Can't find tripped fuse

Janice742February 4, 2013

All of my bathroom lights are out. I went to turn them on, and they blew. There are four separate switches in the room and none of them work.

There are three GFI outlets and I attempted to reset them.

When I looked at the fuse box, there are no tripped fuses.

Not sure what to do

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All of your bathroom lights? Meaning the lights in all of your bathrooms, or more than one light in the same bathroom? Are they different fixtures or multiple light bulbs in a single fixture? Did they "blow" at the time you tried to turn on the switch? Or, did they not work when you tried to turn them on? 4 separate switches for 4 separate lights or do they control other things besides lights?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 10:13PM
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1 switch controls overhead vanity lights (3 fixtures total)

1 switch controls bathroom exhaust fan

1 switch controls two overhead can lights over tub

1 switch controls one overhead can light in shower

I turned on the vanity light switch and these definitely blew...

When I tried all the other switches, the lights were dead.

Hope this helps

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 10:33PM
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Two things to check: reset any breakers serving the bathroom. Sometimes a breaker will trip without making it visually apparent that it has tripped. If that is the case, you should replace the breaker.

Look for a tripped GFCI somewhere else in the house, especially if it is older home. The GFCI could be anywhere including the garage and basement or another bathroom.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 10:42PM
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Thanks so much.

I did look at all the breakers - reset them - and they are fine.

I have a feeling that it is a tripped GFCI somewhere else.

The home is newer - 7 years old. Can you tell me what the requirements are for GFCI outlets? Is there one in every room of the house? Or are they placed randomly.

I assume there is one in the garage, so I'll also check there.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 8:51AM
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GFCI's are typically in bathrooms, kitchens, within 6 feet of sinks, and unfinished spaces (like basements and garages).

Years ago GFCI's were very expensive and the rules were somewhat different so it isn't uncommon to see one or two controlling circuits all over the house. As a result a GFCI in the garage could control a receptacle in the bathroom. That's unlikely in newer construction.

You may have a bad GFCI or another problem (like a wire connection that's come apart). You may have to start taking things apart and trace the flow of electricity. If that's beyond your skill or comfort level, call in a licensed professional.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 9:08AM
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OK -- Thanks.

I'll start the search.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 9:45AM
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Ron Natalie

I had an apartment once where the GFCI was out on the balcony. In my current (70's era house) the sole GFCI (as it was built) was in the downstairs powder room.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 12:15PM
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Well, I started going around other rooms in the house and found other lights out.

These are all upstairs, on one side of the house.

Laundry room ceiling fixture (washer and dryer are fine)

Guest bathroom, lights and fan also out.

I found two GCFI outlets that do not reset - in other words, when I press in the reset, there is no "click" and no red light goes on. One of these is in the Laundry and one is in our bathroom.

Can these outlets go bad? And if so, could this be the problem?

I'd like to trouble shoot as much as possible before I call the electrician.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 1:34PM
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Do you have an electric oven? If so, Does it get hot? That would tell you if you lost one hot leg in your service entrance. Many of the things you listed as being dead are not required to be GFCI protected and thus not a result of a tripped GFCI receptacle. Also, GFCI receptacles will not reset when there is no power coming in to them. If you have already cycled ALL breakers in the panel fully to the off position and then back on (including the main), you need to call an electrician to check things out with your panel and service entrance wiring.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 3:41PM
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Sounds like a tripped breaker. How did you reset them? If one tripped, you need to switch it off fully before switching it back on.

Also, is there a sub-panel somewhere?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:20PM
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