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Old 11-08-2012, 07:36 AM   #1
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no power in detatched garage after buying home


hello! this is my first time on your site, and im hoping to get some answers, with what little info i have. please forgive that i do not know all of the specifics.we just bought the home in october, and are first time buyers so we are kin of learning as we go. Ok here is what is going on, and what i know so far.

house was built in 1915
was gutted and completely renovated in 1988
the detached garage was built some time after renovation
powerlines to the garage are run under ground and inside PVS pipe
the garage has an automatic door, a big gas heater from the ceiling and a million different lights and light switches.
when we looked at the house thinking about buying it i know that the lights atleast worked, i personally turned them on.
the seller had the power turned off a few days before we bought it
the day we moved in i went to the garage and nothing worked...however if you turn on the switches it registers on the meter at the house as if everything works.
i have flipped the switches to the breaker in the garage, but i have not flipped any at the house.
they were all labeled and none said anything about the garage so i did not touch them.

I have an infant, so i am unable to go see what brands or voltages everything is at the moment, im sorry.

based on the information provided could anyone help?
thanks and have a great day!

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Old 11-08-2012, 08:12 AM   #2
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no power in detatched garage after buying home


Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsFixIt88 View Post
hello! this is my first time on your site, and im hoping to get some answers, with what little info i have. please forgive that i do not know all of the specifics.we just bought the home in october, and are first time buyers so we are kin of learning as we go. Ok here is what is going on, and what i know so far.

house was built in 1915
was gutted and completely renovated in 1988
the detached garage was built some time after renovation
powerlines to the garage are run under ground and inside PVS pipe
the garage has an automatic door, a big gas heater from the ceiling and a million different lights and light switches.
when we looked at the house thinking about buying it i know that the lights atleast worked, i personally turned them on.
the seller had the power turned off a few days before we bought it
the day we moved in i went to the garage and nothing workedeverything work...however if you turn on the switches it registers on the meter at the house as if s.
i have flipped the switches to the breaker in the garage, but i have not flipped any at the house.
they were all labeled and none said anything about the garage so i did not touch them.

I have an infant, so i am unable to go see what brands or voltages everything is at the moment, im sorry.

based on the information provided could anyone help?
thanks and have a great day!
(it's PVC pipe not PVS)
What do you mean by this statement? "however if you turn on the switches it registers on the meter at the house as if "

Are there any breakers in the panel that are switched off?
Is there only one panel in the house?

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Old 11-08-2012, 08:25 AM   #3
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no power in detatched garage after buying home


I suspect a breaker is turned off either in the house panel or the outbuilding. Once we determine whether all the breakers are on we can go from there.

Try to check during one of the babies naps.
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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:29 AM   #4
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no power in detatched garage after buying home


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
(it's PVC pipe not PVS)
What do you mean by this statement? "however if you turn on the switches it registers on the meter at the house as if "

Are there any breakers in the panel that are switched off?
Is there only one panel in the house?
Sorry, typo on the PVC trying to get the baby to sleep while typing.
I mean, if you go to the garage and turn on all the switches (nothing seems to happen) and then go up to the house and look at the power meter (the thing the power company checks to bill you) the rate it goes around increases, and decreases if you flip the switches back to off mode, but nothing comes on. there are 2 breaker boxes at the house and one at the garage. i reset the breaker in the garage but did not reset the ones at the house because they were all labeled (washer, dryer, kitchen ect) and no labels said anything regarding the garage. all breakers are switched to on.
and, i put stuff in () not because i thought you didnt know what those were, but because i was not sure if i was using the right terms so i wanted to explain just in case.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:03 AM   #5
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no power in detatched garage after buying home


The meters not going to change just because a breaker is turned on. It only would change if somethng was being used that used power. And to see any real differance it would need to be something that used a lot of power.
Wrong way to check it anyway.
You would use a volt OHM meter to check to see if there's power going to the panel.
Why not call the old owners and ask what they shut off?
It's not unheard of for some DIY to tap off of the power going to something else to run power to the garage so there may not be a breaker marked garage.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:14 AM   #6
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no power in detatched garage after buying home


