Check GFCI First - Save Money!

Last week, I was all set to clean off the deck at our new house and put out the deck furniture for the summer. I brought out the electric blower and extension cord, put in my earplugs, donned my very attractive safety glasses (in green and orange), and hit the switch. But nothing happened! Naturally, my first thought was to panic about having to buy another blower, but then I realized I needed to check a few things first, and then I could panic later.

I took the blower around to the outlets on the other end of the deck and plugged it in, but it still didn't take off. Now I wasn't sure if the blower was bad, the deck outlets were bad, or the power was out. I went into the garage and noticed that the radio was still on, so that meant the power was on. I plugged the blower into the wall near the radio, and it took right off, so now I knew the blower was still working.

After carrying the radio to the deck, I plugged it in and it didn't come on. I finally figured out what the trouble was; the outdoor outlets didn't work. With my trusty flashlight, I checked the service panel and didn't see any circuit breakers that were tripped (showing red), so I assumed I had a short in the outdoor wiring. Maybe one of the wires had come loose so it looked like I needed to call an electrician.

Just then my Dad dropped in, so I stopped to talk to him. When I told him what was going on, he suggested that the deck outlets might be protected by a GFCI somewhere else in the house. We checked the kitchen and the bathrooms for them and when we found one, we reset it by pressing the black (test) button and then the red (reset) button. We also found one in the garage. That was the one that was connected to the deck outlets because after I reset that one, I was able to finish up my cleaning chore with the blower.

I'm sure many homeowners have called an electrician to solve this problem. The next time you have a dead outlet, make sure to look for a GFCI outlet somewhere else in your house before you call. There's a good chance you'll fix the problem yourself in 10 minutes and save the price of a service call.

If that doesn't fix the problem, you can always contact us and we'll take care of it for you.
Related Posts
  • Keep Energy Bills Low This Season Read More
  • 12 Tips to Save Money on Lighting and Appliances Read More