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Old 02-18-2014, 11:27 PM   #1
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detached garage has no power


Hello everyone, i am a new homeowner and i want to be a handy homeowner and not have to call in a guy for everything small.

I am having trouble with my garage, it has all the wiring hooked up, but there is no power going to any thing in the garage.

I checked the breaker and it is not tripped, i used a tester and the breaker shows it has power and is live.

When i go to the garage, the outside gfi outlet has no power, inside outlet has no power, switches/light fixture does not turn on, and the connected flood light doesnt turn on.

I tested the wiring splitting area and it shows no power. What are the steps i need to do to trouble shoot this?

Should i change the breaker first? Check the wire splitting box? (the wire is a yellow 20amp wire that goes underground into the main house)

Here is picture of how it is currently wired (please forgive me, i am not sure how to properly draw electrical diagrams.)

Thank you

not sure why it wont let me post pictures

I think the wire goes from circuit breaker along the inside wall then goes under a concrete slab and under the lawn then pops out from the garage floor. Its in a metal tube when it pops out of the garage floor. I also see where the floor was dug up to place the wire. I can actually follow it until the concrete slab then it goes behind the wall and it shows itself back at the panel.

The wire split box is inside the garage, it is actual the first thing the main line comes up into then splits into various things.

not sure why it wont let me post pictures
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:28 PM   #2
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detached garage has no power



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Old 02-18-2014, 11:44 PM   #3
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detached garage has no power


I'm assuming that power was working out there for a while, and suddenly there's no power now? In other words, this isn't a bunch of new wiring work you recently had done?

If it's a sudden occurrence, have you verified that the outdoor GFCI hasn't tripped? Depending on how things are actually wired up from the line coming from the house panel, that GFCI may perhaps be the culprit. Try resetting that GFCI, and see if power is restored.

Last edited by Chris130; 02-18-2014 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:46 PM   #4
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detached garage has no power


You can't use that yellow wire in conduit underground.
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:56 PM   #5
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detached garage has no power


Are you using a multi-meter or a non-contact tester to check for power? Use a meter and check the line terminals of the GFI and tell us if there is voltage on them.
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:56 PM   #6
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Yes I reseted the gfi and still no power.

Btw with the way it is wired wouldn't the gfi only stop the power for the gfi outlet since there won't be a break to the other 3 circuits?

I am using a meter from HF and their all zero voltage. Ive touched the terminals to the outlet holed and on the wires near the screws
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:04 AM   #7
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I am guessing "HF" is Home Depot. What range is it set to? Did you test the wires on the Load side or the Line side? You must take the GFI out of its box to see this.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:58 AM   #8
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Did you check the (hopefully) 20amp breaker inside the house panel from where the garage gets power?

Is the Green line in your drawing actually supposed to represent the White Neutral, or is that the Ground wire?

If it's supposed to represent the Neutral, there is no reason the GFCI should have 3 wires (R+B+W). If it's actually the Ground, I've never seen 12/2 Romex with Red and Black wires.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:00 AM   #9
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Open the Junction Box (what you call the "split box") and check for voltage there.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsparksalot View Post
Open the Junction Box (what you call the "split box") and check for voltage there.
I agree. If you know the "split box" as you call it is the first junction point downstream of the breaker, then test inside this "split box".

If you have power in there, then go to the next location downstream.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:51 AM   #11
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sorry for the bad terminology.

I am using this meter (HF, is harbor freight)



line/garage side:
The junction box has no cover so i can see all the wires coming together with the end caps (are they call pigtails?)

I set it to ACV 200 then stick those prongs into the outlet holes to test, also i tested at the junction box i stuck those prongs inside the caps of the connections and tested.

I have not taken out the GFI and tested the wires from the back yet.

inside house/breaker side:

I have tested with the prongs to the breaker screw where the power feeds goes out and also the panel box for ground and it shows there is power on the breaker side.

We just bought the house and i personally never had try any power in there, so since i got the house, there was no power inside that garage, (previous seller say there was, the inspector say the wiring is wrong because of it being yellow and going underground, but we got credited for that to be repaired)



my green red black wires are not draw to scale or any code, the green is suppose to be my ground and the red is my live wire and black being the neutral. (i am not sure how accurate this is but the yellow wire has 3 of these wires and all of them are hooked up to each outlet/fixtures)

Here is a dumb question, if the gfi has it's own split line and it trips, i thought it would only cut / make a break in the gfi outlet and the other lines are still getting power since the circuit is still complete.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:04 AM   #12
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detached garage has no power


Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowtail View Post

line/garage side:
The junction box has no cover so i can see all the wires coming together with the end caps (are they call pigtails?)
The red things--in the photo below--- are called wire nuts.



Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowtail View Post
also i tested at the junction box i stuck those prongs inside the caps of the connections and tested.
OK...and what was your result? Did you determine which cable was your incoming power to the junction box? See in the photo the one cable has HOT MAIN on it.? THose are the wire fromthat cable that you need to check.

I know this is a DIY site but this is like Electricity 101
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:13 AM   #13
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detached garage has no power


I would check the outside of the house as well, since this was a non-compliant "handyman" install it may well be there's another GFCI receptacle somewhere around the wall of the house where the cable from the panel exits.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:19 PM   #14
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detached garage has no power


all the test in the garage side shows zero voltages. From your junction box picture, that's what i did, i tested those wires and shows no voltages.

I will look around and see if i can find any other outdoor outlet that may be tripped.

maybe my meter is broken, i will try another meter to be sure. my meter was really cheap.

Last edited by yellowtail; 02-19-2014 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:45 PM   #15
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detached garage has no power


To test the meter, use it on a receptacle you know is working and observe the results. You should always do this before you use a meter to confirm power is off. In your case you want to make sure your meter is telling you when power is on.
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