Damaged Extension Cord Causes Outlets to Stop Working

By - Summary:

How to Reset GFCI Outlets and Circuit Breakers to Restore Electrical Power: Locating and Testing GFCI Outlets and Circuit Breakers.

Cut Extension Cord and Outlet Problem

Electrical Question: I was using an extension cord and accidentally cut it, now some outlets are not working.

  • I Have two GFI’s in my home. The one GFI outlet for the bathroom works fine.
  • Recently I was using an extension cord and accidentally cut while it this was connected to an outside outlet.
  • After it was cut four of my kitchen outlets will not work and none of my outside plugs worked. I looked in the kitchen, garage, and in the utility closet and did not find any GFI outlets that were tripped off.
  • I checked my breaker box and none of the breakers were tripped. There is two different breakers for two separate GFIs. Where else could I look to find to find the problem.

This electrical question came from: Christin in California.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Christin.

Resetting GFI Outlets and Breakers

Locating and Testing GFCI Outlets and Circuit Breakers

  • When the extension cord was damaged it caused a circuit protection device to trip off.
  • This may have been a GFI outlet or a GFCI circuit breaker, or it may have affected a regular circuit breaker.
  • Because you have noticed that there is no power to more than one circuit locations then I would recommend that all of the home circuit breakers be turned off and then turn of the main electrical service breaker as well because it is very possible that one of the main power circuits may have tripped off.

Restoring Electrical Power to the Home

How to Reset GFCI Outlets and Circuit Breakers to Restore Electrical Power

  • To restore power make sure each circuit breaker has been pushed all the way into the OFF position, and then turn the circuit breaker back on starting with the Main electrical circuit breaker.

Testing and Resetting GFI Devices

  • If the power has not been restored to the affected circuits then locate all of the GFI devices and press the TEST and RESET buttons to make sure that they have been reset and are functioning properly.
  • If this does not solve the problem then contact a qualified licensed electrical contractor who will provide a series of test that will reveal the problem.

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