A friend recently said that two kitchen appliances stopped working on the same day. She thought it was odd that both the toaster and the coffee maker would wear out at the same time. However, she also knew that she’d had them for years so maybe it was just a coincidence.
Shaking it and re-plugging didn’t work on the toaster, so she put it in the trash can. Her plan was to get rid of the coffee maker on her next trip out to the garage.
As we talked, I told her it was highly unlikely that both appliances stopped working because they wore out at the same time. It was more likely that they were both on the same circuit and there was a power problem. She asked me to take a look.
When I arrived at her older home, she also asked me to look at her TV out on the sun porch. It had stopped working also and she was confused about all these problems. She was worried that it would cost her a lot of money to buy new appliances plus a television.
Check the GFCI Outlets
The first thing I did was ask her to locate her Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets. Normally they are installed in bathrooms and kitchens. She guided me to them and we checked each one. We found them only in the bathrooms and they were working. We tripped them and reset them to be sure, but they were providing protection.
Check the Breakers
Next, I asked her to show me the service panel, which was in the garage. As soon as we opened the door, we saw the problem. Two of the breakers were the GFCI type and one was tripped. We reset that breaker and quickly found all the kitchen outlets to be working properly.
The coffee maker came right on when we tried it. So my friend quickly went to the trash can and retrieved her toaster. She was very glad that she didn’t need to buy new appliances.
Apparently, that breaker protected all the wall outlets in the kitchen and the one for the TV on the sun porch. The coffee maker and toaster were plugged into that circuit, so both appliances stopped working at the same time. She didn’t notice the TV issue until the next day, so she probably didn’t connect them in her mind.
This is a common issue for people who don’t understand electrical wiring systems. The lesson is that if multiple electrical devices stop working, it may not be a device problem. If you can’t resolve it by looking for GFCI issues, you can call on Frye Electric. We’ve been taking care of our customers since 1975 and we can solve any electrical problem. We guarantee it!