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Resolved Power to garage is dead what to do?

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MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 22, 2015
1,684
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Rochester, MN
so yesterday morning around 8am i went to get into the car to go garage saling with my grandpa got in the car pushed the HomeLink to open the door, it didn't respond. Tried it again, still no response, went to the button on the wall... nothing. tried the light switches in the garage, nothing the entire garage has no power at all. We reset the breakers several times nothing. We checked the main power in the hose, we get full power to the house. Even checked where the power line from the house goes into the garage, we have full power in the house. We ran a extension cord from the garage to the basement and plugged it in inside the house to provide power to the critical parts of the garage, the opener and the chest freezer. We plan to run a new line to the garage via Dual male ended outlet plugs, we will plug one end into one of many outlets in the garage and plug the other end into the house. I have some questions.

How do I bypass the breaker box so when we run this wire it will power the entire garage?

Why all the sudden would the entire garage lose power when no fuses inside the house were blown and no breakers in the garage were tripped?

Would providing power by a plugging one end of the cord for the garage into an outlet in the basement and plug the other end into an outlet in the garage even PROVIDE power to the whole garage?
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,984
2,745
St. Louis, MO
For the love of all things holy, call a qualified electrician instead of half-assing this repair like you do with your Daewoo.

The fact you're even asking to bypass a breaker scares me, and no, I don't think you can provide power to the garage by plugging an outlet in the garage into another outlet.
 
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triptolemus

macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2011
527
619
You need to stop what you're doing before you burn your house down.

Under no circumstance should you use a dual-ended male extension cord (you ever wonder why this doesn't exist) to try and heat up the garage circuit. Do NOT do this.

Call an electrician or call the fire department. Your choice.
 
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dukebound85

macrumors P6
Jul 17, 2005
18,250
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For the love of all things holy, call a qualified electrician instead of half-assing this repair like you do with your Daewoo.

The fact you're even asking to bypass a breaker scares me, and no, I don't think you can provide power to the garage by plugging an outlet in the garage into another outlet.

Right? breakers are there for a reason OP.
 
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triptolemus

macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2011
527
619

You're right.

But let's read the first review:

I ordered three of these. One of them was wired correctly. The other two were wired incorrectly. The hot terminal on one end was wired to the neutral on the other, and the neutral was wired to the hot. This will cause a short circuit if your generator's neutral is bonded to its ground. It will also cause a short circuit if you use it to jumper one outlet to another in order to connect the 2 legs of the main panel. Use a meter to verify that the cord is wired correctly before using it.

And remember the typical application is to temporarily heat up a circuit with a generator. Many folks do this incorrectly, particularly during a power outage. They forget to open the main breaker. The generator can (and often does) heat up past the secondary on the service transformer into the primary. This can injure linemen who don't do their job right. If the linemen are doing their job right this will smoke your generator!
 
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AustinIllini

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Oct 20, 2011
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This guy is the best. Next thing you know, he'll have a TV show sponsored by Binford Tools and co-starring Richard Karn.
 
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bunnspecial

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May 3, 2014
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This guy is the best. Next thing you know, he'll have a TV show sponsored by Binford Tools and co-starring Richard Karn.

I think even Tim Taylor would know this is a bad idea!

Of course, having Richard Karn standing there saying "I don't think so Tim" might do some good.

(it's a shame Earl Hinds is no longer with us to pass along his wisdom).
 
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AustinIllini

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Oct 20, 2011
12,128
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Austin, TX
I think even Tim Taylor would know this is a bad idea!

Of course, having Richard Karn standing there saying "I don't think so Tim" might do some good.

(it's a shame Earl Hinds is no longer with us to pass along his wisdom).

You think he has his own coffee mug at the hospital?
 
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MatthewLTL

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Original poster
Jan 22, 2015
1,684
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Rochester, MN
Well spite are the critisim you all DID answer the questions.

I was thinking that even after posting this of how bad of an idea this was. However a few lights, a freezer and a Garage door opener would not overload a circuit so bypassing the braker box (by tapping into the main junction box coming out of the breaker box wouldnt hurt anything.

A electrition charges 2k to convert a house from fuses to breakers, to rewire the main feed to the garage from the house will probably cost just as much. SO.....

How do you dismantle a breaker box? problem is the breakers are blocking the main so i cannot test the connection coming IN. I have to 1st determine if the main line coming into the garage is bad of if the breaker box failed. I could with not too much dificulty, run a new main into the breaker box if the main is the problem.
 
