A couple of weeks back I was setting up my Christmas lights outside and plugged in an extension cord that had frayed. I had repaired it with electrical tape but as soon as I had used it it tripped the breaker. Ok, so I went to the panel box and reset the breaker, all well and fine. At the time however I noticed another that was tripped and whenever I tried to reset it it wouldn't reset. I have no idea what part of the house it's for as everything seemed to be working. I managed to get it to reset, or at least it seems to be.

The following week we've been noticing that the time on the stove in our kitchen kept going off. It's an old one and we just figured it was on its way out.

Tonight however we've had power flickering and going out at different times in different rooms. I first noticed it with the Christmas lights outside, which I chalked up to the wind and rain we were having. Then it happened in my son's room, the laundry room and I've lost power to my master bedroom twice now.

Any help appreciated.

  • quickly unplug that damage cord
    – Traveler
    Dec 19, 2022 at 8:22
  • Tossed that cord right away when I was setting up the lights. Good advice though. I just reset my gfi and it did the trick. Don't know why I didn't think of it earlier. We've been getting a lot of wind and rain so I think water was getting into it and causing my troubles.
    – Justin
    Dec 19, 2022 at 8:32
  • 1
    So is the issue resolved? If so, please state that as an answer, so this question can be closed and used as good info for others.
    – RMDman
    Dec 19, 2022 at 12:55
  • 1
    A GFCI should only affect the circuit it is on by shutting off power to that circuit. Your problems seem to be more system/house wide and might point to a lost neutral/hot from the pole or inside the house. Might want to check more.
    – crip659
    Dec 19, 2022 at 14:15

2 Answers 2


to the wind and rain we were having

And let me guess. The power line from the utility is an overhead line from a pole?

The root problem is probably on your electrical service drop, or rather, the power company's. It has either a loose hot/live wire, or a loose neutral (the neutral is the physical carrier wire that carries the others) and it is making intermittent contact, especially when the wires are whipped in the wind.

The power company will fix this for free.

There is no way on earth that an extension cord for Christmas lights could cause your oven to malfunction, nor cause power to fade on unrelated circuits. That is not possible. I think your problems are not over. Next time it happens, call the power company and report an outage.

By the way, when repairing an extension cord, it's not enough to wrap the outer layer to make it look pretty. You need to splice if necessary, and wrap, each individual wire first. Otherwise they will simply short to each other, as yours did. Alternately if the problem is near one end, you can cut off the end and install a plug or socket made for that purpose - hardware stores sell those. Or if the problem is in the middle, do it for both ends lol.

It is also useful to put electrical tape or duct-tape wrappings around perfectly good extension cords to make them look ratty and old, so people are less likely to steal them.


Harper and crip659, you guys called it. Had an electrician come in and the house checked out fine. He took a look at the power lines and immediately seen that the hot line supplying my home was damaged at the pole. Quick call to the power company got it fixed and everything has been fine ever since.

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