Outside outlets quit working while using a power washer.


Old 09-04-12, 07:37 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Outside outlets quit working while using a power washer.

I was using a power washer my grandpa let me borrow. It had its own breaker built into the cord which he removed. The power washer lost power while I was using it, and after further inspection I found the two outlets outside no longer worked. I checked my breaker box and there is nothing tripped. Any thoughts?

I would also like to add that at the time I wasn't aware there was suppose to be a breaker on the washer. I wouldn't have used it at all if I would have realized the modifications he did to it. I just can't believe he would do that :NO NO NO:
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Old 09-04-12, 08:19 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
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Welcome to the forums!

Whether your grandpa "should have" removed the protection built into the cord or plug on the power washer is an interesting question, but it doesn't address what happened to your power.

Your outside receptacles are almost certainly GFCI protected, since that's been required for 30 years now. If they lost power, it's likely because their GFCI protection was tripped.

Is either outside outlet a GFCI outlet? If so, push the RESET button on it. If not, look inside, in the garage, a bathroom, or an unfinished part of the basement (near the furnace?) for a GFCI that has tripped, and reset it. But not the ones in the kitchen.

Did you look for a breaker in your panel that has a push button to test it?

Last edited by Nashkat1; 09-05-12 at 07:16 PM. Reason: typo
Old 09-05-12, 05:39 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
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I never heard of a power washer or any other tool with a circuit breaker built into the cord, are you sure it wasn't a GFCI device like a hair dryer would have? I think it's a definite possibility he knew there was a problem with the power washer because it was tripping the built-in GFCI device, so he removed it. Problem solved!
Old 09-06-12, 09:08 AM
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Yep, very likely tripped a GFCI outlet. Finding them can be tough - bathroom, utility room, garage, ....
Old 09-06-12, 10:07 AM
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Mitch wrote:
Yep, very likely tripped a GFCI outlet. Finding them can be tough - bathroom, utility room, garage, ....
under the eves, in the attic, behind a box or piece of furniture or cabinet that hasn't been moved in years. We had one member who found one hidden behind a water heater in a garage.

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