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Old 07-17-2010, 02:35 PM   #1
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GFCI outlet outside no longer works

Hi there.

I have a GFCI outlet outside that once worked fine, but after my mother in law has been using it for the electrical weed eater, it 'tripped' and no longer resets. I thought the unit itself was broken, and had a friend who is an electrician briefly look and replace it with a new one, but he determined that there is power coming to the recepticle, but not enough power.

I used a multimeter (first time using it) and tried it on other receptacles around the house and found most consistent at 119-121V. However, I'll be lucky if he outside GFCI unit gets a reading of 120 mV. So, somehow, something is preventing power from going to this.

My friend suggested following the chain of this circuit and see if there is any loose neutral cables around, but so far, I have found nothing. All other items on this circuit work fine.

Any suggestions/ideas?

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Old 07-17-2010, 02:50 PM   #2
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Have you checked the breaker box? On houses built in the 70's --gcfi breakers were often used-

then someone comes along and puts in a gcfi outlet on the protected circuit. You might find a tripped gcfi breaker in the box.

If not it's time to trace that circuit back to the box and look for the problem.---Mike---

Get you mother in law to help! Ha Ha
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mcvane View Post
weed eater, it 'tripped' and no longer resets.
4 A isn't much but maybe the weedeater current caused a marginal wirenut connection upstream of the GFCI to fail to an open circuit. 120 mV is less than a phantom voltage so I'd say the open connection is in the hot lead.

Does the weedeater still work?

Last edited by Yoyizit; 07-17-2010 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:43 PM   #4
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maybe another gfci wired to the same circut tripped? i don't know im not a mother inlaw
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