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Topic by brownkm posted 04-09-2008 11:45 PM 4081 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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brownkm

3 posts in 4182 days

04-09-2008 11:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: electrical parts laundry room bathroom question

I have an older-type GFI circuit in my home – it’s wired up so that the GFI breaker is in the breaker box in the garage, and not on each individual outlet like the newer homes are.
All the bathroom outlets, the laundry room outlet, and our one outside outlet run on this GFI circuit. A few days ago, all the outlets on this circuit suddenly quit working. I checked the breaker in the garage – it was still in the “on” position. I turned in off & on a couple times, but still got no juice at the outlets.

What could have happened to cut the power to this one line, without tripping the breaker?? I can’t figure it out. The only thing out of the ordinary I was doing was running my circular saw off the outdoor outlet, but it never “blew” – I was cutting fine, went in for lunch, and when I came back afterwards, had no juice.

Any ideas what’s wrong? I’m not even sure how to start diagnosing the problem in this case…

- Thanks, Kevin



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JasonH

35 posts in 4189 days

04-10-2008 12:48 AM

If the breaker is OK, have you checked all the GFI outlets on the circuit? Make sure to hit the test button, then reset, on each one. Sounds like one of them shorted (or tripped) for one reason or another. Have you had any water issues (heavy rains, floods, etc) recently?

-- Proud to be an addicted LJ, GT and HR!

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brownkm

3 posts in 4182 days

04-10-2008 01:09 AM

That’s part of the problem – there is no “test” or “reset” on the outlets… the outlets are just regular old outlets. The only “Test” button is the one on the breaker in the breaker box in the garage…

No water issues recently either…

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ww_kayak

12 posts in 4189 days

04-10-2008 03:36 AM

I would check the voltage at the GFI breaker. It sounds like the GFI breaker may shot? An outlet GFI is alot cheaper if you do need to replace it. Just throw one in the first outlet and the downstream outlets will be protected as well… if it is wired correctly ;)

-- Tom, Central New York

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JasonH

35 posts in 4189 days

04-10-2008 04:50 AM

...and if you know which outlet is the first one! lol…

-- Proud to be an addicted LJ, GT and HR!

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Dalec

40 posts in 4189 days

04-10-2008 06:27 AM

I am thinking that one of your outlets has gone bad and any outlets down-stream from that outlet would be affected as well.

You may want to begin testing outlets beginning with the first outlet coming out of the breaker panel until you find one that does not work. It may be that one or the one before it that may be the cause of the problem.

Dalec

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Dan Lyke

331 posts in 4189 days

04-10-2008 04:35 PM

I’d disconnect the circuit and set up a way to test the breaker independently. Seems like it’s either a bad breaker (most likely), an actual ground fault, or some weirder problem with the circuit. Disconnecting the circuit and measuring the voltage at the breaker tells you if it’s an easy fix or a hard one.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/

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Dadoo

30 posts in 4189 days

04-10-2008 04:48 PM

Yeah, your first step would be to insure that there is voltage leaving the GFI in the garage.Then check for voltage at a halfway point and work your way to the trouble spot from there. I’ve seen where an improper connection (at a splice or at the outlet) has finally broken leaving the rest of the line useless. Also remember that when you check for voltage, go across (with the meter or test lamp) hot and ground as well. Sometimes it’s the common line that opens up.

Any more? Feel free to ask.

-- Dadoo!

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Dadoo

30 posts in 4189 days

04-19-2008 12:53 PM

It’s been awhile…did you get it fixed?

-- Dadoo!

View brownkm's profile

brownkm

3 posts in 4182 days

04-19-2008 01:48 PM

Thanks!

I went into the garage, and turned the breaker on & off a couple times… and then tried it again, and it worked! So, I’m still not sure what the problem was, but it’s working now…

View Dadoo's profile

Dadoo

30 posts in 4189 days

04-19-2008 08:51 PM

Bad breaker…Someone’s been using it for a switch. Replace it.

-- Dadoo!

View Bill's profile

Bill

131 posts in 4189 days

04-20-2008 07:16 PM

It definitely sounds like something is wrong with the breaker. If the power is going on and off, then it should be replaced for safety reasons.

-- Bill - Turlock, Ca. - http://www.brookswoodworks.com

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