Repair Outdoor Electric Outlets
LESLIE: Mike in Virginia finds The Money Pit on WJFK. What’s going on at your house?
MIKE: Well, the problem I have right now is the outdoor outlets that go around my house to plug up electrical products?
MIKE: Right now – around Christmas I was able to plug up the Christmas decorations but [the outlet’s] (ph) in the rear and now the outlets in the front of the house don’t work.
TOM: They’re not working. So none of the outside outlets are working. How old is your house, Mike?
MIKE: Let’s say 17 years.
TOM: OK. I’m going to be willing to bet that somewhere in your home you have a ground fault circuit breaker. Now, a ground fault circuit breaker could be …
LESLIE: Would that not be anywhere near your regular circuit breaker?
TOM: It may or it may not be but it’s most likely – because I’m sure you checked your circuit breakers, right Mike?
MIKE: Oh, I did several times.
TOM: OK. Somewhere in your home there’s going to be an outlet with a test and a reset button in the outlet. It’s probably going to be in your garage; one of the garage wall outlets or it could be one of the bathroom outlets. And I bet you that when you find that outlet the reset button on it is going to be out and you’ll need to push it back in and activate those outlets. Because sometimes with ground fault circuits – and these are outside outlets, bathroom outlets, basement outlets, garage outlets – they wire them into one of these ground fault circuit interrupters that’s actually part of an outlet in another part of the house. The first place I would check is the garage. Do you know what I mean when I say ground fault? The kind without the – with the two buttons on it?
LESLIE: The test and reset button that’s usually black and red.
TOM: Well, this is a problem, Mike. (laughs)
MIKE: Yeah, that’s one of them. Yeah.
TOM: Yeah. No, I’m serious. You’ve got to find the outlet. There’s going to be an outlet somewhere with a test and a reset button in it. You’re going to press the reset button back in and you’re going to have power in the outside outlets.
LESLIE: Buttons are in between the receptacles.
LESLIE: It’s like an extra space in the middle.
TOM: Go look for the outlet. I bet you you’re going to find it. And call us back and let us know we were right.
MIKE: That sounds good. I will.
TOM: (chuckling) OK, Mike?
MIKE: Hey, thanks.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.