I have a few dead outlets in my house and also two also dead outside, all on the same circuit. Circuit breaker at the panel is not tripped. When I press the test button on that breaker at the panel it trips (breaker seems to work fine). I can reset the breaker again no problem.

I have checked all GFCI receptacles and none are tripped. There is one GFCI in the dead circuit ( outside) and it is not tripped. If I press test button on that gfci nothing happens. I am baffled... what could be cause of my dead circuit?

  • The non working GFCI outlet is probably killing power to circuit. Turn off power and replace it. Can test if it is the problem by taking it out and attaching hot wires to each other and neutral wires together with wire nuts, with power off.
    – crip659
    Sep 25 '21 at 13:40
  • 1
    Do you have any live outlets in the same circuit? Could there be a switch in the circuit? Sep 25 '21 at 13:52
  • Have you checked for voltage on the output of the circuit breaker? The mechanical reset etc could stll be « working… »
    – Solar Mike
    Sep 25 '21 at 14:03
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    Can you find the first receptacle/outlet in the circuit? This sounds like a failed backstab... Sep 25 '21 at 14:51
  • Does the breaker say GFCI or AFCI? Sep 25 '21 at 17:10

You have a break in the circuit somewhere. The procedure to diagnose the location is to start from the beginning of the circuit (the breaker) and follow the pipe or cable to the first junction. Open the box, and check for voltage. You should use both a non-contact voltage sensor as well as a multimeter to test. The problem with using a sensor is that it may give you a false positive reading, depending on the level electrical noise on your system.

It gets difficult to trace circuits when they are concealed behind walls. Trust me, I know. I deal with this every day. Sometimes it takes some trial and error and turning breakers on and off to determine which outlets are affected and where to look next. It helps to have a buddy at the panel and communicate via cellphone to speed up the process.

  • Thanks very helpful!
    – Roy
    Sep 27 '21 at 14:53
  • You're quite welcome. 🤗
    – DrSparks
    Sep 27 '21 at 20:03
  • @Roy if you'll take the tour, you'll see that "thanks" comments aren't really the way to do it. If you want to say thanks, click the up arrow next to any answer that helps and the check mark next to the one that helps the most. (Some questions do get more than one answer, even though this one didn't.)
    – FreeMan
    Oct 26 '21 at 12:25

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