I have 4 dead outlets all on the same wall 2 upstairs and 2 downstairs
They are all connected to each other. They seem to be getting power
from a dimmer switch next to the first outlet in the chain of 4. I
have removed that outlet and dimmer and found that the dimmer is
getting power from a GFI outlet in the bathroom directly behind it.
Dimmer/lights works fine, its just the outlets are getting no power.
I shut the power off and did a continuity test of 1 of the white wires
in the dimmer to 1 of the white wires in the first dead outlet and I
get continuity, but the back wires in that smae wire do not get
continuity, could that be the problem?
ANy suggestions on troubleshooting as I have limited knowledge. I
would think that the black wire is broke somewhere in the wall and is
causing the issue?
The problem is probably in one of the boxes, not the wall.
Check all connections for continuity.
4 outlets running off a dimmer sounds dangerous, as many
things you might plug in do not like dimmers.
I dont think they are running off the dimmer switch as they lights work
fine, I think its getting its juicefor the outlets(or lack there of)
from that dimmer switch there. ANy suggestions?
Bob F wrote:
I should also state that the first outlet that I have the continuity
from the white wire coming from the dimmer switch to the white wire
going to that outlet is now completely disconnected and the lights work
Is the power for the outlets being provided by the dimmer switch, or
just passing through the same bax as the dimmer switch?
In any case, test for continuity between each black wire in each box
to determine which wires go where. Then work from there.
Agree totally, wiring breaks outside of boxes very rare unless someone
has driven a nail or something else such as major construction has
completely broken the cable/wire.
But a question; what on earth is a dimmer switch doing feeding four
Or is it really controlling the flow to those four outlets? Or am I
misreading the OP?
Another thought maybe the downstream from the GFI outlet is faulty;
replace the GFI?
Sounds like the wiring is bit of a botch up if all that is
switched/dimmed through one box and fed from a GFI in the bathroom
Dimmers are only 'good for' a limited number of watts; usually only of
very 'ordinary' lamp bulbs. Not anything else (fluorescent lights,
radio, stereo amp. TV set etc.) that may have other inductive circuitry
If so equipment could be damaged by the reduced voltage and or the
dimmer become faulty!
Usually if dimmers are installed to control say, room lamps they may be
connected to only one half of certain wall outlets. While the other
half of the same duplex outlets has 'full' undimmed voltage for proper
operation of entertainment devices/appliances.
I recall one neighbour who thought their vacuum had gone faulty; but
they were plugging it into a lamp dimmer circuit! Blew the el-cheapo
dimmer though! Good thing anyway; cos when it was removed and replaced
by a regular on/off switch interference to their bedside radio went
Nasty things those cheap dimmers? Surprised that although many of them
do not seem to meet FCC (that's in the USA) or (other countries similar
regulatory bodies), technical requirements for 'Not radiating radio
interference' even when supposedly working OK, they are still sold!
BTW maybe somebody is listening in to room conversations via those
so-called radio emitting dimmers??? :-)
My guess is what he is saying is (this is just a guess) that the hot feeding
the dimmer is probably pig tailed to the hot feeding the outlets. If this
is the case then I would check the wire nuts joining the black wires in the
dimmer box and the ones joining the blackwires in the first outlet box.
You need to make a drawing of all the wiring as you see where each
wire goes, or as you deduce it from tests. No one can keep all this
stuff in their heads.
For example, you say that the outlets are getting power from the
dimmer switch, but you probably mean they are getting power from the
same wire that powers the dimmer switch. Unlikely anyone would
connect an outlet, especially one upstairs, to a dimmer switch. But
once you wrote it, even if you didn't mean it, your going to tend to
think it is true. You need to make a diagram.
Are you sure that the dimmer is getting power from the outlet? It
could be supplying the outlet.
You have tried pressing the reset button on the GFCI. Right?
Also, when you check continuity you should have the wires disconnected.
The white will read continuity even if the receptacle is on another
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