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carlgo

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Dec 29, 2006
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Monterey CA
You asked on a forum because you knew deep down that you need to get an electrician in there asap. Now that has been affirmed. There can be weirdness with the breakers, maybe there is a GFI in this somehow, a bad connection that is sparking in a box (hopefully), or bad wiring by somebody that you need to know about.

This isn't a hard decision. Tell us how it turns out.

Assuming the garage was ok before, then likely whatever failed can be fixed rather cheaply. The electrician may recommend a new system, but you most likely won't have to do that to fix the immediate problem. At least you will get your problem fixed and know what has to be done in the future.
 
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MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 22, 2015
1,684
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Rochester, MN
You asked on a forum because you knew deep down that you need to get an electrician in there asap. Now that has been affirmed. There can be weirdness with the breakers, maybe there is a GFI in this somehow, a bad connection that is sparking in a box (hopefully), or bad wiring by somebody that you need to know about.

This isn't a hard decision. Tell us how it turns out.

Assuming the garage was ok before, then likely whatever failed can be fixed rather cheaply. The electrician may recommend a new system, but you most likely won't have to do that to fix the immediate problem. At least you will get your problem fixed and know what has to be done in the future.

electritions cost money.....a thing made obvious i dont have.. it worked fine then just died perhaps the rain killed the wire burried not even 1 foot underground ill have to yank the main fuses dig it up and take a look. perhaps it just needs a splice

EDIT: Why pay someone for something i can do myself? (abit a fraction the cost and 5x the time it would take but it would be done either way)
 
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mgguy

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Dec 26, 2006
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Can't you just operate the garage door in manual mode until you can get a proper diagnosis and repair?
 
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MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 22, 2015
1,684
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Rochester, MN
Can't you just operate the garage door in manual mode until you can get a proper diagnosis and repair?

I could, although the opener has bent the garage door to **** so it dont close at the top big gap. Plus i'm more concerned with powering the chest freezer over powering the opener It's (the Opener and freezer) been runnin' off a couple of daisy-chained extension cords since 11am yesterday and no problems so far. If i could only find a way to power atleast one of the lights......
 
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webbuzz

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Jul 24, 2010
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electritions cost money.....a thing made obvious i dont have.. it worked fine then just died perhaps the rain killed the wire burried not even 1 foot underground ill have to yank the main fuses dig it up and take a look. perhaps it just needs a splice

EDIT: Why pay someone for something i can do myself? (abit a fraction the cost and 5x the time it would take but it would be done either way)

People die trying to do what you are talking about. Some don't die, but burn their houses down.

Call a qualified electrician.
 
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DeltaMac

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Jul 30, 2003
10,646
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Delaware
electritions cost money.....a thing made obvious i dont have.. it worked fine then just died perhaps the rain killed the wire burried not even 1 foot underground ill have to yank the main fuses dig it up and take a look. perhaps it just needs a splice

EDIT: Why pay someone for something i can do myself? (abit a fraction the cost and 5x the time it would take but it would be done either way)

Kind of a devil-may-care attitude about a potentially dangerous condition. :rolleyes:
At best, you may end up with a botched up job, that seems to work, yet can result in a fire, or worse, a poorly grounded circuit with the possibility of electrocution.

If you have an electrician look at your problem, there may be a quick fix that gets you going again, and doesn't leave you with a potential serious problem. You seriously don't want to mess around with house current - particularly when you admit that you DON'T know what the problem is (and apparently you know little about what an electrician needs to know - except for assuming that you can't afford an electrician... )
 
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Roller

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Jun 25, 2003
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electritions cost money.....a thing made obvious i dont have.. it worked fine then just died perhaps the rain killed the wire burried not even 1 foot underground ill have to yank the main fuses dig it up and take a look. perhaps it just needs a splice

EDIT: Why pay someone for something i can do myself? (abit a fraction the cost and 5x the time it would take but it would be done either way)

You may be able to do this yourself, but if you mess up it could end up costing considerably more. Also, if the work you do causes a fire, your insurance company may not cover it. At the least, an electrician should be able to provide an estimate without much expense. In any case, I hope it works out for you.
 
