I ran a carpet cleaner in my condo for the first time in a bedroom and the outlet and lights died. Then I went to the living room and ran the cleaner and the outlet died too. But I was able to use two other outlets in the room with no problems.

I went to the breaker box and all the switches are in the same position. None looked like it was tripped (see photo below). I turned off a breaker switch which said bedrooms. None of the bedrooms went dark. That's weird.

How to fix the dead outlets? I understand that a breaker switch controls the power to a section of the condo. So what does it mean when only an outlet is dead in a room where the rest of the outlets and lights in the room are OK? These are regular outlets which don't have a reset button. Do some type of outlets have fuses in them?

I am guessing the carpet cleaner uses a lot of power and it did something.

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  • 2
    Are you sure that the outlet wasn't GFCI protected? There might be a tripped GFCI that cut off power to that outlet.
    – Dan D.
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 9:44
  • 1
    Could you take a photo with much stronger lighting (perhaps by using a camera with a flashgun)? Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 9:50

3 Answers 3


The breaker on the bottom right (with the green tab on it) looks tripped. They will move to center position without doing much else. Turn it all the way off and then all the way back on. If that does not work: turn ALL your breakers all the way off and then all the way on to make sure all are reset. Then look for gfci receptacles and make sure to reset all you can find.


The breaker on right side (Second to bottom) is tripped. I am not sure if the green is a sticker on it or a little notification window, but regardless, take note on how it is in the center position. This means that it has tripped. If you try to slide it to the left, it will just pop back to the center again. To reset the breaker, slide it to the right firmly, wait 2 seconds, then slide it to the left. Power should now be restored!


The breaker with the green test button is an AFCI, or arc-fault, breaker, and it IS tripped.

A carpet cleaner, much like a vacuum, can have a very "dirty" running motor. Meaning the brushes tend to spark a lot. This is a classic culprit in nuisance tripping AFCI breakers.

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