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Old 03-18-2009, 09:48 AM  
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Default Nonfunctioning socket - running electrical wire to outlet

Hello, first post here.

When I purchased my house a few years ago there was an outlet in the guest bath that never worked. It did have a GFCI sticker indicator on it, but not the GFCI reset. I used one of those $3 outlet testers (probe in ground plug and hot side) and it, rather unsurprisingly, didn't light up. According to the breaker panel, this circuit is shared with a guest bedroom directly across the hallway. I tested all of the outlets in the bedroom, they are all functioning properly. I'm not sure which outlet is the last outlet in the chain prior to going to the bathroom. Also, I'm not sure how this outlet had GFCI protection as I haven't ever found a reset for it (maybe it was just the sticker and no protection ).

Anyways, I wanted to get some advice as to next steps in fixing this outlet. I feel very comfortable with installing a new outlet w/ GFCI, if needed. Is there a standard for electrical wire for the run (house was built in 1995)? Can I run the wire through the attic? It appears the previous run of wire went under the floor, so that's not going to work for me... I've also heard that putting two GFCIs in the circuit is a bad thing, is there a way to determine if there is GFCI protection on the line easily?

As far as materials go, here's my list so far..
1) New outlet with GFCI (if required)
2) New faceplate to accomodate GFCI reset
3) New junction box for existing work to mount the outlet in
4) Wire nuts
5) Wire for the run (if I can go from the outlet closest, it will be approximately 15 feet including the vertical run into the attic)

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Old 03-18-2009, 12:28 PM  
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Most likely you DO have a GFCI ahead of that outlet. They can be in weird places.

Look in: Kitchen, another bathroom, garage, outside outlets, basement. Make sure you move furniture to look behind, look behind bushes outside. I'll bet a dollar you will find one.

If you run a new wire to the outlet location what will you do with the old line? You cant just tape it off and shove it in the wall. What happens when someone else finds the GFCI and resets it. Now you have a hot wire in the wall.

It could be possible you also have a GFCI built into a circuit breaker.

Or, if your label is correct inside the panel its also possible a GFCI in there feeds your non-working outlet. If that GFCI works it could be a bad connection on that GFCI or on your non-functioning outlet.

I would do more troubleshooting before you go down the re-wire route, its probably not necessary. Good luck, let us know what you find.

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Old 03-19-2009, 10:26 PM  
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Default check other bath....

Look in all the bathrooms, by the sinks, and see if there is a gfi plug at any of them. If there is push the test button, then reset, see if this gets the other plug working. Also are the other bathrooms working? If not then look near panel in garage, and see if there is a gfi looking plug with no place to plug something in to it. In the time your home was built, the only thing that could be was a dedicated 20amp breaker, labeled bathroom plugs. And it can only go to plugs in baths. So let us know what you find. Good luck....
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:49 PM  
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If the house was built in 95 then the actual GFCI rectacle should be in another bathroom.
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