[Homeroast] Outlet lost power...

Jeffrey Kelly jeffrey-kelly at att.net
Mon Aug 27 19:59:50 CDT 2012

Brian,  Great to hear you found the issue via your detective work.  I'm sure this is a great lesson for many readers.

-JD Kelly

On Aug 27, 2012, at 11:59 AM, Brian Kamnetz <bkamnetz at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all,
> I finally have my patio outlet problem figured out.
> A recap: I moved into a condo at the end of July. The condo has a
> concrete patio in back with an outlet right next to it. The patio is
> shaded in the morning and seemed like a good fair-weather place to
> roast. Shortly after I moved in I roasted a pound on the patio and
> everything went fine.
> A couple weeks later I tried to roast again and the outlet was dead.
> There are a couple switches on the wall inside the patio door and I
> fiddled with them but it didn't help. I strung a 12-ga extension cord
> out from an inside outlet and roasted, and came to work and posted my
> first question. There were many helpful replies, several mentioning
> GFCI outlets. The patio outlet isn't GFCI, but it was mentioned that
> several outlets can be strung together with one of them being GFCI and
> controlling the whole circuit. I have an electric alarm clock with a
> face that lights up when it is plugged in; I went around with that
> testing outlets in the house.
> Right away in the bathroom, which is right next to the patio outlet,
> there was a GFCI circuit that was blown. I reset it and confidently
> headed to the patio, but that outlet was still dead. I tried all the
> others, finding a couple GFCI outlets that were blown, but resetting
> them did not solve the patio outlet problem.
> I had checked all the breakers in the breaker box, but advice here was
> that sometimes a breaker is thrown even though it appears to be ok. I
> went to the breaker box and reset nearly all of them, but that didn't
> help either. I was looking at the breaker box again when I noticed a
> GFCI outlet nearby. It was blown, but resetting it didn't help.
> Well, a few days later, I tested the patio outlet again, and it was
> working. I had no idea how that could be, and spent a few days
> scratching my head. At least I now was able to find out that an inside
> switch controlled the patio outlet, and I now knew which way was "on".
> But I didn't know why the outlet worked sometimes and not other times.
> I've been busy and didn't get back to the problem until this morning.
> Of course, this time, instead of trying to find something that made
> the patio outlet work, I was looking for something that turned off
> power to the outlet. This morning, instead of walking out to the patio
> with my alarm clock after each change, I ran an extension cord from
> the patio outlet to inside the condo and plugged in an old boom box
> radio, so that I could tell immediately if the power was off. That was
> a BIG time saver. I went around the condo resetting the GFCI outlets,
> each time listening for the radio to stop, but it didn't, until I went
> out into the garage and tried the one next to the breaker box. Went
> back into the condo: No radio. Reset the GFCI, went back into the
> condo, and the radio was playing. So the riddle was solved.
> To summarize, the complicating factor of having a switch inside
> controlling the outside outlet, and also having the outlet controlled
> by a different GFCI outlet, made it difficult for me to diagnose the
> problem. But thanks to the advice from you all on the list, I was able
> to finally figure it out.
> Thanks again!
> Brian
> On Sun, Aug 26, 2012 at 3:59 PM, Rich <rich-mail at octoxol.com> wrote:
>> Helpful hint... 120vAC 60 Hz is deadly and is more than capable of killing
>> you quite dead.
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