I'm so confused. I have an outlet in my basement, whose power cable I can trace directly to my fuse box. There are no other outlets on this cable. It was working fine but I needed GFCI outlets, so I installed them - and nothing happened. Pressed reset on the GFCIs, no lights, nothing. So I reinstalled the old outlet (I don't have a voltage tester) and that's not working either.

It appears as if the cable itself has somehow lost power. The breaker does not appear to be a GFCI breaker (no reset button, just a switch) and I'm sure it's on when I test.

There is another outlet on the same breaker that still works fine when the breaker is on.

What could be happening here??


Also, I should have mentioned - these outlets are part of a double breaker, which is how there are outlets on a different line that were still running otherwise.

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    If cable is inside a wall, might also find a dead mouse.
    – crip659
    Commented Mar 5, 2022 at 17:59
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    @crip659 Yep, been there, done that. My experience was that when the mice chewed thru the cable, they got electrocuted and the breaker actually tripped. Commented Mar 5, 2022 at 18:01
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    @GeorgeAnderson Think it was your picture a few months ago that gave me the idea.
    – crip659
    Commented Mar 5, 2022 at 18:05
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    I'm confused! You say that there are no other outlets on the cable and that the outlet is dead, yet there is another outlet on the same breaker that works OK. Please edit your question to include pictures of exactly how you've wired the non-functioning outlet, the breaker itself (preferably with the panel cover off), and the wiring on the currently working outlet. Be sure to turn power off at the breaker before pulling outlets to get pics of wiring.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 5, 2022 at 19:28
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    @JACK done & made Community Wiki. Give it a vote. ;)
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 6, 2022 at 17:32

1 Answer 1


Answered by OP in an edit to the question:

Thanks for the responses! My apologies for the confusion.

I went back to double check my observations, and noticed that where I had thought the cable was just going behind some insulation for a few inches in the basement, it actually goes up to an outdoor outlet whose GFCI was tripped! I reset that outdoor outlet and the others are now functioning.

  • Typically a GFCI outlet is installed with additional outlets connected such that they are protected by the first receptacle, i.e. tailed off the GFCI device, and that is indicated by a label applied to each of the additional outlets. Having an outlet protected by a series of GFCI devices is frowned upon. Did you reinstall the original outlet which was protected by the upstream GFCI?
    – HABO
    Commented Mar 6, 2022 at 20:31

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