Outdoor Power outlets not working

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Old 12-16-09, 05:07 AM
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Outdoor Power outlets not working

I've recently installed my Christmas lights outside. After a storm came through none of my outdoor power outlets work, but the Christmas lights are fine in any other outlet.

How can I fix my outdoor outlets?
 
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Old 12-16-09, 06:08 AM
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Is one of your outdoor receptacles GFCI? If so, did you try to reset it?

Is it possible you have a GFCI breaker for your outdoor receptacles?
 
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Old 12-16-09, 06:15 AM
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As caddymac said, also check in the garage or basement for a tripped GFCI that may be hidden behind boxes, etc. Quite often they control the outside receptacles.
 
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Old 12-16-09, 07:38 AM
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Hidden upstream GFCIs are one of the banes of my existence as a home inspector, I carry a 100 foot heavy-duty extension cord for times when a freezer or fridge in the garage is on such a circuit I can't locate the GFCI after it trips.

A few possibilities to watch for:

- Likeliest possibility is an outlet in a garage, hidden behind personal possessions.

- Next most likely possibility is a GFCI in a bathroom, don't assume it's the obvious GFCI near the sink.

- Next most likely are the kitchen and basement, in that order

- If there is a remodeled basement, the GFCI may be paneled over, or hidden back behind some bit of finish material but visible with a hand mirror.

- I have found GFCIs protecting exterior outlets and installed in attics.

- In a outlet boxes located high up on the wall were under the eaves to power holiday lighting.

- In load side panels ("sub panels") hidden in closets and the like.

- Worst case is when someone has dry walled over the GFCI, this one doesn't get located until electrician starts tracing down the circuit.

If you can't find the GFCI, check every outlet in the house for power, dead interior outlets can be a clue to the presence of an upstream GFCI.

BTW, if you're going to test exterior outlets for GFCI protection, have people standing in the likeliest locations and listening for a trip - it can help a lot even to know in what room or general area of the structure you need to be looking.
 
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Old 12-16-09, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
Hidden upstream GFCIs are one of the banes of my existence as a home inspector, I carry a 100 foot heavy-duty extension cord for times when a freezer or fridge in the garage is on such a circuit I can't locate the GFCI after it trips.

A few possibilities to watch for:

- Likeliest possibility is an outlet in a garage, hidden behind personal possessions.

- Next most likely possibility is a GFCI in a bathroom, don't assume it's the obvious GFCI near the sink.

- Next most likely are the kitchen and basement, in that order

- If there is a remodeled basement, the GFCI may be paneled over, or hidden back behind some bit of finish material but visible with a hand mirror.

- I have found GFCIs protecting exterior outlets and installed in attics.

- In a outlet boxes located high up on the wall were under the eaves to power holiday lighting.

- In load side panels ("sub panels") hidden in closets and the like.

- Worst case is when someone has dry walled over the GFCI, this one doesn't get located until electrician starts tracing down the circuit.

If you can't find the GFCI, check every outlet in the house for power, dead interior outlets can be a clue to the presence of an upstream GFCI.

BTW, if you're going to test exterior outlets for GFCI protection, have people standing in the likeliest locations and listening for a trip - it can help a lot even to know in what room or general area of the structure you need to be looking.
I found the GFCI Reset it and It still won't work, what should I do?
 
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Old 12-16-09, 03:28 PM
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I found the GFCI Reset it and It still won't work, what should I do?
There could be several GFCIs. If you found just one you may not have found the right one. While it shouldn't be done there are even times when a GFCI may be controlled by a second GFCI.
 
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Old 12-16-09, 07:13 PM
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I had one basement that had GFCI's at every other receptacle location, all wired on the previous GFCI's load side. One would trip and at least one other would trip before the lead one would shut it down. Like figuring out a Rubik's cube in the dark.
 
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Old 12-23-09, 11:45 PM
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Thank you!

Thanks for the info! I found the GFCI to my outdoor receptacles in the upstairs shared bathroom.
 
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Old 12-24-09, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by chriswtham View Post
Thanks for the info! I found the GFCI to my outdoor receptacles in the upstairs shared bathroom.
Thanks for letting us know you got it. Been there, reset that, then had to explain to a surprised customer with a disbelieving look on their face.
 
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Old 12-25-09, 06:06 AM
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Thanks for the follow up.

To thing to keep in mind:

1) An outlet circuit serving a bathroom should not power anything outside of a bathroom.

2) (Especially if that's a 15A circuit) and someone in that bathroom is is using a hair dryer, there is not a lot of available ampacity left on the circuit, and depending on loads exterior to the bathroom you may get nuisance breaker trips.
 

Last edited by Michael Thomas; 12-25-09 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 12-25-09, 12:15 PM
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The OP hasn't found his yet. This was a different poster. BUT, glad he found it using our advice!!
 
 

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