How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask jrloar Your Own Question

jrloar
jrloar, Electrical Tech.
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 292
Experience:  Electrician for 12 years, every HVAC certification available
Type Your Electrical Question Here...
jrloar is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

No power in the garage. Changed the breaker, single pole 20

Customer Question

No power in the garage. Changed the breaker, single pole 20 amp. Have power from the breaker to the hot wire. No power at the receptacle and did a continuity test. Light did no go on. Had power for 15 years with no change
What should I look for?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  jrloar replied 2 years ago.

jrloar :

Hello, my name is Jim. I will do my best to help you resolve you problem today..

jrloar :

The garage should be protected by a GFI receptacle, Che to verify they are not tripped. It can be located several places, even one of your outside receptacles couls controle it...

Customer :

Checking

Customer :

Have one that will not trip

jrloar :

If you plug something it to it does it work?

Customer :

Yes

jrloar :

Is it close to the garage?

Customer : yes
Customer : Yes it works
jrloar :

It works as in it fixed your problem?

Customer :

No

Customer :

The GFI works but not the garage, but I cannot trip the GFI outlet.

jrloar :

I would replace that outlet first. It may be the cause of your problem

jrloar :

if it is the closest GFI to the garage then they could have used it to supply the garage. Easy test would be to remove the GFI and test voltage on all terminals

Customer :

I will do that and get back to you

jrloar :

I will be in and out all eav. I will get back to you asap...

Customer :

The GFI is a Single feed with power - If it fed the garage wouldn't there be a feed from the other side

jrloar :

Yes it would

jrloar :

Have you checked every receptical in the garage?

jrloar :

If you have and they all have no power I would go back to the one clesest to the breaker box and remove it. Then check for voltage on all the wires in it. Are they using the stabs on them or are they using the screws on the sides?

jrloar :

I would bet that they used the stabs. If so you will more than likely find that the problem lies with that fact. Over time they get weak and do not contact like they should. I would not replace the receptacle but simply remove all the wires from the stabs and place them under the screws...

Customer :

Stabs_ does this mean that they are connected by the hole in the back of the receptacle?

jrloar :

yes

jrloar :

the hole is referred to as a stab because you just stab the wire in to it...

jrloar :

spring tension is all that holdes it in

Customer :

I have checked all the receptacle. Some are connected by Stabs and some by the screw connection.

jrloar :

Frankly I wish they would outlaw the use of them. I have seen melted receptacles because of the use of them..

Customer :

Some are connected by stabs and the srew and some are connected by the screw.I removed all the receptacle and tested the wires with a voltage tester

jrloar :

on the one closest to the breaker box does there happen to be a receptacle on the opposite side of the wall?

jrloar :

in the home

Customer :

yes there are 3 on each side and one in the ceiling for the garage openner. the one in the house works

jrloar :

But the problem can be with one that works. If it is the wire on the opposite side of the breaker

jrloar :

Have you checked for voltage from the hot to neutral and hot to ground?

jrloar :

also have you checked for continuity from neutral to ground?

Customer :

I will do both

Customer :

The one in the house is singke feed & OK

jrloar :

how about the voltage check?

Customer :

OK on the voltage check. I do have lights in the garage that work. It must be feed from a breaker other than the one marked garage

Customer :

I do not know which is the main feed for all the rest of the receptacles in the garage

Customer :

Im checking all the outside GFI outside the house

Customer :

Do you still think the problem is in the receptacles or GFI?

jrloar :

Do you show any thing from hot to neutral or hot to groung in the garage?

jrloar :

Can you tell me when the home was built?

Customer :

I show nothing - Hot to neutral or hot to ground- -House built in 1994

jrloar :

then the garage should be GFI protected

jrloar :

I do not know where they would have protected it but it should be

Customer :

I checked all the GFI and they have only a hot,ground & neutral & the are hot Should i change all of them out?

jrloar :

no

jrloar :

they only protect them selves if they only have three wires on them

jrloar :

did you check the bathrooms and kitchen GFI as well

jrloar :

it is not likely but you never know

jrloar :

is there a cover in the garage some place? Or a junction box?

jrloar :

cover such as a hole in the ceiling or wall covered some how?

jrloar :

it is hard to believe they never wired it with a GFI

Customer :

I did not check the bathroom or kitchen GFI. I will now. There is no junction box that I can see in the garage or in the attic. This one has me stumped. It has to be something I am over looking

jrloar :

The circuit labeled Garage SHOULD have went directly to the first receptacle and that should have been a GFI to protect the garage... Truly nothing to over look

jrloar :

Dit you check ALL of the breakers in the breaker box just in case it was labeled wrong?

Customer :

Yes - ground to hot - all have power. I have one breaker that looks like it as a GFI built in the 15 amp breaker which is for the whirlpool tub next to the gargage attic This breaker has a test button but is hot at the screw.

jrloar :

I dont know what else to have you check. The problem is going to be at one of the possible places. I know you checked some of these but giving you a list.

jrloar :

Breaker

jrloar :

junction

jrloar :

or receptacle

jrloar :

HIGHLY unlikely it is in a wire run.

jrloar :

Now take in mind that it is always possible that there is a junction covered up. To find that takes specialized expensive equipment...

jrloar :

Legally ALL junctions must be accessible.

jrloar :

is this a single story home

jrloar :

how close to the garage is the breaker box

jrloar :

do you have access to the entire attic including over the garage?

