Electrical Outlets Stopped Working

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.

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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

Answers:

Electrical Outlets Stopped Working

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)

By go2jared

Electrical Outlets Stopped Working

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)

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By Dozersmom

Electrical Outlets Stopped Working

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)

By go2jared

Electrical Outlets Stopped Working

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)

By micemic

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