Repairing an Outdoor Outlet After Lights Plugged Into It Got Wet

I have some Christmas lights hooked up to an outdoor outlet. I live on the ground floor of a condo and have a patio off the living room. The outdoor outlet is covered, it is under my upstairs neighbor's terrace.

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The Christmas lights were connected to the outdoor outlet via a indoor rated extension cord, not outdoor, without a third prong for grounding. I ran four strands of lights in a row to circle the perimeter of the patio.

I had the lights on and was hosing down some plants across the patio, behind which the lights were strung. Some water splashed on the lights and they all blew. Ever since the outdoor outlet does not work. I flipped the breaker and hit the reset button on the outlet. No luck.

I know the story I just conveyed above illustrates a total ignorance for electricity and probably careless and even reckless behavior on my part of using an indoor non grounded extension cord and having the good sense to water the plants with the lights on. Before I potentially do anything to kill myself or cause a fire is there anything else I can do before calling an electrician?

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Thanks so much for your advice.

By Biz from Brooklyn, NY

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August 24, 20100 found this helpful

You should have the outlet replaced and the Christmas lights, sadly, are probably toasted :-(.

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August 25, 20100 found this helpful

You can start by buying a new outside outlet. It only has two wires to attach. Attach red to red and black to black. There is also a green wire that is the ground and attach it to the ground screw. You can see all this when you take the old outlet out. Just make sure the breakers are off and electricity is off. You can start here. It is easy and inexpensive to do. If this doesn't do the job, call an electrician you got bigger problems.

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September 12, 20100 found this helpful

Thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate it. I will start with replacing the outlet. Thanks.

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