Absence of power in outside receptacles

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Old 11-01-16, 07:15 PM
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Absence of power in outside receptacles

Today I was using an electric hedge trimmer to trim some hedges, as I do every Fall. And, as I do almost every Fall, I cut through my extension cord with with my hedge trimmer. After getting a new extension cord, I had no power.

I ran to the circuit breakers and found no breaker tripped.

I didn't remember this outlet (outside, by my front door) being connected to a GFCI outlet, but I started searching. I found a GFCI in my garage that maybe, could be connected to the outlet in question, and its reset button was broken. I replaced this GFCI outlet and got it working. But still no power at the outlet by my front door.

I searched and found another outside outlet which was a GFCI. I checked and it had power. I tested/reset it. Still no power at the outlet by my front door.

I found another outside outlet with no power, but I haven't used it in probably a year, so I can't say whether it was working before my hedge trimmer incident. I found an outlet in my garage (different than the GFCI outlet I replaced, described above) which also had no power, and I know it was working shortly before my hedge trimmer incident, because it has two 9v AC-to-DC transformers plugged into it, and they were both warm.

I checked and rechecked my circuit breakers. Unfortunately, none of the circuit breakers is labeled such that it's obvious which would control outside outlets. Eventually, I switched off ALL of my circuit breakers, including the main power to the house, and then turned them all back on.

Still no power at those three outlets.

I am at a loss.

So I have two outdoor outlets with no power, and one with power; the one with power is a GFCI, and it has been reset. I also have an outlet in my garage with no power; there is no apparent reason the two power-less outdoor outlets would be wired with the garage outlet, but the fact that they each have no power suggests they are wired together.

Where do I go from here? If there's a short somewhere, shouldn't that trip a circuit breaker? Do I replace the outlets without power? How do I resolve this?

-boster

 
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Old 11-01-16, 07:24 PM
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Check your bathrooms for GFCI's; some older houses connected outdoor outlets to bathroom GFCIs.
 
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Old 11-01-16, 07:44 PM
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If there's a short somewhere, shouldn't that trip a circuit breaker?
Yes. Good, you know what a short is. Many confuse an open with a short. So you have basic knowledge. That is good.

What Paul suggested, bathrooms. I once encountered a dead back yard receptacle that was on a GFCI receptacle in a second floor bedroom at the front of the house. Also GFCIs can be hidden behind things that haven't been moved in years or behind large things plugged into a receptacle.
I replaced this GFCI outlet and got it working
How did you determine it was working?
 
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Old 11-02-16, 06:50 AM
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How did you determine it was working?
First,I tested and reset it (according to the installation instructions, if it wasn't wired correctly the reset button would not work). Second, I plugged a hedge trimmer into it, and had power. Third, I plugged in a 3-wire outlet tester, which indicated it was wired correctly.
 
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Old 11-02-16, 06:58 AM
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Thank you to Paul and Ray. Your tips led me to check bathroom GFCI's where I never suspected I'd find the solution, and I found the solution.

Last night (before finding the tripped GFCI) I found two more outlets with no power, for a total of 5 outlets without power, plus then the tripped GFCI. Two outlets outside, two outlets a few feet away from each other in the basement, one outlet in the garage, and the GFCI in a main floor interior bathroom. There's no apparent reason those six receptacles would be wired together. Weird.

Again, thank you. I am no longer banging my head against a wall.

-boster
 
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Old 11-28-16, 09:51 AM
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I was able to fix because of this thread. I found a reset button behind a huge heavy object that I never knew existed even though we have been in this house 20 years.

Thank you, thank you thank you.
 
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