Home fuse box breaker issue
It sounds as if the upstairs bathroom outlet and the outdoor outlet are on the same circuit. There's a very good chance that these are GFI or "ground fault interrupter" type outlets, as these locations (and others) have required this type of protection for over 30 years. It was a common practice to run a circuit from the panel to one of these locations (or another) and then run from here to the next outlet and then on to the next. Since the GFI outlet could be purchased for around $10 instead of $30 for a GFI breaker, electricians would install outlets instead - both offered the same protection. A "regular" breaker would supply power to this circuit - but the very first outlet would get a GFI type outlet. It would be wired to the LINE terminals and the cable that feeds the rest of the outlets on this circuit would be connected to the LOAD terminals. If there was a ground fault condition, this GFI outlet would trip, but the circuit breaker would remain on. You would locate and RESET the tripped GFI outlet to restore power. The only time the circuit breaker would trip is if the circuit was overloaded. Overloads would NOT cause the GFI outlet to trip.
Now that you understand how it was typically wired years ago (and still a lot of times today), you should check all the outlets outside your home, in bathrooms, basements, garages, and inside your home next to doorways that lead directly to grade of your lawn or deck. These are required places for GFI protection. Press the RESET on any tripped GFI outlet to restore power. If the outlet will not RESET, there is a condition where the hot wire (black, red or blue insulated wire) is in contact with ground, or a device or appliance connected to the circuit has a problem. Unplug anything connected to the circuit and attempt to RESET again. If still unable to reset, open the outdoor outlet again and carefully pull it out and away from the box. Inspected for damaged or crushed insulation and repair / tape as needed. Before reinstalling, try to reset again. If it holds, trip the GFI by pressing TEST button. The RESET button should pop out. Reinstall the outlet and make sure the wires are not crushed or cut. Press the RESET button again. If it trips, you will have to remove the outlet again and take more precautions against damage to the insulation. it is also possible that the GFI outlet itself has failed, in which case it should be replaced.
GFI circuit breakers and outlets are supposed to be tested monthly by simply pressing the TEST button and then the RESET button. Replace any GFI device that does not test correctly if wiring and devices / appliances connected are OK.
I hope this helps & good luck! Please rate my reply - thanks.
Jan 05, 2012 |