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glockrod
12-01-2012, 17:07
I set up the outdoor Christmas lights last weekend. Its just a few light strands all coming off one plug on my front porch.
They worked fine until I decided to turn them on after it had rained one day this week. They flashed on and then went dead.
Well, I finally had the chance to look into the issue this afternoon, and I am puzzled. The lights work fine as I have already tried plugging them into another outlet off a longer extension cord.
Apparently, the problem is an issue with the outlet on my front porch. The outlet is just dead. There are no tripped breakers. I pulled the outlet out the wall and tested with a meter-it's dead. The outlet does appear to be broken somehow, but it is dead testing on the wires.
Also, my doorbells are not working. I am not quite sure how these two things are related.
I can not figure out which breaker controls this outlet and no other nearby indoor outlets are malfunctioning.
The box for this outlet has two 14-2 wires coming into it, so it must be feeding to/from somewhere else(maybe the doorbell).
And I forgot to add that my house is only 3 years old and was wired to code by a local company.

Any ideas about what is wrong or anything else to look for.

havensal
12-01-2012, 17:10
Double check the breakers. Could be a lose connection somewhere, but a blown breaker would be my guess.


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coastal4974
12-01-2012, 17:11
I set up the outdoor Christmas lights last weekend. Its just a few light strands all coming off one plug on my front porch.
They worked fine until I decided to turn them on after it had rained one day this week. They flashed on and then went dead.
Well, I finally had the chance to look into the issue this afternoon, and I am puzzled. The lights work fine as I have already tried plugging them into another outlet off a longer extension cord.
Apparently, the problem is an issue with the outlet on my front porch. The outlet is just dead. There are no tripped breakers. I pulled the outlet out the wall and tested with a meter-it's dead. The outlet does appear to be broken somehow, but it is dead testing on the wires.
Also, my doorbells are not working. I am not quite sure how these two things are related.
I can not figure out which breaker controls this outlet and no other nearby indoor outlets are malfunctioning.
The box for this outlet has two 14-2 wires coming into it, so it must be feeding to/from somewhere else(maybe the doorbell).
And I forgot to add that my house is only 3 years old and was wired to code by a local company.

Any ideas about what is wrong or anything else to look for.

It's connected to a GFCI somewhere, maybe in your garage, go hunting and find it and reset it. THen consider taping over the unused female recepticals on the string of lights.

heyTJ
12-01-2012, 17:12
Outside outlet is a GFI or tied into a GFI outlet. The GFI is most likely in the basement.

byf43
12-01-2012, 17:15
"Throw" (turn off) all of the 15 amp breakers, one at a time, and reset each.

Plug a radio into the outlet that's 'dead', and turn it on, LOUD.
IF/when the radio comes on, you now know which breaker controls that circuit.

Another thought. . . . I've seen wire connected to a circuit breaker NOT tight. (This was on my heat pump at my first house.)

I've also found electrical connections in a junction box to not be tight. (Wrong/too large wirenut used.)


ETA: The posts calling for checking the GFCI is spot on!!!!!!
Having a braincramp. I never even thought of the GFCI!!!!!

janice6
12-01-2012, 17:17
It's connected to a GFCI somewhere, maybe in your garage, go hunting and find it and reset it. THen consider taping over the unused female recepticals on the string of lights.


This.............. (also tape over any temporary male/female plug/sockets exposed to weather)

RRP
12-01-2012, 17:20
Your outside receptacle is protected by a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). This protection is provided by either a dedicated breaker, which looks differently (http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100153356/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=gfci+breaker&storeId=10051#.ULqeDWfh-So) than the rest, or by a GFCI receptacle, which looks like this (http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=203176273&storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&ci_sku=203176273&ci_kw={keyword}&kwd={keyword}&cm_mmc=shopping-_-googleads-_-pla-_-203176273&ci_gpa=pla#.ULqdp2fh-So).

Both the GFCI breaker and GFCI receptacle have a reset button. Push the reset to re-energize the circuit.

glockrod
12-01-2012, 17:37
I checked/reset all these outlets I know of in the garage, baths, and kitchen.

Even the GFCI breakers in the box are working fine.

I have checked all the 15/20 amp songle pole breakers.

The outlet still does not work.

Any other ideas.

RRP
12-01-2012, 17:44
If you reset the GFCI breakers, and the outside receptacle is not a GFCI receptacle, I would look for a GFCI receptacle elsewhere in the basement, garage, breezeway, etc.

Any chance that you have another outdoor receptacle?

AKR
12-01-2012, 17:51
Is this outlet on a switch that somebody inadvertently turned off? Some of my outdoor outlets are controlled by switches in my garage so that I can control xmas lights without going outside.

Also, some breakers can trip and look like they're not tripped. Make sure you did turn them off and then back on. It's also possible that the trip damaged the breaker. It may need to be replaced. (If you aren't sure how to do this safely, it's time to get an electrician.)

glockrod
12-01-2012, 18:06
GCFI.

IT IS FIXED!!! No more :brickwall:

I have only 3. One of which is on my rear screen porch. I had forgotten about it because it was behind porch furniture.

I feel so stupid not to have checked these first. I knew thatt the outdoor outlets had to be set up on a GFCI, but I just assumed that they were on one of the GFCI breakers in the box even though they had not tripped.

Thanks for all your help.:yourock:

RRP
12-01-2012, 18:07
Glad you fixed it. Congrats!

misunderestimated
12-01-2012, 18:13
I checked/reset all these outlets I know of in the garage, baths, and kitchen.

Even the GFCI breakers in the box are working fine.

I have checked all the 15/20 amp songle pole breakers.

The outlet still does not work.

Any other ideas.

If its a new house,and it went off after rain its a GFI

Now you have to search for another outlet box some place else on the outside of the home .first out let is the GFI and then all the ones behind it are protect by the first gfi box. Wlak around the house see if you can find another outdoor box. May bee a feed for a sprinkler system may bee a feed out to low voltage lighting box. Sime times I find a six way splitter covering the gfi outlet and you never even think there is a splitter covering the GFI outlet
invest in one of these http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Receptacle_tester
and start to plug it into every outlet you see even if you think its working

heyTJ
12-01-2012, 18:33
What about the door bells. :whistling:

glockrod
12-01-2012, 18:51
My house goes ding dong once again!!

It must be on the same line.

MrKandiyohi
12-01-2012, 19:37
Outside outlet is a GFI or tied into a GFI outlet. The GFI is most likely in the basement.

It's probably out by the air conditioning or heat pump unit. Look for a box and the GFCI outlet will be in there.

DustyJacket
12-01-2012, 20:23
I have a GFCI outlet is one bathroom that powers (in this order):
2 outlets in another bathroon
an outlet in the garage
an outlet in the upstairs bathroom
the front porch outlet
2 outlets in the basement
the rear deck outlet

A previous owner had cut the line in the attic and repaired it poorly.

We lost power to the porch, basement, and deck periodically (mostly cold weather).

Took an electrician a couple of hours to trace the line, find the fault, and fix it.

what a mess.