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
The meters not going to change just because a breaker is turned on. It only would change if somethng was being used that used power. And to see any real differance it would need to be something that used a lot of power.
Wrong way to check it anyway.
You would use a volt OHM meter to check to see if there's power going to the panel.
Why not call the old owners and ask what they shut off?
It's not unheard of for some DIY to tap off of the power going to something else to run power to the garage so there may not be a breaker marked garage.
i dont know what to say then because it does change the meter. there is a spinning disk inside the meter that works like an odometer and when everything is switched on in the garage it spins fast and when you turn it all off it slows back down....as if power is being used, but nothing comes on when everything is switched to on. i cant call the old owners because they are from india, and do not speak English or live anywhere around here. all of the breakers are accounted for, each is labeled and there are not spare ones and they all have a label for what they go to...i know there may not be one labeled garage, but if they tapped one off to use for another i would see where they had crossed out the old one or wrote over the new one. i guess i will just look into getting one of those OHM meters. i was just hoping maybe someone else had dealt with something similar or could give some insight. thanks
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:23 AM   #7
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no power in detatched garage after buying home


What exactly is it your checking in the garage.
If all you have done is hit the light switch. It could be as simple as a GFI has tripped.
Try pushing the reset button.

The GFI could be part of one of the outlets or a red button on a circut breaker.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:30 AM   #8
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no power in detatched garage after buying home


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
What exactly is it your checking in the garage.
If all you have done is hit the light switch. It could be as simple as a GFI has tripped.
Try pushing the reset button.

The GFI could be part of one of the outlets or a red button on a circut breaker.
i have checked the lights and the garage door which is plugged into an outlet down there. when i can, i will go check for that.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:42 AM   #9
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no power in detatched garage after buying home


Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsFixIt88 View Post
...i know there may not be one labeled garage, but if they tapped one off to use for another i would see where they had crossed out the old one or wrote over the new one.
Except they might not have updated the labels. They should have, but a lot of people don't.

It would help a lot to have some more details. (I know, that's hard with little ones to look after.) For example, can you see where the line to the garage leaves your house, and where it enters the garage? Can you see the cables coming out of the PVC at each end?

Visually follow those cables (on each end) and tell us where they go, if you can.

Do you have a digital camera? Can you take pictures of the electrical panels and upload them to this thread? (If you have the camera, but don't know how to upload, we can provide instructions.)

Above all, please be careful. If you're at all uncertain of how to do something, don't do it.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:26 PM   #10
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no power in detatched garage after buying home


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave632 View Post
Except they might not have updated the labels. They should have, but a lot of people don't.

It would help a lot to have some more details. (I know, that's hard with little ones to look after.) For example, can you see where the line to the garage leaves your house, and where it enters the garage? Can you see the cables coming out of the PVC at each end?

Visually follow those cables (on each end) and tell us where they go, if you can.

Do you have a digital camera? Can you take pictures of the electrical panels and upload them to this thread? (If you have the camera, but don't know how to upload, we can provide instructions.)

Above all, please be careful. If you're at all uncertain of how to do something, don't do it.

i will look and take pics this week and upload them. thank you for being understanding. between the one little one and the 2 big ones (6 and 7 both boys) its hard to get anything done these days.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:29 PM   #11
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no power in detatched garage after buying home


and no i cant see where the lines come from the house to the garage. the guys that lived here originally did his best to cover all that up. he was a very smart talented handy man...but that doesnt help me since he let the house go into foreclosure during a bad divorce and a couple that cant speak english bought i from the bank.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:29 PM   #12
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no power in detatched garage after buying home


You are going to have to find out where the power for the garage
originates from !
If all breakers are on, then look for switchs or gfci's
turn them all on !
The power must come from somewhere !
If the lights were working,
then it is unlikely they have been dissconnectted,
there must be a switch/breaker/gfci somewhere.

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