Cut Extension Cord Causes Power Loss to Outlets

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How Can I Fix a Outlet that Lost Power after an Extension Cord Has Been Cut or Damaged? Locate and Restore Power to an Outlet Circuit Has Lost Power.

Lost Power to Outdoor Outlet

Electrical Question How can I fix a Circuit that Lost Power after an Extension Cord Has Been Cut or Damaged?

Damaged Extension Cords Can Cause Lost Power to Outlets

Electric Hedge Trimmer Cut the Extension Cord

  • While working outside I was trimming a hedge with an electric hedge trimmer and I cut through the extension cord.
  • The outlet that I was using and three others lost power. I checked the breakers but none were tripped.
  • I then replaced the outlet that I was using and checked the breakers with a volt meter.
  • What can I do next.

Shorted Out the Receptacle, No Tripped Circuit Breaker

  • I inadvertently cut my extension cord wire with a hedge trimmer.
  • This shorted out the receptacle it was plugged into and I thought that it would have tripped the breaker.
  • When I checked the breaker associated with the receptacle, it had not been tripped. I turned the breaker off and then back on but the outlet still had no power and my other outside outlets were also dead.
  • These are GFCI receptacles. When I removed the shorted out receptacle and touched the hot and neutral wires with my tester, there was no power.
  • Does this mean that the circuit breaker needs to be replaced?

GFI Outlet Tripped in the Bathroom and Exterior Outlet

  • I was trimming a hedge with an electric hedge trimmer and cut through the extension cord.
  • The outside outlet that I was using plus two indoor outlets lost power.
  • One of the indoor outlets located in the bathroom was the GFI.
  • The GFI was tripped. The GFI is connected to a second outlet in the same bathroom and the one exterior outlet I had been using.
  • I reset the GFI. The night-light that had been plugged in to the bathroom outlet would not work now – I found the bulb in the night-light was no longer working.
  • I got another night-light (this one an LED) and plugged it in to the bathroom outlet(s). The night-light does not stay on steady, but brightens and dims repeatedly, and the night-light works fine in other outlets in the house.
  • What could be the problem?

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring questions Jose, Tom, and Valerie.

How to Fix Lost Power After an Electric Cord Was Cut

Application: Electrical Troubleshooting an Outlet Circuit.
Skill Level: Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester or Volt Ohm Meter.
Estimated Time: Depends on the type and age of the electrical wiring and the access to the circuits and wiring to be evaluated.
Precaution: This is a project that should be performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor and typically requires specific tests of the electrical circuits.
Notice: Repairs to Home Electrical Wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes and installing new or replacement electrical parts or equipment may require a permit and inspections.

electrical troubleshooting home wiring

Restoring Power to an Outlet Circuit

The following will Help You Locate and Restore Power to an Outlet Circuit that Lost Power

  • Make sure the damaged extension cord is unplugged.
  • Reconnect any wiring and reinstall any receptacles and cover plates that have been opened.
  • Check the electrical panel and look for the circuit breaker for the outside receptacles. Switch the circuit breaker all the way into the Off position, and then back into the On position. This will reset the circuit breaker and should restore power to the outdoor receptacle circuit.
  • Double check and test the GFCI receptacle to make sure it is functioning correctly.
  • Electric Panel Locations for a Home
    • Circuit breakers are found at an electric panel for the home.
    • The main electric panel is typically located on an perimeter wall of the home, either on an exterior wall, or an interior wall.
    • Some homes have may have one or more sub panels with circuit breakers which may be located in areas such as the basement, mud room, laundry room or garage.

Restoring Power to GFCI Protected Outlets

  • Look for a GFCI Outlet which might be found in the garage or at another outside outlet location.
  • When a GFCI protected circuit senses a fault to ground, such as with the occurrence of a cut extension cord, then the GFCI outlet or circuit breaker will trip off.
  • The GFCI outlet will have a TEST and RESET button, so simply press the RESET button to restore the power to the affected outlets.
  • If the GFCI outlet will not reset then the GFCI outlet may need to be replaced.
  • GFI Outlet Locations for a Home
    • Other possible locations of GFI outlets that may feed the outside outlet may be the bathroom, kitchen or the laundry room.

More about GFCI Outlets and Electrical Circuit Breakers

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    GFCI Wiring
  • Wiring Receptacle Outlets

  • This list of articles describes the GFI and GFCI Receptacle Outlets and how they are wired.
  • Electrical Outlet Wiring
  • Wiring Electrical Outlets for the Home

  • Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.
  • Electrical Circuit Breakers
  • Home Electrical Circuit Breakers

  • A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.
  • Troubleshooting Electrical Wiring

    Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring

    Licensed Electrician Reveals the Secrets of Successful Electrical Troubleshooting Methods used to solve the majority of the home electrical problems and wiring failures encountered.

Learn How to Wire it Right with my
Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring
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» Click here to learn more about Home Electrical Wiring «
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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “Cut Extension Cord Causes Power Loss to Outlets”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Lora,
    Fix a Cut Cord Power Problem
    Press the Reset button on the GFCI that provides power to the outlet location. If this does not restore the power then there may be another GFI outlet on the same circuit that needs to be checked.
    I hope this helps,

  2. Lora says:

    My husband was using power tools outside and accidentally cut power cord while it was plugged in. So I’ve turned off the power at the box, replaced the GFCI and the outlet the cord was plugged into. Turned the circuit back on. But I still don’t have any power to anything on that line. I have three outlets not working. I’ve replaced all three outlets. There is no power for the line. But there is power for the other areas on that circuit. What is really the problem and how can I fix it.


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