another possibility of course is a real ground fault. Any chance that any of the outlets, including and perhaps especially the outdoor outlet, has had water splashed into it recently. Big rain? Boisterous bath?
 
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