Monday, February 11, 2013

Home Electrical Fun

One of the GFCI outlets in the kitchen stopped working.  So did several other outlets in the kitchen.  And several other outlets in adjoining rooms. The test/reset buttons were completely inoperative. 

Had we done some significant construction or repair work, I might wonder if there was a bad wire somewhere in the walls, but we have done nothing like that, so I decided to replace the outlet -- which had probably failed.  Nope.  The test/reset buttons are still inoperative.

My guess at this point is probably the circuit breaker has failed.  It behaves normally -- but I understand that is also common when circuit breakers fail -- although it seems unlikely that a circuit breaker would fail after only six years of use. 

Our electrician returns tomorrow.  When it comes to replacing circuit breakers, I would rather a professional to do that.


James B. Shearer said...

One possibility is that there is another GFCI outlet hiding somewhere that is causing the problem and which you aren't trying to reset.

Paul said...

I had a similar problem with a GFCI circuit in our house. The outlets in the bathrooms just stopped working, all of them. Finally I found a GFCI outlet in the garage which was behind a storage unit that had been screwed to the wall which had tripped. Reset that one, and all started working.

So make sure you find and test ALL the GFCI outlets.
Good luck

dmoelling said...

GFCI outlet has failed. These are often wired to protect several other outlets downstream (these are supposed to have little stickers placed by the installer saying they are GFCI protected). Try replacing the GFCI outlet.

Billy Oblivion said...


If you read the original post you find this gem:

" I decided to replace the outlet -- which had probably failed. Nope. The test/reset buttons are still inoperative."

So I'm guessing Mr. Cramer tried that.

As to replacing your own circuit breaker, the second most dangerous thing in the world is a programmer with a screwdriver :)

(The most dangerous thing in the world is a Lieutenant with a map.)

Sigivald said...

Yeah, I'll replace a socket myself, but anything in the breaker box, that's Professional Work.

I don't like working around 240 volt and dozens of amps, myself - 120 volt is merely unpleasant, that stuff will kill you.

(Especially since my house has a 200 amp drop, because a previous owner was a HAM enthusiast.)

Douglas2 said...

So what was the verdict?