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 Mike Your Own Question
Mike
Mike, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 2742
Experience:  Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
11762411
Type Your Electrical Question Here...
Mike is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

The vanity wall outlets in my 2 upstairs bathrooms dont work

This answer was rated:

The vanity wall outlets in my 2 upstairs bathrooms don't work -- no power in the outlets. The lights in the 2 bathrooms work, just not the wall outlets at the vanity. All other outlets upstairs work as do the downstairs outlets. I checked the circuit breakers and all are in the "on" position. Is there something I can safely check or shall I call an electrician?

Mike :


Hi, thanks for posting your question on JustAnswer...


Please let me know when you have joined the chat.


JACUSTOMER-tmi5ehtm- :

I'm here.

Mike :

Great...

Mike :

You should have a GFI receptacle in one of the bathrooms that looks something like this:

Mike :

Have you seen this?

JACUSTOMER-tmi5ehtm- :

Yes, it's in the downstairs bathroom -- that's the only place where the outlets do work.

Mike :

Ok, so you don't have one in either of the upstairs bathrooms, correct?

JACUSTOMER-tmi5ehtm- :

No, none in either of the 2 upstairs bathrooms.

Mike :

And do you have any other outlets in the downstairs bathroom besides the GFI, or is the GFI the only outlet in that bathroom?

JACUSTOMER-tmi5ehtm- :

The GFI is the only outlet in that downstairs bathroom.

Mike :

And just to make sure I understood correctly, that GFI does work, correct?

JACUSTOMER-tmi5ehtm- :

Yes, it appears to. I just depressed the reset button and a yellow light flashed.

Mike :

Can you plug in a lamp or something to make sure it's actually working... we need to know if it's working or not so I can tell you how to proceed.

JACUSTOMER-tmi5ehtm- :

Test completed and the applianced fired up when plugged into the GFI outlet. Seems to be working well.

Mike :

Ok, great. Thank you...

JACUSTOMER-tmi5ehtm- :

Sure. Thanks for the lessons so far.

Mike :

Basically, what you have is power coming into that GFI (bottom of receptacle on the back) and then power going out (top of the receptacle on the back) to the receptacles in your upstairs bathrooms. This allows the upstairs bathrooms to be GFI protected (it's common practice to do this)...

Mike :

...since your GFI is working, but the upstairs receptacle are not, that tells me that you probably just have a loose wire in that GFI box. So, I'd first recommend turning power off to that GFI (at the breaker). Then pull it from the wall and reconnect any wires that came out when you pull the GFI out. Tighten them up good, but too much or you'll strip the terminals...

JACUSTOMER-tmi5ehtm- :

Got it. I understand being careful about stripping the terminals. I'll give this a shot and see how it goes. I suspect it is as simple as this.

Mike :

...I suspect that's what the problem is. Those GFIs do have a tendency to allow wires to come loose because of the way they are designed/installed. It's possible it may be a more serious issue such as a broken wire in the wall, etc., which may require you call in an electrician to troubleshoot, but I think you'll find reconnecting those wires fixes the issue. Also, you may have to press that reset button after you reconnect everything to make sure it is set.

JACUSTOMER-tmi5ehtm- :

Will do. THANKS! Your guidance is reassuring. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX a nice day!

Mike :

Thank you!

Mike and 2 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you