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Three years ago, I installed two GFCI outlets under an outdoor shade, but this morning, when I was using an air fryer with one of them, the power went out. I went to the main electrical panel and it didn't seem to be tripped. Press "Test" and hear a sound. But "Reset" cannot be pressed. "Test" no longer responded after the first try. I used the circuit tester, it indicated that both outlets were out of power. If the circuit has not been tripped, why were the GFCIs out of power?

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  • Just to clarify: you say these are GFCI outlets but then you went to the panel. Are the outlets GFCI, the breaker GFCI, or both? If the outlet is GFCI, can you confirm you reset the outlet?
    – JimmyJames
    Dec 11, 2023 at 21:07
  • Are the outlets rated for outdoor installation?
    – Criggie
    Dec 12, 2023 at 1:52
  • Did you reset ALL the outlets? Dec 12, 2023 at 3:31

2 Answers 2

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Never trust a breaker is not tripped just by looking. After a few years dust and grit accumulates in breakers and many times the handle will not move when it trips. I will generally run a finger down all the breakers, pressing them lightly towards the off position. If one has tripped, it usually will pop into position when you touch it. And any time there is doubt, a quick off-on never hurts.

But, if breaker has not tripped, then your GFCI died. It is very common for these to stop working at any time. Some don't last a year, some have worked for decades. After resetting breaker, if reset on outlet still won't engage, it's time to replace. If you have a non contact voltage detector, you can pull off wall plate and check for voltage on the right hand side of outlet. If you have voltage there, it is for sure a dead GFCI. If no voltage there, it's in the breaker.

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    +1 I just replaced 6 of these in a move-out. 3 had failed, exactly the condition described in this answer, and displayed the exact behavior that the OP describes. I suspect (but have no actual evidence) that many contractor bulk models fail quicker on average than what one picks off the shelf at the big box. Dec 12, 2023 at 13:54
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You might have a third GFCI upstream of these that has tripped, somewhere in the house, between the breaker and these.

Also try turning the breaker off and back on even if it does not look tripped.

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