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Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 7295
Experience:  Proven Professional 48 years Experience
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I recently discovered that the electrical outlets in my

Customer Question

Hi Pearl. I recently discovered that the electrical outlets in my garage are have no electricity - i have checked each of them by plugging in an electrical hairdryer.
JA: Sometimes electrical issues that that you think will be really complicated end up being easy to fix. The Electrician I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. Tell me a bit more about what's going on so we can help you best.
Customer: The lights work but the outlets do not. I have checked the breakers and none of them are tripped. I reset them all and still no change. Thoughts?
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Electrician should know?
Customer: I have not plugged anything additional into the outlets that were not plugged in prior to the loss, that might have caused an overload.
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Electrician about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 12 months ago.

Hi, I'm Mike G and I'll be assisting you. Do you have a 2 wire voltage tester? A few simple tests will reveal exactly what the cause is.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I'm sorry I do not.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 12 months ago.

To eliminate a tripped GFCI receptacle, look around for a receptacle with a test and reset buttons. Push the reset if found. If that doesn't resolve the issue, you'll need to pick up a tester. I suggest a Volt/Con type. Easy to use and available at any home center for around $20.00.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
my receptacles are of the old type with no reset. I can pick up the tester tomorrow. then what?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 12 months ago.

When you have one just return and we can continue.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Sounds good. Back at you tomorrow. Happy Easter!
Expert:  Mike G. replied 12 months ago.

Very good and a Happy Easter to you.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Hi Mike. I purchased a tester. what next?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 12 months ago.

OK, did you get a Volt/Con?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
it's a 80-250v ac/dc
Expert:  Mike G. replied 12 months ago.

Does do resistance (ohms setting)? I need to know what you're using to direct you.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
the specs do not indicate. Perhaps i didn't get the right one. I tried to attach a picture but it won't load. It looks pretty simple - short wire with 'needles' on the ends and a light on one end.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
i guess it did load
Expert:  Mike G. replied 12 months ago.

Not what was suggested but we can use it. Ho to a known working outlet to test and see how it works. Test hot to neutral, hot to ground and neutral to ground. Let me know what you see.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I'm looking at receptacle, sorry to be a rookie at this, which is hot neutral and ground? stick the needles in the receptacle?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 12 months ago.

Short slot is he hot

Long slot is the neutral

Small hole is the ground.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
there is one receptacle in the garage that has a reset button - the rest are the old type with no reset. Upon pushing the red reset button, it keeps punching back out.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
no lights come on with the tester for all combinations
Expert:  Mike G. replied 12 months ago.

Did you test a known working outlet or one of the dead ones?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I tested all of them in the garage. i checked them all yesterday with a hairdryer - none worked. Funny thing is that the lights work, just not the receptacles. Could it be the breakers? There are 4 of them - Square D breakers - 2 20s and 2 30s
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Thoughts??
Expert:  Mike G. replied 12 months ago.

Go to the panel and one by one turn the brakes fully off and then back on. Then test the outlets again. Where is the panel?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Done. Same results. the main is attached to the exterior of the house with Garage labeled. i turned that off then back on as well. there is another panel in the garage that has the 4 breakers referenced above. i turned them off then on as well.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 12 months ago.

To verify the circuit is on at the panel. Open the garage panel and test each breaker to the neutral bar(white wires). The tester you have may be a problem because the leafs are short. If you can't reach the neutrals, Bo hot to any ground.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
i checked each breaker individually from the wire going into the breaker with the white wire on the bar. No light on the tester. of course when i pulled the breaker for the lights off the bar, the lights went off in the garage but still didn't get a light on the tester.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 12 months ago.

Sorry to say that with the tester you got troubleshooting will be almost impossible. You should have purchased the one suggested, Volt/Con type. To continue you'll need to get that type only. We can can continue when you have it.otherwise I'll opt out.

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