My wife cut through the extension cord while hedge trimming outside in front. It cut power to that particular GFCI outlet. There is another GFCI outlet in back also dead as well as standard receptacle in garage dead. There are no visible tripped circuit breakers. I reset (flipped off then on, making sure breakers are snug in the slots) ALL breakers in my panel. Did not help. Tried to reset the Test and Reset buttons on both GFCI receptacles, but pushing the reset buttons do not make test button pop back out. How can I find which breaker controls these outlets? Could all 3 outlets all be dead?

  • You might also search for yet another GFCI outlet. You won't be able to reset an outlet that is not receiving power. It sounds like this circuit was wired with GFCI's in daisy chain, since they have all tripped they must be reset in order. Try and guess the wiring pattern or route and reset devices as the wire moves away from the panel--you must power them up in order. Try to locate yet another GFCI in the circuit that is preventing these two from receiving power. If you find this is the case you might want to rewire the circuit or have it done so that this won't happen again.
    – Tyson
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 19:03
  • You nailed it Tyson! Who would have ever thought of something called a daisy chain! I found an obscure out of the way GFCI adjenct to the panel, re-set it and then went to my original problem GFCI and was able to re-set that one along with the third GFCI. NICELY DONE! I have now marked the appropriate breaker along with the sequence so when my wife saws off the extension cord again a year from now I will remember the solution. Thanks so much!
    – Dan
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 23:21
  • I'll turn that into an answer so you can accept it. It will be a few minutes until I can do that, because I'm going to rewrite it and add a little.
    – Tyson
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 23:23
  • Funny, I had nearly this same problem last week... Only my SO pulled the extension through the pool rather than cutting it 🤔
    – psaxton
    Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 0:37

2 Answers 2


It's possible that your GFCI outlets are mis-wired in a daisy chain. What happened then is that when the cord cutting event occurred all the GFCI's on the circuit tripped. While you found two there is likely another.

GFCI's must have a power feed to bevreset. If they are improperly daisy chained they must be reset "in order", as the first one provides the power feed to the next. They can not be reset out of order.

If this is the case you can choose to live with the situation as it is and just "know" the secret to resetting them. Another choice is re-wire the circuit so that the GFCI's are no longer daisy chained and each can be reset on its own accord. If that route is taken the circuit should be carefully evaluated so that GFCI protection is not eliminated at a location requiring GFCI protection (such as that standard outlet in the garage that you mentioned in the question).

  • And then, convert all the outlets downstream of the first GFCI, to regular outlets. Now you have a pile of redundant GFCI's. Install them where they'll be useful protecting other circuits. Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 2:37

There are devices you can buy that plug in to your receptacle(s) and send a RF signal up the wire where it can then be detected at the circuit breaker.

enter image description here

And YES, an upstream problem could interrupt power to all 3 outlets if they are on the same circuit.

  • 2
    The problem with this type they don't have a battery in the transmitter so finding a dead outlet breaker it won't work.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 18:25
  • 1
    @Ed Beal you are right, my bad. There are testers that work on dead circuits, I think they are like $300-500. Might be best to hire an electrician (who has the tool) for an hour. Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 19:18

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