Patio GFI receptacle wont reset-no power

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Old 06-19-15, 08:40 PM
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Patio GFI receptacle wont reset-no power

Hi all, I'm new to the forum. I've googled and youtubed quite a bit today before posting this, so please forgive me if this has been addressed recently here.
Heres the situation. Yesterday DH had power washer plugged into patio outlet and was going to town cleaning filthy concrete. About 2 hours into the project, the outlet power washer was plugged into started buzzing! I'm not kidding. The washer was still getting electricity and operating. It buzzed and then the power washer stopped working (stopped get power from receptacle and receptacle stopped buzzing. DH, on a roll, just plugged washer into dining room outlet and finished job. Later I looked at patio outlet (which has gfic)and tried to reset gfi. No go. It just wouldnt push in no matter what. Also noticed outside lights not working. I googled and learned to find all gfic outlets in the home and reset them. I found same level powder room outlet and tested using a voltage stick, and it had no power. I could not reset it, it wouldnt push in either. I found upstairs bath outlet also not red with voltage stick, also could not reset no matter how hard i pushed. Gfi outlets were hot in basement and garage and i was able to reset those easily anyway. Hmm what to do? Dh reset breakers in the breaker box. Still nothing and still unable to reset those three gfic receptacles. I You tubed again and realized dh thought he reset breakers in box but he didnt do it right. So I went back to circuit box in basement and one by one FIRMLY reset ALL the circuit breakers. When I came upstairs, I went into powder room and this time I could easily reset the gfi outlet, the green outlet light came on and voltage stick showed red! Yay! Repeated with upstairs bath, and all good. So now I go out to patio receptacle, where problem started, and CANNOT reset this gfi and voltage stick is showing no heat and patio lights still not working. So, do I just cut all power and replace the gfic outlet box? I've replaced one already in basement, so I know I can dyi that much. Or am I looking at a bigger problem here? This house is 1973. I appreciate any help. Thank you
 
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Old 06-19-15, 09:24 PM
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voltage stick is showing no heat and patio lights still not working
If you mean a non contact tester your test is meaningless but based on what you wrote I'd guess you have a bad GFCI. For testing you need an analog multimeter. (A cheap $8-$15 one is good but don't get a digital.) First though open the receptacle and check for moisture and check the connections.
 
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Old 06-19-15, 09:24 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Your problem is a little confusing.

Normally you would have one GFI in a circuit and then everything after that would be protected by that GFI. You're telling us that there are three GFI's on a single circuit.

You can't reset a GFI receptacle without power. Also, a GFI receptacle won't trip when the power is removed. I'm trying to figure out if you have three GFI's connected in a row or are they each wired standalone.

It would probably be best to replace the outside GFI receptacle first and then go from there.
 
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Old 06-20-15, 06:26 AM
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Thanks to both of you for quick responses. The 3 gfi's (patio, powder and main bath) must be together, because they all had no power and couldnt be reset until circuit breaker was reset. But that still leaves the outside gfi receptacle which still refuses to be reset and has no power. And the patio light switch on the other side of that receptacle inside the house. We will replace that gfic box and hope for best. We cant get to it til monday cuz be are both working thru weekend. Does anyone know why an electrical receptical would make a buzzing noise while something was plugged into it? I'm really worried we really fried something serious in there. Like I said, dh was using the power washer a couple hours from that outlet and there was water in that receptacle area because the hood us up when something is plugged in it, and power washers do splash about. Thanks.
 
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Old 06-21-15, 04:52 AM
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What's a DH? Regardless, I agree with Ray, you probably have a bad GFCI receptacle at the patio. The buzzing could have been caused from something as simple as a loose connection.
 
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Old 06-21-15, 09:51 AM
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DH= dear hubby

If the circuit was wired properly.... the problem now may be at the patio light switch.
 
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