Bathroom outlets have me stumped.


Old 11-25-13, 07:48 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 10
Bathroom outlets have me stumped.

The outlets in both my bathrooms are not GFCI but they both stopped working after I unplugged a portable heater from one of them. My garage light/outlets are also on this same circuit breaker and they still work. The breaker does not appear to be a GFCI (there is no reset button), and has not been tripped. For clarification, none of my outlets or breakers have a reset button or have been tripped, and yes, I did flip them off and on several times.

House is in Las Vegas and was built in 1985. The breaker is a double 15-amp (as in two separate breakers in one housing). Oddly enough, the outlet worked temporarily afterwards for a few seconds at a time with a hair dryer, then went dead. I pulled the cover plate off and found no voltage on the wires at all with my voltmeter.

I previously painstakingly mapped out all the breakers so I know which breaker controls those outlets, and I'm stumped that they are dead yet the garage light/outlets still work. The previous homeowner had marked that breaker "GFCI" but if it is where is the reset button?

Followup Edit:

I just noticed my water softener is not working and I followed the cord to, guess what, a GFCI outlet, the ONLY one in the entire house, and it's in the garage, (under a low shelf). Could they have branched this out from that same breaker circuit so only that branch would lose power while the rest of the garage still have power? Is that legal?

Oh, and the reset on this GFCI does not seem to work. It is still flush and even the test button does not make it push out. Guess I'll have to try replacing it. Must be a cheapie item to not only malfunction but break the circuit just by unplugging a heater.

Last edited by St8kout; 11-25-13 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 11-25-13, 08:23 PM
ray2047's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,052
Many such problems end up being resolved after fifteen or sixteen replies when the nonexistent GFCI receptacle is found hidden behind a stack of boxes are behind furniture or outside behind bushes. If not a lost GFCI all wire nuts need to be removed and the inside checked for corrosion, any wires in back stabs moved to the screws, and all screws checked for tightness. The problen could be in either a working or non working receptacle switch or light.
Old 11-30-13, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 3,314
Do you have power to the line side of the GFCI?

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