Customer :

If it was a wire run problem, it should have tripped the breaker right? It is a Two story home. The breaker in in the basement on the same wall as the garage. Yes I have acess to the attic over the garage & house. the garage is attacted to the house

jrloar :

So you have access to the wires out of the box or is that wall finished?

jrloar :

So what I gather is your breaker box is below grade. your garage is first floor level.

jrloar :

just trying to picture how they would have wired it

Customer :

wall is finished - Yes the garage is three steps below the first floor at ground level. I do not see a junction in the attic.

Customer :

The walls & ceiling are covered with drywall.

jrloar :

The drywall is what makes it dificult

jrloar :

however if the breaker box is on the same wall that the garage is on then I would be confidant to say that the feed goes directly from the box to the receptacle on that wall in the garage.

jrloar :

it would not run to the attic first

jrloar :

would more than likely go directly vertical to garage level and then horizontal to the first receptacle.

Customer :

Yes, I think your right. I have two receptacles on the box side, one in the ceiling & three on the outside wall

jrloar :

so your garage door opener does not work either?

jrloar :

do you have both receptacles out on the wall the panel is on?

jrloar :

does either of these use the stabs?

jrloar :

are you checking for voltage by directly touching the wire and NOT the screw

jrloar :

One more thing. You said you have no continuity to ground correct? Meaning if you check Ground to neutral for continuity you do not get a reading? If this is true then you DO have a GFI some place and it IS tripped...

Customer :

The garage door does not work. nothing in the garage works. No reading on the continuity. The box wall receptacles are connected,hot in stabs and neutral under the screw> the other receptacle is all stabs

jrloar :

You have a GFI tripped some place

jrloar :

if you have no continuity between ground and neutral

jrloar :

that is the only posibility

jrloar :

not to insult you or imply you dont know how but can I ask what you are doing for a continuity test?

jrloar :

ground to neutral in the garage

jrloar :

Are you using a DMM

Customer :

I pulled the power and removed the receptacles & tested while the power was off with a continuity tester. Put the alligator clip to ground and the probe to neutral than hot.

jrloar :

So is this a test LIGHT

Customer :

yes

jrloar :

is it battery powered

jrloar :

if you touch the aligator clip to the probe what does it do

Customer :

yes And I tested it by touching the two togeather

Customer :

Light comes on

jrloar :

what does the tester do when you touch the alligator clip to the probe?

jrloar :

ok

jrloar :

sorry

jrloar :

and you get nothing

jrloar :

this means you DO have a GFI tripped

jrloar :

NOTHING else opens the neutral but a GFI

jrloar :

or a pair of wire cutters

Customer :

If I pull all the GFI -what should test?

jrloar :

I could understand if you have either hot and NO neutral or Neutral to ground and NO hot. But NO hot or neutral mans a tripped GFI

jrloar :

the GFI you need to find will have 2 blacks and 2 whites hooked to it

jrloar :

but the GFI will be dead as well

jrloar :

to fix the one you said will not trip all you should need to do is check the wires. I am guessing the just hooked the wires to the wrong 2 screws

jrloar :

sounds like the hooked the feed to load instead of line

Customer :

I only have that case in the kitXXXX, XXXe wall, which works on the voltage test. This GFI has to be hidden

jrloar :

it must be there some place

jrloar :

I dont know what to tell you to do.

jrloar :

that IS what the problem is

jrloar :

honestly I should have thought of this in he beginning. But I had a colleague remind me of this

jrloar :

pulling any more receptacles will be a waste of time

Customer :

The one that will not trip, should I change it out. I did not touch the wires but it shows voltage

jrloar :

Well you should fix that but only for safety reasons. you said it only has one black white and bare correct

Customer :

Let me check

Customer :

Yes, the only GFI that I found so far with 2 black & 2 white is in the Kitchen on the same wall

jrloar :

and it trips correctly?

Customer :

Yes

jrloar :

it should also have other receptacles on the circuit

jrloar :

you are missing one some place

jrloar :

outside, by AC unit, back door, front door

Customer :

The three out side, the garage back wall,back of the House & front of the House I checked. I do have two different light switches on the out side wall in the garage, and the lights to do not work.

jrloar :

I am sorry but I cant help any more without being there myself We have done everything possible over the computer

jrloar :

it is a GFI problem

Customer :

Thanks for you Time

jrloar :

that is the only thing I can say for sure

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
< Last | Next >
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Mike

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1425
    Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mikepettinato/2009-9-4_41145_DSC005132.jpg Mike's Avatar

    Mike

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1425
    Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/WI/WireitUp/2012-6-17_18212_Photo00006.64x64.jpg Jason's Avatar

    Jason

    Service Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    3278
    Over 15 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MI/MikeG2010/2012-6-7_192640_IMG01612.64x64.jpg Mike G.'s Avatar

    Mike G.

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    5318
    Proven Professional 45 years Experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AS/AssuredElectrical/2011-9-13_221243_me.64x64.gif AssuredElectrical's Avatar

    AssuredElectrical

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2149
    Contractor-40 Years in the ElectricalTrade
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/electrifier/2008-12-16_200429_headbob1.jpg electrifier's Avatar

    electrifier

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1454
    Electrical contractor and electrical inspector for over 24 years with phone and networking expertise
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/rich03dungo/2010-3-17_101556_tshirt2.jpg Rich's Avatar

    Rich

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1115
    Over 35 years residential, commercial, industrial wiring, install, troubleshoot, service, maintain
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UR/urelectrician/2012-9-28_223652_JustAnswerPic.64x64.jpg Kevin's Avatar

    Kevin

    Licensed Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    993
    27 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector