Why am I not getting power to outside outlet?


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Troubleshooting the outlet

When an outlet goes dead, it’s easy to jump to conclusions and assume the worst. But more often than not, the problem is something simple, and you can save the cost of a service call just by taking a few steps to trace the cause. Don’t worry if you’re not comfortable doing electrical work. Better than half the time, you’ll solve the problem without even lifting a tool. We’ll show you how to start your search for the problem by checking in the most likely places. If that doesn’t work, we’ll show you where to look for loose connections that may be to blame, and how to fix them.

Of course, there will always be problems that are best left to an electrician. But if you take these steps first, there’s a good chance you’ll find the solution.

Check for Simple Solutions First

Shortly after moving into our house, we had an electrical problem. The exterior outlets and bathroom...

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Despite the fact that fiber is amazingly fast, it’s not necessarily delivering the speed it promises to at least a few people. Everyone loves having a fast connection, but an even faster one beats everything else! The moment you get a 100 Mbps downstream connection, you want to quickly test the line to see how fast you can download enormous files. It’s in that moment that you might come to the realization that your 100 Mbps line isn’t giving you all that much speed. At that point, it’s time to look through this guide to see what’s wrong!

Remember that megabyte and megabit are used to describe two different measurements of data. The data transfer speed on your network is usually measured in megabits per second. That’s one-eighth of a megabyte per second.

That means that if you’re running on a 100 Mbit connection, your download speed should be roughly 12.5 (100/8) megabytes per second at maximum.

Before reading onward, you should test your internet speed....

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In general...
GFI outlets don't generally last forever. Moisture, heat (sun), lots of trips can reduce life imo.

You can replace the breaker in the panel with a GFI breaker. About $100. These are built to be outdoors. The deal of putting an indoor GFI outlet outside is allowed when these weather tight boxes are used...but they're not completely weather tight. You can use plug caps to fill unused outlets so less moisture gets in thru the holes. Might help a little. Anything you can do to protect the box will help.

With the GFI breaker in the panel you can use regular 15 or 20 amp outlets rated for 30 amp pass thru. These last a lot longer outdoors.

Your case...
The short (sorry) answer is you should have an electrician look at it. I say that because it's unusual to have GFI outlets on a 30 amp circuit. I'm used to seeing two 15 or 20 amp circuits run instead of a single 30 amp. Makes little sense to me.

Most 15 amp outlets are rated for 20 amp pass thru...

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Installing an exterior outlet next to my back door...the line feed is from the load side of a gfci outlet in the same circuit so I'm using a regular receptacle in an exterior square box and feeding th… read more

Mike G.

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electrical outlet has power to it , used tester to verify that power is present, but when I put something into the outlet it will not run … read more

Sam I


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I swapped out an outlet like for like and the gfi outlet is tripped. It makes no sense to me. … read more

David Bowden


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I was trying to replace an outlet, and now the fuse won't flip to "On". … read more

Sam I


569 satisfied customers

I want to add two outlets and a light switch (with a recessed light). What is the best way to wire them? …...

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My thoery was that the powers came from the Tobanga Totem found outside the dorms. Several times different people including Samuel, Ms Grant, and others refer to the totem as being some mysterious power...

My full theory before episode 5 released and I have edited it to fit more into "what should have been" instead of "what will come in episdoe 5"

I don't think Jefferson should have been the only person behind all of this. I think it should have been Nathan's father, Sean Prescott, and a long time ago he discovered that a female student at Blackwell always carries the time powers that Max currently has. I think the time power has something to do with the Tobanga totem found outside the dorms, which is my attempt to explain why Max has time powers in the first place.

The reason it should have been Sean Prescott is why would someone spend nearly 1.4 million building a secret underground bunker and then abandon it to allow some sick psychopath to use it and...

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I went to look at /etc/syslog.conf. It included the line

*.info;mail.none;authpriv.none;cron.none;local*.none; /var/log/messages

This might be the problem. This is a backup DNS server, and I set up several local* syslog facilities once to do extra DNS logging. The syslog service might not actually like the local* partial wild card. So, change the line to

*.info;mail.none;authpriv.none;cron.none;local3.none;local4.none;local5.none;local7.none /var/log/messages

and restart syslog.

Following the restart, /var/log/messages started populating again, and I could get on with solving the mystery that brought me back to this host to begin with...

So, solution: No partial string wildcards in /etc/syslog.conf. The facility is either * or a full string, but not...

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Post 28

I doubt any electrical problems are going to cause your DVD player to damage your discs unless the DVD player were to have a complete failure, where it either failed to turn on or it failed to eject for some other reason. But if that did happen, your disc would likely be just fine. You would have to take the unit apart to recover the disc, which only takes 5-10 minutes and a philips screwdriver. Just be sure to unplug it before taking it apart, and also note even after unplugging the unit, a small shock hazard will be present for a few hours or up to 3 days.

I would consider it safe after a week, but only if

you do not touch any circuit boards except the small ones on the plastic disc tray assembly, which is low voltage. You're safe. The shock you could get is rather small from a part called a capacitor. They hold a small electric charge and can release it very quickly, and some of these...

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I just found out our new neighbors are stealing our power. What to do?

I am having another neighbor problem (


was me).

I live in the upstairs apartment of a duplex in New Orleans. Up until a couple weeks ago the downstairs was empty, then some Latino workers moved in. I had noticed an orange power cord coming out from their back door but had assumed that they were borrowing from the house next door (the inhabitants of the duplex next to us are about a trillion Latino workers, as are the new guys below us). When I moved back here in January it took about two weeks to get the power turned on because the utility company was so behind, so it didn't seem that out of the ordinary.

I come home tonight and my roommate informs me that the guys downstairs are stealing our power. She shows me a pair of outlets outside with power cords plugged into them - one going in through the window and the other under the house and in the back door.

Our actual...

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No…not a shopping outlet. Have a couple of those…just ask my debit card.

And not the kind of outlet that implies I need to vent. Have one of those too…just ask anyone that reads this blog.

The kind of outlet that provides juicy electrical currents for spotlights, speakers, twinkle lights and microphones needed for wedding toasts.

Yup. One of those kind of outlets. And yes, we may be rewinding a bit so that this post makes sense for all you new-to-Bower-Power-people.

Let’s begin with this…


This year we were asked to be part of the True Value Blog Squad. That meant that we were gonna share some projects (like our chair makeovers, and our basement overhaul, and Will’s sushi colored wall reno) and our pals at True Value were going to help us with supplies and sponsor each post. Awesome gig, huh? iknow!

Well, then my only sister decided that our house would the spot for her summer nuptials. Her decision to get hitched...

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Could have a lose wire/connection before it goes to this receptacle.

This circuit may have a GFCI before this outlet and it may have tripped off.

You know little about electricity so I would not advice you to do this but I would check to see if you have power coming out of the circuit breaker for this receptacle (have an electrician check this). Circuit breakers can fail. If there is power coming out of the circuit breaker then you would have to follow the wire down until you lose power.

Can you follow the wire out of the main panel box and check to see if you have power at the next outlet? Or is this the only outlet on this circuit breaker?

Does this circuit breaker control other lights/outlet/fixtures? If all the other lights/outlets/fixtures that are on this circuit breaker are working properly then there may be a loose wire before this outlet.

Do you check the power coming into this outlet with your meter?

If this is an...

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Problem with Outlet Receptacle
Electrical Question #1: Why Do I Have 70 Volts on a 120 Volt Receptacle?

I have receptacles that are not receiving full 120 Volts, they are averaging around 70 volts, and the neutral side is reading hot on these receptacles.

The house is from the 1930’s and there wasn’t a grounding system. The contractors added a grounding system and installed GFCI outlets in the kitchen and bathrooms, but the rest of the receptacles in the house are still only two wire systems with no ground. What could cause the low voltage at the receptacles and why would the neutral side read hot?

Background: Paul, a Student from Bremerton, Washington.

Electrical Question #2: Why Do I Have 56 Volts on a 120 Volt Receptacle?

I have a 16 year-old house, which was constructed to code. There is a problem with a duplex outlet in the living room. The outlet is in a corner location and has not been used since we moved in 8 years ago. The vacuum was...

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When an electrical outlet or a circuit doesn’t work, but the breaker is not tripped, the problem is likely with a neutral connection.

I have had many questions regarding this very situation over the years, and here are some examples of questions received recently.


I have a plug that went out. Did not kick breaker off. And now the hot and common leads are both putting out 120 volts? What went wrong?

Here is another question/query.



Could you explain the “Neutral” in a circuit as opposed to the ground ? I often wonder why the neutral has no voltage although a circuit is energised.

And finally, this is the question that prompted me to do a bit of an educational post explaining the role of the neutral conductor in a circuit.


As a sometime-electrical-do-it-yourselfer, you see those white neutral lines in your breaker box or behind your light switch boxes or outlets. They seem fairly,...

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That may not be necessary. You may have tripped a circuit breaker or a GFCI device.

First see if the breaker to that outlet has been tripped. If the breaker is not already off, turn off the power to that outlet. Confirm there is no power on the case by touching a no-contact tester against it. Carefully remove the cover over the outlet. Again check there is no power to the wires on the outlet. See if there is any water in the housing. If so let it drain, mop up with paper towels, and let air dry. See if there is any sign of scorching or melted wire or insulation. If there is, you need to replace the outlet and maybe even some wiring.

Once you are sure it is dry, before you replace the cover, you can try to reset the outlet. All modern outdoor outlets should be GFCI, with a device in the outlet itself, somewhere back downstream on the circuit, or at the main panel.

Turn the circuit breaker back on, and then find the GFCI device and reset it. This may solve your problem....

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Electric Outlets Don't Work

I have two outlets on one wall that don't work. I have replaced both outlets so have concluded that isn't the problem. There is power in the black wire so I assume the problem is continuity in the white wire. Other Outlets and lights on the circuit work. Any suggestions on the cause and solution would be greatly appreciated.

You checked the black wire and it was energized. Since the white seems to be the problem, then I assume you tested black to ground to determine there was juice there. But when you test black to white, you get nothing.

Thus, the white has an open some where. Do you know where the feed to the outlets comes from? Is there an outlet that feeds them, or perhaps fed from a light fixture in the floor below?

Not knowing what floor these are on, and if you have access to the ceiling below, I am not sure where to tell you to look. But you need to find where they are being fed from. Then you check to see if the...

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1st time homeowner here, what fun(no one told me/us there would be "work" involved),

Silly me, I thought I was living the american dream,..I thought you just bought a house and that was it...

NOW theres maintenance/repairs involved?, ARGHHH!!!!!

Front of the house, we have a wooden post, with a light on top and a GFCI receptical on the bottom of the post with 2 outlets..

next to the front door is a 3 switch plate, left switch controls the outside light(and i assume power to the outlet?), middle switch does nothing as far as i can tell, right switch controls the hall light for the upstairs hallway...

I go out to put up my xmas lights and theres no power in that receptical.. the light on the post is dead as well, flipping the inside front switch does nothing..

I tested power to the outside outlets, with the switch both on/off, I tried resetting the gcfi with the test/reset buttong and retesting for power.. NOTHING..

I am at a loss...

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