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Why Is Part Of My Home Electrical Power Not Working?

How to Troubleshoot and Identify an Outlet Circuit Problem: The power is not working in some areas as well as two outlets on the outside of the house.


Electrical Troubleshooting for Outlets

Electrical Question: The power is not working in the attached garage in our 20 year old house in Ontario, as well as two outlets on the outside of the house.

  • The breakers are not tripped and seem fine – measuring 120 volts between the terminals on all breakers and ground.
  • I found two ground fault interrupt outlets that were located in the bathrooms and these are fine.
  • Any suggestions where else to look?

Background: John, a Homeowner from Ontario, Canada.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question John.

Troubleshooting Power that is Not Working

problem with GFI outlet circuit

How to Troubleshoot and Identify an Outlet Circuit Problem

Application: Troubleshooting and Repairing Outlet Problems.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester or Volt Ohm Meter or plug-in circuit analyzer.
Estimated Time: Depends on the age of the home and the condition of the electrical wiring and access to the circuit wiring to be inspected, evaluated and repaired.
Precaution: Identify the outlet circuit at the electric panel, turn it OFF and then Tag it with a Note before performing any wiring inspections or electrical repairs. If an outlet or the electrical wiring is found to be damaged then repairs and replacement parts should be obtained with the same voltage and amperage rating.
Notice: Burnt or damaged electrical wiring and circuit components should be replaced with new electrical materials of the same voltage and amperage rating.

Troubleshooting Tips when Part of the Electric Power is Not Working

Check for a Tripped GFI Outlet

  • Look for GFI or GFCI Outlets in the garage area that may be tripped, reset as needed to restore power to the devices and outlets that are protected by the GFCI Outlet.
  • If a GFI outlet does not reset then the wiring on the LOAD side of the GFI outlet should be verified.
  • If the GFI outlet is faulty then it should be replaced with one of the same specifications.

Check for a Fault in the Outlet Circuit

  • Turn off any circuits that may power this area.
  • Start at the closest outlet or junction box to where the source enters the circuit.
  • Begin examining the electrical wiring condition, wire splices, and wiring connections to the outlet.
  • Repeat this process at each outlet within the affected circuit.
  • Burnt areas of wiring and splices should be removed and replaced as needed and new wire connectors installed.
  • A burnt or damaged outlet should be replaced with one of the same specifications.

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  • Licensed Electrician Reveals the Secrets of Successful Electrical Troubleshooting Methods used to solve the majority of the home electrical problems and wiring failures encountered.

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