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Old 06-20-2019, 07:36 AM   #16
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Incoming power goes to line not load
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:23 AM   #17
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Re: Purchases 1980 home. Exterior outlet not working


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Originally Posted by HomeownerSOS View Post
Sorry let me be more specific. I fed one of the mystery boxes(there are two that show continuity) from a regular receptacle. I installed a GFCI in mystery box 1. I installed a regular receptacle in mystery box 2. Power on, GFCI trips. Unplug box 2, it works fine. I think your answer still applies but I wanted to clarify if it sheds anymore light on the problem


That's depressing news. I followed the line in the attic(using a wire tracer) and it looks like one continuous wire. I followed it as far as I could until the vaulted ceiling and/or it went down the wall. Is it possible that one of the staples that's holding the wire against the joist punctured the wire? Would that cause a short?

It's really odd that neither boxes had a second hole punched out for a second 14/2 wire.

I'm sorry but it's still not clear to me how you're powering these outlets. If both outlets have just one 14/2, and they're connected to each other, then neither could possibly be the "line." Since you had one non working outlet, and the other worked, the 14/2 in the working outlet cannot be the same 14/2 directly connected to the non working outlet.



It's more likely both are on the same circuit - but are connected to the circuit at some yet undiscovered point.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:10 AM   #18
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Re: Purchases 1980 home. Exterior outlet not working


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Originally Posted by LawnGuyLandSparky View Post
I'm sorry but it's still not clear to me how you're powering these outlets. If both outlets have just one 14/2, and they're connected to each other, then neither could possibly be the "line." Since you had one non working outlet, and the other worked, the 14/2 in the working outlet cannot be the same 14/2 directly connected to the non working outlet.



It's more likely both are on the same circuit - but are connected to the circuit at some yet undiscovered point.
I tapped from a working interior outlet...daisy chained into line on the new GFCI. Connected the existed wire in the mystery box into load (which shows continuity with the other outdoor box)

Also, I twisted the wire in the mystery box and tested continuity and it beeps. It also doesn't beep when I untwist them. Doesn't that show that the wire is not faulty/damaged/wired together?

I know it's a lot to follow and I really appreciate the time you're taking to help me

Last edited by HomeownerSOS; 06-20-2019 at 10:12 AM. Reason: rewording
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:31 AM   #19
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Re: Purchases 1980 home. Exterior outlet not working


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Originally Posted by HomeownerSOS View Post
I tapped from a working interior outlet...daisy chained into line on the new GFCI. Connected the existed wire in the mystery box into load (which shows continuity with the other outdoor box)

Also, I twisted the wire in the mystery box and tested continuity and it beeps. It also doesn't beep when I untwist them. Doesn't that show that the wire is not faulty/damaged/wired together?

I know it's a lot to follow and I really appreciate the time you're taking to help me

Proving continuity between these 2 boxes does not eliminate the possibility there are other devices connected to this wire.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:39 AM   #20
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Re: Purchases 1980 home. Exterior outlet not working


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Originally Posted by LawnGuyLandSparky View Post
Proving continuity between these 2 boxes does not eliminate the possibility there are other devices connected to this wire.
I thought I was pretty thorough in the attic following the wire but the search continues again...

Thanks again LawnGuy
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:45 AM   #21
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Re: Purchases 1980 home. Exterior outlet not working


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Originally Posted by HomeownerSOS View Post
So my tracer came in and I traced the wire to another outdoor receptacle (on the opposite side of the house) that was covered up and unused. I opened it up and there was only one 14/2 cable. I followed the tracer and it seems like the wire is running above windows not near any receptacles. I put the tracer near any receptacles to make sure and it didnít make any noise. The wire does cross-by the breaker but I cant tell whats going on around there because of interference in the signal. Iím perplexed.
Does anybody have any idea what's going on? Thanks everyone

If your tracer was connected at the non-working mystery outlet, (with one 14/2 cable) and you're getting signal at a different outdoor outlet (with one 14/2 cable) it indicates both are connected - but if the unused covered outlet was previously working - and there was no voltage at the mystery location, then they couldn't be connected just directly to each other - they're both connected to the same circuit.



Which would mean you haven't yet discovered the location where the nonworking outlet connects to the circuit -
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:55 AM   #22
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Re: Purchases 1980 home. Exterior outlet not working


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Originally Posted by HomeownerSOS View Post
I thought I was pretty thorough in the attic following the wire but the search continues again...

Thanks again LawnGuy

Around 1980, a GFCI circuit typically consisted of, but not limited to, bathroom/1/2 bath receptacles, bathroom lights, outdoor receptacles, basement convenience receptacle. Garage receptacle although you've eliminated yours being on a different circuit.

But those locations do not eliminate the possibility other lights or receptacles could be on this circuit even though GFCI protection wasn't required.



Your experiment of backfeeding the circuit through a GFCI causing immediate tripping indicates the neutral on your load terminal is still connected to the panel through the normal GFCI and does not lead solely and directly to the mystery nonworking outlet.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:55 AM   #23
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Re: Purchases 1980 home. Exterior outlet not working


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Originally Posted by LawnGuyLandSparky View Post
If your tracer was connected at the non-working mystery outlet, (with one 14/2 cable) and you're getting signal at a different outdoor outlet (with one 14/2 cable) it indicates both are connected - but if the unused covered outlet was previously working - and there was no voltage at the mystery location, then they couldn't be connected just directly to each other - they're both connected to the same circuit.



Which would mean you haven't yet discovered the location where the nonworking outlet connects to the circuit -
both mystery outlets don't have power. My wording is probably making this really difficult to follow
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:05 PM   #24
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Re: Purchases 1980 home. Exterior outlet not working


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Originally Posted by LawnGuyLandSparky View Post
Around 1980, a GFCI circuit typically consisted of, but not limited to, bathroom/1/2 bath receptacles, bathroom lights, outdoor receptacles, basement convenience receptacle. Garage receptacle although you've eliminated yours being on a different circuit.

But those locations do not eliminate the possibility other lights or receptacles could be on this circuit even though GFCI protection wasn't required.



Your experiment of backfeeding the circuit through a GFCI causing immediate tripping indicates the neutral on your load terminal is still connected to the panel through the normal GFCI and does not lead solely and directly to the mystery nonworking outlet.
Update: I was able to solve the issue! There was an outlet box (covered-not in use)in one of the bedroom closets adjacent to the garage(wouldíve never expected that one). I also found out the house has a photoelectric sensor hooked up to the two mystery outlets. I hooked up a receptacle (bypassing the photoelectric sensor since I dont need it) and now both outdoor receptacles work! It was a long journey scouring in the attic and trying different things. Couldnt have done it without all the help I received from you guys! Thank you all!
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