Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


06:52AM | 04/23/99
I am experiencing an electrical outage in 2 outlets. they are in different rooms, and yet appear to be on the same circuit. However nothing else on that circuit (ceiling fixtures etc.)Seem to be effected

I replaced both outlets. Still nothing... Any ideas ?

I am a pretty good do-it-yourselfer when it comes to electrical... but this has me stumped...


07:05AM | 04/23/99
Butch, just last weekend I had a similar problem (lost power to basement & garage but no blown circuit breaker) so I started replacing outlets but to no avail. Then I talked to my neighbor (whom's an electician), and boy was I embarresed, turns out that GFI outlet in the upstairs bathroom had tripped. So locate any GFI outlets in your house and check their reset buttons. If that turns out to be the problem don't feel foolish, it happens to lots of us. Good luck.


01:53PM | 04/23/99
If Wick's answer does not solve the problem.

If you have an electrical tester (screwdriver or pigtail) see if you have power at the one of the outlets. Also notice the brightness of the tester as compared to another outlet that is functional.If not then you are going to have to backcheck all of the other components on the circuit. Pay particular attention to wire bundles inside of all of the boxes. Many people install wire nuts without twisting the copper ends together.Also pay particular attention to the lights in the circuit as these will come loose because of the vibration from the floor above. You have a loose, broken or dirty connection somewhere. All of the copper ends should be bright and shiny. If wires are simply taped, the tape has a tendency to melt and break the connection. Make certain one of the wires at the disfunctional outlets is not broken.


11:37PM | 06/12/99
After a maid came for the first time and cleaned the kitchen, my garage door opener and back deck light do not work. Then on overhead light in the garage seemed to burn out while I was in there. The door openerr works using an extension cord to another outlet, but the outdoor light cannot be "fixed" this way. I seem to remember this happened before and think a GFIC was the problem. Now I can't find it! I've peered at the the circuit breaker box and tried a switch in a bathroom upstairs, but still can't figure out where this thing is, if it exists. All circuit breakers are ok.


05:33AM | 06/14/99

On a relatively new house, all outside circuits are protected by a GFCI. This can be located anywhere. look in the garage, the basement, the laundry room, etc.


09:33AM | 06/18/99
Well, I've been over and around the house looking, (several times) but sure have not found the elusive device. One more weekend and after checking with neighbors, I will have to bite the bullet and call in an electrician, I guess.


01:11PM | 06/18/99
Look in your panel box and see if these outlets are covered by a GFI breaker. Look also at the outside outlets to see if they are not GFI protected.


08:27PM | 06/19/99
GFCI’s are extra protection for wet or potentially wet areas, so usually by law all outlets in the garage, bathrooms, basement, and outside, will be protected by one or more of the units. The kitchen will be too, but usually that room has separate protection not mixed with any other room.

All this means is, if the problem is a tripped GFCI, you will most likely find the culprit in one of those areas. The exception is if your home was equipped with a special GFCI-breaker in the circuit panel.

If your home has a basement, go there, to the bottom of the stairs, and look up. If your basement is finished, remove the ceiling panel. My experience has been that homes with more than 2 bathrooms have all the bathrooms on one GFCI, with the garage, outside, and basement areas on another. Usually it’s the basement outlet that controls all the others. At least one basement outlet is usually required by law, and in my area builders typically mount it on the underside of the first floor beams, usually close to the bottom of the basement stairs.

If it is there, you may have overlooked it before since it is not at eye-level. If your basement is finished, that would make it that much more difficult to find. If your basement ceiling is finished with drywall, finding it may be messy as you may have to cut holes as you look for it. At that point call an electrician first.

Good luck.


04:28PM | 06/23/99
Well, I finally think I found it. The door opened, at any rate. Actually, I knew that there was a GFCI in one bathroom, but had tried that one and nothing happened. Yesterday I went to Home Depot and looked at all the GFCIs there just to make sure I knew what I was looking for. Then I punched the bathroom GFCI on and off have a dozen times.
Voila! The door opens. Hopefully, it will open tonight when I go home. If it does not and the GFCI is tripped again, that would mean a short circuit right? Thanks for your
help, everyone.



03:41PM | 06/24/99
Don't want to beat a dead horse, but my initial joy at getting the outlet working was
only temporary. Later on, I tried to open the door and it would not work. The GFCI in the bathroom was still working. The maid had been in so maybe she tripped something.

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