GFCI outlet cannot be reset


  #1  
Old 02-21-23, 11:59 AM
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GFCI outlet cannot be reset

Something set it off and it did not trip anything in the elec. panel but I cannot push the test button in. I can push the reset button fine, but not the test button.

I bought a new one but it's the wrong color. What I thought I would do temporarily until I can take the new one back was install a regular outlet. I did that and nothing. No elec. to the outlet next to the sink, no elec. to the two lights in the bathroom or the outlet in the bath room. I know these are on the same circuit. I have elec. everywhere else. It's the outlet next to the sink that went bad.

Any help? I can return and get the right color on Monday and install on Tues. But, will there be elec.? I switched all the breakers off and on in the panel.

Also, the old GFCI was 20a and the new one is 15a; don't know if that matters.

I'm NOT electrically savvy.

Thank You!

 

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02-22-23, 03:44 PM
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The only way to properly troubleshoot a problem like this is to have identified everything and which circuit it's on. So to those reading along..... now is the perfect time to spend a few hours and identify what is on each circuit.

You are assuming everything on that circuit is dead. If you don't know for sure everything that is on that circuit.... you are just guessing. The circuit starts at the circuit breaker and then travels thru the house. It can travel thru receptacles, switches and junction boxes. The circuit can work at the first four locations and be dead at the next three. The problem can be at the last working device(location 4) or the first dead device(location 5)..... how would you know where to look ?
 
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Old 02-21-23, 12:22 PM
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Getting a new outlet won't help. Is the panel circuit breaker working? Are any outlets on that circuit work? If you aren't sure what you're doing call an electrician.
Answer the above questions then we might be able to provide more help.
Ediit...Do you know how to reset a tripped circuit breaker? You must draw it back all the way to off then push it to on.
 
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Old 02-21-23, 12:53 PM
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Zero outlets on that circuit work. There are two lights on either side of the medicine cabinet on that circuit and they also do not work. I did pull all circuit switches to off in the electric panel, as very little is marked accurately, and then back on again. Don't know how to check if the panel circuit breaker is working. That circuit is not marked on the elec. panel door.

There were no switches on the elctric panel that were in the 'off' position but I did switch them all off anyways and back on again.

I have the GFCI outlet out of the wall and disconnected and cannot puch the reset button in on it.
Also, there are plans for me to have an electrician out this summer but I will be so frustrated by then with these lights and outlets not working. Single 69 yo woman here and limited budget.
 
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Old 02-21-23, 01:05 PM
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What you're telling me indicates most likely the circuit breaker is bad. It does happen. One way to check it is to swap it out for another of the same rating. I do not suggest you do that. The MAIN BREAKER MUST BE TURNED OFF. But for a small amount ($25 to $50) you could go to the hardware store and buy a replacement. But it must match the same unit you have. They are not all the same. Do you have a friend who has enough knowledge that might be able to do it?
Understand that I'm not saying that is the problem, but it is a way of verifying if breaker is bad.
 
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Old 02-21-23, 01:17 PM
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Thank you for the help and effort. The electric in this house was not installed by a licensed electrician but by a cement mason who scavanged left over materials from his job sites. He built this house for him and his family.

He and a friend installed the mess. The electric co. I use 'always' sends the same electrician bc of the issues he has to face here. I will have to wait till I can get him out here this summer and have him fix it.

Thank You!
 
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Old 02-22-23, 02:50 AM
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Are you absolutely sure that no other GFCI receptacles in your house tripped. Does not matter where they may be. Double check every GFCI receptacle in the house.
 
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Old 02-22-23, 06:36 AM
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GFI's will not reset without power!

Flip the main breaker, sometimes they dont look like they have tripped but actually have.

 

Last edited by Marq1; 02-22-23 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 02-22-23, 07:27 AM
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Ok, no luck. I checked all the GFCI's in the house and all their buttons worked, test & reset. I again, flipped all the switches on the panel, making sure I shut them completely off and on. Once done, I flipped the main switch.

Still no power to the outlet and two lights in the bathroom or the outlet in the kitchen.

I'm hoping I can get someone here in May or June at the latest.

Am grateful for the efforts and this site! Thank You.
 
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Old 02-22-23, 07:59 AM
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Again, assuming all other circuits are in working order, seems to me to be a bad breaker switch. Only way to test is to swap out for another. That can be done by just switching wires to another of the same size. not necessary to remove it.
 
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Old 02-22-23, 03:44 PM
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The only way to properly troubleshoot a problem like this is to have identified everything and which circuit it's on. So to those reading along..... now is the perfect time to spend a few hours and identify what is on each circuit.

You are assuming everything on that circuit is dead. If you don't know for sure everything that is on that circuit.... you are just guessing. The circuit starts at the circuit breaker and then travels thru the house. It can travel thru receptacles, switches and junction boxes. The circuit can work at the first four locations and be dead at the next three. The problem can be at the last working device(location 4) or the first dead device(location 5)..... how would you know where to look ?
 
Norm201, Saddlebum voted this post useful.
  #11  
Old 02-22-23, 05:22 PM
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Pjmax, bc the panel is not marked well at all, I have to wait for the electrician. The illustration above is excellent. I will have the electrician mark the panel for me when he's here.

I have been told the panel is a very good one but to me, there appears to be a thousand electric lines going into it.

Years ago (20+) my house took a hit of lightening and blew knobs off the stove, an outlet in a bedroom smelled like it was burning, the top off the well head and siding off the back of the house.

The electrician stated he got the worst shock of his life off the panel. He put in more ground rods and I believe he grounded the well pipe????

Anyways, different electricians and now I use the same one as this company has been here for decades and is reputable. Because of the elec. issues over the years, I cannot ask anyone to help but have to wait it out till this summer.

I have house insurance...
 
  #12  
Old 03-21-23, 05:38 AM
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I purchased a heavy duty plug at ace hardware. It's a 3 prong and the salesman described how to wire and make sure the large prong on the original plug is wired to the large prong on the new plug. I marked it with a clip and it works.

Surprising, the new plug does not get warm but the extension cord (remember, my outlet in the bathroom no longer works) does get warm, not hot but definitely warm. I have the heater set on low and fan up high. The extention cord is orange, maybe 30' long and no markings except the plug has a #2 on it and some other numbers that I can't read. Will use a heavier duty cord tomorrow and see but I think this is not good for the wiring on this circuit.

I had this same kind of milkhouse heater for more than 20 years I used every morning in this bathroom and after about 15 years, the plug got really hot but no idea what was happening on the other side of the outlet. So I replaced that plug on that heater and used it for another 7-8 years or so without problems when I believe the elements crashed and bought the one I have now.

Again, the wiring in this house is not good and I will have an electrician out this summer to fix this. Always the same man, phew.

Will get the heavier extension cord out of the barn today and start using that tomorrow.

Thank You!
 
  #13  
Old 03-29-23, 03:02 PM
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B. Harry, thank you, very helpful and I will give it a try when I have a friend over.
 
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Old 06-11-23, 12:16 PM
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This is a followup to this thread. Electrician came and fixed everything. Said the outlet was wired to another one on the other side of the sink improperly???? He wasn't the most communicative person.

Was not a circuit, or anything wrong in the electric panel.

Installed spot light and everything is working. Was here on Tuesday past week. Really appreciate everyone's efforts!!
 
 

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