Outdoor electrical outlets might stop working for a variety of reasons. The most common issue is the GFCI outlet located outside has tripped and needs to be reset or possibly a main breaker has tripped. If your outdoor outlet has stopped working, follow the information below to troubleshoot the problem to identify and resolve it.
All Outdoor Outlets Have Stopped Working
Outdoor Outlet Problem: I have 3 outdoor outlets that are located on the outside of my home. 1 outlet is in the front of the house, that I was using, and the other 2 are located in my backyard. The outlets were working until I was mowing the grass with an electric lawnmower. My lawnmower lost power so I unplugged the mower and plugged it into another outside outlet and no have power in the back of my house either. Now all 3 outdoor outlets have stopped working. In the main breaker box all of the breakers are ON and none of the breakers have tripped. I noticed the 3 outdoor outlets have no GFCI as the RESET button is not there, they are just normal outlets. What else can I check to get the electrical outlets on the outside of my house to receive power?
Finding The Tripped GFCI Outlet
First, this may all depend on the age of your home. If a newer home, all outside outlets should be GFCI and you can just reset the tripped outlet from there by pressing the small RESET button on the outlet itself.
If an older home, then most likely the outside outlets are not GFCI and the GFCI outlet that has tripped is located elsewhere in your home. You have to search for it as it could be in the garage, the basement, behind your workbench, near the water heater, in the kitchen, or even in the bathroom.
Once you find the GFCI outlet that has tripped, press the RESET button to turn the power back on to all other outlets that have lost power. Now go test the outside outlets and they should all be working.
Reset The Tripped GFCI Outlet Outside
If all of the outside electrical outlets have stopped working, first check to see if any of the outside outlets are GFCI and have been tripped. Newer homes have GFCI outlets on all outdoor electrical outlets. Check all of your outdoor GFCI outlets to see if one has tripped. If you find one that has tripped press the RESET button to regain power to the outlet.
You may have more outside GFCI outlets than you realize, one near the AC condenser, one near the side of your house near the main breaker box, one near the back patio, one outlet at the very front of your home, and other areas you may not use very often. If any of these are tripped press the RESET button and you should be getting power.
Why are my outdoor outlets not working?
Check The Main Breaker Box
If all of the outside outlets are not tripped, and any inside GFCI outlets that are in line with the outside outlets are not tripped, then check the main breaker box to see if one of the breakers has tripped. Look closely in the breaker box as sometimes it is difficult to see if a breaker has tripped. If you see one breaker that does not look fully in the ON position, slide the breaker from OFF to ON. If the electricians labeled the breakers properly, there may be labeling in the breaker box that tells you “outdoor outlets”. Once you have found the correct tripped breaker and reset it, you should have power to all outdoor outlets.
If you have reset all GFCI outlets and checked the breaker box for a tripped main breaker and still no power to the outlets, there may be an issue with one of the outlets. Have a professional have a look at the issue to troubleshoot it from here. If you know what you are doing, go ahead and test the outlet with a meter to see if a particular outlet has failed.
What Is A GFCI Outlet
A GFCI outlet is a safety feature. A ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI detects an abnormal current and opens the circuit to prevent any type of hazard. When this happens you will need to press the RESET button. You may have had too many things plugged in at once. Use only one high amp item such as an electric lawnmower at a time with outside GFCI outlets or with outlets without GFCI.
More Help With GFCI Outdoor Outlets
Need deeper help with why your outside outlets are not working? Use the comment section below and please let us know how many outlets you have on the outside of your house and what you have done to troubleshoot the issue and someone can assist you. The more info you can provide the better… such as what did you have plugged into the outlet when it lost power and or are your outdoor outlets GFCI protected?
NOTE: If GFCI outlets are outside outlets and you just had heavy rain, the water may have tripped one of the GFCI outlets.