For the last 3 years, the electrical outlets in my 1/2 bath (1st floor) and 2nd bath (2nd floor) have not worked. This occurred around the same time that I was replacing the standard outlets in my home with updated decorator ones where you can't see the screws.
I've checked the circuit breaker panel (in my basement utility/laundry room) and can't see where anything is tripped. One of my neighbors mentioned that maybe I need to have the grounded outlets that have the breaker/test switch on them. Or might I need to replace the breaker switch on the panel in the basement? Any help would be appreciated!
GO2JARED from Columbus, OH
Before I do anything, I have a question regarding the outlets. When I was replacing outlets years ago, I think I might have inadvertently replaced a GFI outlet in my 2nd bathroom with a regular electrical outlet. Would replacing a GFI outlet with a regular outlet or vice versa have any effect on the outlets operation? (03/18/2009)
My house was built in 1888. We have added outlets in numerous areas. There were not many put in as time has gone on anyway. First: make sure you have enough room in your panel box or we have 2 boxes, there should be at least 2 extra slots in each box for new breakers. Second, it costs money but all outlets and switches should be grounded. Third, do not overload one line. Furnace on one, washer/dryer on one, right side of 1 floor, then the other side. Computer and printers & such on another. Find your local codes and follow them. If you have a bath with more than 2 outlets and they must be on the same breaker line, get GFI that way if you have your whirlpool on and a hair dryer and a curling iron etc. a GFI will break the electric safely and indicate too much on at one time. Use common sense. Not everyone is a certified electrician. It is well worth your money beside just having to keep checking your breaker or even asking why this keeps happening. (03/19/2009)
I figured out my problem. When my house was built, only 6-years ago, they put 1 standard outlet in the 2nd bathroom and the 1/2 bath. They put a GFCI outlet in the master bathroom however, each bathroom has only 1 outlet. For some reason when I switched them out a couple years ago with more modern ones (where you can't see the screws on the front plate), the 2nd bathroom and 1/2 bath outlets stopped working.
It hasn't been a big issue until now, as I am prepping my home to rent out. But, I figured it out through my search online and the local Lowe's guy, and replaced the non-working ones with GFCI outlets (which were not originally installed). All of the sudden, everything is now working and back to normal. I don't know why they worked with incorrect outlets when the house was built, but my switching them out with identical types must have caused my wires to realize the mis-wiring. I confirmed this with a colleague who is also an electrician on the side.
BTW - I will not pay hundreds of dollars (that I don't have) to someone to fix something that I can do myself, with some degree of safety. I have rubber gloves for electrical and a tester...now, after being zapped only 3-4 times. :) (03/19/2009)
Wow. Googled the question and ran across this site. Read the posts and applied the suggestions to my situation and voila! Saved hundreds of dollars and weeks of inconvenience. I reset the GCI in the kitchen to get three outlets in the dining room to work. Circuit breaker was okay. Started to call in the professionals. Thanks again. (04/25/2009)
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