My outside outlet has a flap but son pressure washed house using it. Now will not work I think he had it gotten wet. If I replace outlet would that work?

  • Exercise caution. I once had a leak of a garden faucet pipe inside a wall onto an external GFCI-protected plug. The water was sufficient to cause a short within the fixture, but because there was no ground fault, the GFCI did not trip, and even if it had, there was still enough water inside the fixture to short the hot to the neutral. The resulting current was high enough to heat the plastic parts inside to melting, and not high enough to trip the breaker. This was a perfect storm of safety system failures; fortunately I smelled the plastic melting and killed the power to the house. – Eric Lippert Feb 29 '16 at 23:09

That may not be necessary. You may have tripped a circuit breaker or a GFCI device.

  1. First see if the breaker to that outlet has been tripped.
  2. If the breaker is not already off, turn off the power to that outlet.
  3. Confirm there is no power on the case by touching a no-contact tester against it.
  4. Carefully remove the cover over the outlet.
  5. Again check there is no power to the wires on the outlet.
  6. See if there is any water in the housing.
  7. If so let it drain, mop up with paper towels, and let air dry.
  8. See if there is any sign of scorching or melted wire or insulation.
  9. If there is, you need to replace the outlet and maybe even some wiring.

Once you are sure it is dry, before you replace the cover, you can try to reset the outlet. All modern outdoor outlets should be GFCI, with a device in the outlet itself, somewhere back downstream on the circuit, or at the main panel.

Turn the circuit breaker back on, and then find the GFCI device and reset it. This may solve your problem. If not, you may need a new outlet or GFCI device. If there is no GFCI device in the circuit, by all means replace the outdoor outlet with a new one.

If the seals around the outdoor outlet cover are not in good shape, you may want to replace that as well.


I would turn the power off pull the outlet out if it is wet dry off water may have entered the box and is causing the outlet to fail. If it is dry you will need to replace the outlet as water is probably inside the outlet and may have damaged the electronics. Make sure to check outdoor GFCI’s test button prior to use for a double check that it is working correctly.


Did this near the pool pump myself a while back. Gas or battery powered leaf blower first then see if tripped breaker will reset.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. It's not completely clear what you mean; did you mean blow out the outlet with the leaf blower? (Edit the info into your answer.) And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. – Daniel Griscom Jul 19 '20 at 14:45

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