One outside outlet will not work

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  #1  
Old 05-20-11, 09:22 PM
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One outside outlet will not work

Thanks for any advice in advance. I am very frustrated with my current problem and i feel it is probably easier than my novice electrical brain is making it, but I live in a 1991 built twin and I have an outside outlet that is dead. I have traced this outlet in two identically built homes in the neighborhood to a GFI in the downstairs powder room. This GFI is connected to, two additional bathrooms upstairs and all these outlets are working properly. I have tested them with a GFI tester I purchased and they all trip the GFI outlet when I test the upstairs outlets as well. They all have power to them. This house is 1796 SQFT and there is an additional GFI outlet in the kitchen, and one in the garage. The same testing I did with the other GFI has been done with these two, and the outlets attached to these are working properly as well. I have checked every outlet in the house and they all work, except for the one in question (On back patio). Now to the outlet in question. It worked prior to this winter, so I feel whatever issue I have is new. I have replaced the outlet and wired the new receptacle right to the screws on the side instead of using the holes in the back of the plug. White wire to the bright screws, and the black wire to the bronze colored screws, and grounding wire to the green screw. I noticed some corrosion and rust on the replaced plug, so i cut the wires down a bit and stripped them exposing good clean copper wire. I recently replaced the outdoor light above the outlet and it works, but I thought maybe my house was different than my neighbors wiring and i took this light off and their is only one set of wires (1 black, 1 white, 1 ground) going into the light. Is their something I can do that I am missing? Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-20-11, 10:34 PM
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You need to check the wiring in all of the receptacles that work that are fed from the bathroom GFCI that feeds the bad receptacle. Start with the one closest to the dead receptacle. Remove and check any wire nuts for corrosion or loose wires. Check for any loose connections.
 
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Old 05-21-11, 05:26 AM
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I live in a 1991 built twin
Is this a factory built modular home or is it a stick built home? If it's stick built, there are no guarantees the wiring in all are routed exactly the same way. If it is factory built, it most likely has very similar routing, but still no guarantees it is exactly the same. Ray gives good advice, start with his suggestion.
 
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Old 05-21-11, 06:15 AM
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The new gfi you installed needs to be listed weather resistant and have a bubble cover. Look in the receptacles up the line for loose connections and such.
 
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Old 05-21-11, 06:44 AM
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You should use the holes in the back of the GFI you installed. This has a clamp inside to hold the wires, not the spring tab.

Did you reset the GFI when you installed it?
 
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Old 05-21-11, 08:20 AM
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You should use the holes in the back of the GFI you installed.
I actually did not install any of the GFI's in the house. They are all original to the house, but they test OK with the GFI tester, and the outlets in both upstairs bathrooms trip this GFI in the powder room as well. Even though the outlet in the powder room works and the outlets in the bathrooms upstairs work should i consider replacing the GFI?

Is this a factory built modular home or is it a stick built home?
It is not a modular home. I don't believe it is stick built either, it was done by a builder and all homes were built within months of each other, there are twins, town homes, and single family homes. Since my last post I went to another neighbors home and the wiring is set up that this outlet is tied into the GFI in the powder room as well. I am confident this is the same in my home.

You need to check the wiring in all of the receptacles that work that are fed from the bathroom GFCI that feeds the bad receptacle. Start with the one closest to the dead receptacle. Remove and check any wire nuts for corrosion or loose wires. Check for any loose connections
Thanks Ray, I will work on this now. I removed the GFI in the powder room and their are two sets of wires going into the GFI. They are all clean and connected properly. If I am thinkng correctly, would I be right in saying one set of these sets of wires feeds the upstairs bathrooms, and the other runs along the first floor to my outdoor outlet? If this is the case, could the wire be bad in between this GFI and my outlet outside that is not working?
 
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Old 05-21-11, 09:22 AM
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Even though the outlet in the powder room works and the outlets in the bathrooms upstairs work should i consider replacing the GFI?
Not at this time.
If this is the case, could the wire be bad in between this GFI and my outlet outside that is not working?
Much more likely a bad connection at the last good receptacle that feeds the outside one.
 
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Old 05-21-11, 09:44 AM
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Much more likely a bad connection at the last good receptacle that feeds the outside one.
Ray, I thank you my friend. I took the plates off the outlet in both upstairs bathrooms to check wire connections and when I got to the master bathroom, (the master bedroom is located right above this dead outside outlet), low and behold I noticed a set of wires in the back secured by a wire nut. I took these off an connected them back to the outlet, and now my dead outlet works! I am very happy and have outdoor speakers pumping now. Thanks for all your help, now I just wonder why the previous owner would have secured this outlet???? Hair dryer outages??? all outlets are working now. Great website!
 
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Old 05-21-11, 09:56 AM
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I just wonder why the previous owner would have secured this outlet????
It's possible the outside outlet is not entirely rain tight and was causing nuisance trips of the bathroom GFI. Disconnecting the outside outlet was the easy fix.
 
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Old 05-21-11, 11:16 AM
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Expanding on what CasulaJoe said as Justin suggested in post #4 you need to use a bubble cover on the outside receptacle.

Another way would be to connect the cable to the outside receptacle to the line side of the GFCI receptacle feeding it and use a GFCI receptacle for the outside also. That would cut down on nuisance trips.
 
  #11  
Old 05-21-11, 12:12 PM
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I am assuming what I bought is a bubble cover. It is a metal box with a rubber gasket. The front of the box has two flip up medal covers so water cannot enter the outlet. Thanks again.
 
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Old 05-21-11, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mikey21kp View Post
I am assuming what I bought is a bubble cover. It is a metal box with a rubber gasket. The front of the box has two flip up metal covers so water cannot enter the outlet. Thanks again.
That sounds like the old style cover. It is no longer the proper cover. The weatherproof in use cover allows the cord to remain plugged in and still keep the rain out.
 
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Old 05-21-11, 02:38 PM
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Old 05-21-11, 08:44 PM
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I have that exact cover, and am very satisfied. The holes can acccomodate my larger cords, and the cover can take a good hosedown without getting water inside. It is also nice to be able to mount it whatever way.
 
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