I recently moved into a new-to-me house that has a simple outdoor light system setup in the backyard. It's a low-level current outdoor light set connected to a outdoor lights timer/transformer that is then plugged into a wall outlet attached directly to the house. This outlet has some protection from being on the wall of the house (gutters) but is not waterproof, it has the protective flaps.

I made the mistake of leaving the outdoor lights plugged in during a recent rainstorm and now the outlet is not working.

The rain stopped yesterday and I blew out the outlet with a can of compressed air. Perhaps it's still not dry but other things I've done: identified the breaker for the outlet on the box and reset it, found as many GCFI switches on other outlets (this outlet does not have a reset switch) and reset them.

If waiting for the outlet to dry does not resolve the issue and I cannot find any other GCFI switches, is it possible that the outlet itself is bad now?

  • 1
    Possible yes, but will need to take outlet out of the box it is in to check. Will need to check if outlet is still getting power from the wires with a meter. Did the breaker trip? If not then might have another GFCI somewhere on the circuit.
    – crip659
    Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 16:34
  • 2
    Not a solution to the current problem, but for future reference, there is a cover called an in use cover that comes in a few styles that allows you to leave items plugged in and protected from the rain.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 17:03
  • Thank you both, I found the popped/reset GFCI switch that was in an area I missed. I'll most likely get a cover like suggested.
    – Sydd
    Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 19:34

2 Answers 2


I found the popped/reset GFCI switch that was in an area I missed. I'll most likely get a cover like suggested.


It sounds to me like the last person went a little crazy installing GFCIs.

It happens all the time where people install them all over the place, following (half) the instructions, and putting the onward wires on the "Load" terminals (which protect all outlets fed by wires attached there). But they get GFCI-happy and accidentally have GFCIs protecting other GFCIs.

Well, a GFCI can't reset unless it has power. So you end up pushing reset on all of them, but min fact only one reset - the others did not. You have to play "Tower of Hanoi" to get them all to reset.

Anyway, I wrote a Q&A about how to eliminate redundant GFCIs here.

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