No Power on Extension Cord Protected by GFCI


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Old 12-27-16, 05:05 PM
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Red face No Power on Extension Cord Protected by GFCI

Here's a summary of the problem I am facing. Thanks in advance for any help.

For years I have used a 12 gauge 100' extension cord plugged into a GFCI protected outlet to power a light and heated dog bowl in an outbuilding. Recently it quit working. If I plug something directly into the same outlet it works just fine. I bought a new extension cord with the same specs and still no luck. The cord's end is lit to indicate power, but as soon as I plug something into it the cord end's light goes out. The GFCI does not trip and resetting it makes no difference. This is a heavy gauge wire, so the length of the cord is not an issue for such little power draw. Any advice on what I should do next?
 
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Old 12-27-16, 05:22 PM
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#1, Outbuilding should have have been hard wired long ago.
Sounds like a loose neutral wire someplace.
One loose wire is all it takes.
 
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Old 12-27-16, 05:42 PM
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I would replace the GFCI receptacle
 
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Old 12-27-16, 06:09 PM
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For years I have used a 12 gauge 100' extension cord plugged into a GFCI protected outlet to power a light and heated dog bowl in an outbuilding.
Extension cords are for temporary use only. You need to run preferment power to the shed. We can help you with that.

Does the bowl work if plugged directly into the receptacle? Does the cord work if plugged into a different receptacle.
 
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Old 12-27-16, 06:23 PM
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I understand that this is not the ideal setup and that hard-wiring would be ideal. That goes without saying. I use it intermittently in the winter for a chicken coop.

I do get full power to the extension cord when on a different circuit.

When on the GFCI circuit from any of the protected receptacles all items including the bowl and light work when plugged directly in. When adding the extension cord to the equation nothing works through it on any protected outlet on that GFCI.

I think Electromen has the right idea. I'm thinking I might pick up a new GFCI receptacle. If anyone has any other recommendations before I do I am all ears. Otherwise I will report back with my findings after replacing the GFCI receptacle.
 
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Old 12-27-16, 07:17 PM
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When on the GFCI circuit from any of the protected receptacles all items including the bowl and light work when plugged directly in.
That indicates the GFCI receptacle is working correctly.
When adding the extension cord to the equation nothing works through it on any protected outlet on that GFCI.
That seems to prove it is an extension cord problem. You mentioned a light on the cord. Does the cord have a GFCI like plug. Maybe the two don't work well together or the GFCI protector on the extension cord is tripped. Does your extension cord plug look like this:

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Last edited by ray2047; 12-27-16 at 09:40 PM.
  #7  
Old 12-28-16, 05:18 AM
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Unplug the extension cord and then physically inspect it starting at the plug end. You may well find that it was chewed by animals or biodegraded in the sun or in moist dirt somewhere along its length.

When the neon light in the extension cord end lights up at first but goes off when you plug something in and turn it on that means you have a loose connection or a corroded/cracked wire somewhere.
 
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Old 12-28-16, 05:34 PM
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Update:

I just finished replacing the GFCI receptacle. After doing so I experienced the same problem.

However, after doing some more troubleshooting I discovered that the downstream outlet that the extension cord is plugged into is the problem. There is a bad connection there. Items plugged directly in tend to work, but with extension cords they work intermittently if you wiggle them.

So - I will check the wiring and possibly replace that receptacle if necessary.

Thanks everyone!
 
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Old 12-28-16, 05:46 PM
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If it is not a GFCI receptacle be sure it is not back stabbed. It or any other non GFCI receptacles that are back stabbed need the wires moved to the screws.

Note the connections on a GFCI receptacle look a bit like back stabbed connections but they aren't. They are actually a pressure connection using a screw and are okay. Just be sure the screw is tight. Backstabbed connections on non GFCI receptacles are held only by a light spring tab that loosens over time.
 
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Old 12-28-16, 05:55 PM
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Thanks for the helpful tip Ray. I haven't looked, but I am guessing they are backstabbed. Every other receptacle in my house is, so I'm guessing that one is too.
 
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Old 12-28-16, 05:58 PM
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Every other receptacle in my house is, so I'm guessing that one is too.
Bad news if true. We get a lot of power failures here that trace to backstabbs. On some cold and dreary winters day you need to start moving them to the screws before they give you a problem.
 
 

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