Garage or Outdoor Outlets not Working

Posted on: November 20th, 2011 by Glen 2 Comments

Why did the bathroom, basement, outside and garage outlet stop working? A single GFCI breaker or GFI outlet in your bathroom, garage or basement may be the reason that all of your bathroom, garage and outside outlet plugs quit working. One GFI outlet can control or protect outlets around the house.

Ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCIs, have saved thousands of lives over the years. Typical found where electrical products and people might come in contact with water, a GFCI is a special type of electrical outlet designed to cut off power before an electrical shock can occur. GFCIs should be tested every month to ensure they are in working order.

How to fix a GFI electrical problem:

  1. Common reason GFI's tripping is that water gets into the outdoor outlet or extension cords going to Christmas lights, water fountains or landscape lighting. Try unplugging them and let them dry out for a while as this may take care of the problem. Also you can unplug anything that's plugged into your receptacle in the garage, basement, outdoor or bath  and then test again. One of the electrical items that's plugged in might be defective causing the GFCI to trip. Push the test and reset button to restore power.
  2. The GFCI breaker or GFI outlet has just stopped working altogether. Age of the device, power surges and near by lightning strikes are common reason of the GFI not working due a malfunction in the device itself.
  3. Sometimes just finding the tripped GFI outlets can be an adventure. Look behind a stack of storage boxes in the garage or basement. A set of kitchen plugs may have gone out because of the tripped GFI hiding behind a kitchen appliance or china cabinet in the dining room. Searching around for GFI outlets and resetting it may save you an electrician service call.
  4. If the GFI will not reset contact your local electrician for repair or replacement.

GFI outlet replacement is not DYI job. Call a professional electrician, someones life depends on it.

References:

How to install a GFI outlet  by the Leviton

2 Responses

  1. Jane

    August 30, 2014

    On Sunday August 17th the lights on one side of the house quit working but the outlets worked. We believe the garage door got off track and caused the problem. We flipped the breaker switch and got power back on. On August 24th the outlets quit working on the same side of the house but the lights worked! What is going on?? We are not able to hit reset button in upstairs bathroom. Any suggestions??

    Reply
    • Glen

      August 31, 2014

      Unplug all the the power cords in bathroom, garage, outside and basement areas to eliminate a possible short circuit or bad electrical device. Then turn off all the breaker in your electric panel and reset them. Double check all the GFI outlets reset buttons in the bathroom, garage and basement areas. If that fails call an electrician you may have a loose connection or a bad GFI outlet.

      Reply

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