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MatthewLTL

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Original poster
Jan 22, 2015
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Rochester, MN
I have contacted a rather close by electriction. I will just wait for a Text Message back to find out if they charge to come and figure out what's going on. I am fully capable to replace an electrical outlet (which i had done after i had one die and have replaced MOST 2 prong outlets in the house with 3 prong ones) but i will will not risk this kind of task. I know when I am in over my head and when it comes to a burried power feed.... seems to be more or a hassle than I am willing to tackle. In the meantime I will just run the door opener and freezer of the extension cords. The cords don't even get warm to the touch so it opposes no immediate risk. Although this is only a legal solution for 90 days......
 
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hallux

macrumors 68040
Apr 25, 2012
3,167
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Sorry but there are a few things in life where it's a silly idea to cheap out. Brakes on your car and electrical in your house are 2 of those places. What you're suggesting to do is a VERY bad idea in so many ways (already mentioned above). By the way, it shouldn't cost a whole lot of money to replace an existing wire. It would NOT be a good idea for you to pull the wire and "splice" it yourself. If it's suspected that there's a break in the wire, the whole wire should be replaced. You need a qualified person to figure out what the problem is and then fix it.

I don't intend to be mean with this question. Do you have friends? Do any of those friends do construction or possibly electrical work? Do a little "networking" and ask people you know if they have friends or family willing to help someone at a discounted price. My parents have also found reasonable pricing and kind people on http://nextdoor.com they had a circuit added for a generator in their garage and paid a reasonable price. They also found someone there to help with a heating system issue that their house had had for THIRTY FIVE YEARS, even after having a new furnace installed last summer (it was an air pocket in the baseboard radiators and the bleed done after the boiler was installed STILL didn't get it).

Edit: you posted as I was writing. The risk isn't to the extension cord itself. The risk is that the breaker is sized based on the circuit it's powering. Adding extra load can cause the breaker to trip (best case) or the overloaded circuit to overheat and cause a fire (worst case, if the breaker fails to trip).

One of my co-workers did considerable renovation on his house, installing a kitchen and at least one bathroom himself. When he found he'd need to have knob-and-tube wiring replaced (yes, the house was THAT old) he called an electrician to do the job as that was over his head. He was comfortable/capable of doing the work if the walls were open but closed-wall replacement was beyond his skill level and he knew it.
 
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Mr. McMac

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Dec 21, 2009
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You say there's no power to a garage right? If you have a multi meter, check the circuit breaker for voltage even if it doesn't look tripped. Should be 110 to 120 volts from the breaker leg to the neutral ground if it's a single pole breaker, or 220 to 240 volts (across the two breaker legs) if it's a two pole. you could have a defective breaker. I've seen this many times
 
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bunnspecial

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May 3, 2014
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Calling an electrician is a VERY smart idea. Many will do an diagnosis and estimate for free or for a small charge-at try to get to the bottom of what you're dealing with!

One of my co-workers did considerable renovation on his house, installing a kitchen and at least one bathroom himself. When he found he'd need to have knob-and-tube wiring replaced (yes, the house was THAT old) he called an electrician to do the job as that was over his head. He was comfortable/capable of doing the work if the walls were open but closed-wall replacement was beyond his skill level and he knew it.

I've always heard that knob and tube is actually relatively safe provided that it's in good condition and you don't push it beyond its capabilities.

Of course, if you're doing something well beyond its original design load, I'd think replacing would be prudent.

As a side note, over in the next town there's an Antebellum mansion whose claim to fame is that it's essentially in original condition with very few updates. The family who built it fell on hard times after the war and reconstruction, and continued living in the house(up until the 1990s, I think) while doing the barest minimum of modernization to it. The house was wired for electricity, but has a scary looking fuse box down in the basement and then dropped a single wire in ever room with a light socket at the end of it. One of the first things the preservation committee did was have new wiring installed, but did it very "discreetly" by running the wiring into the original gas light chandeliers and wall fixtures. They left all of the old(1910s probably) wiring intact but it's completely disconnected. The whole house is fascinating(primarily because its-quite literally-as close to a time capsule from that era as you will find), but I was amused at the original attempts.
 
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yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,984
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St. Louis, MO
EDIT: Why pay someone for something i can do myself?

No offense, but the fact that you 1) asked to bypass the breaker, and 2) are considering using a dual male-end extension cord to run power to the garage tells me that you do not know what the hell you are doing. Electricity is not something you mess around with. There's a reason electricians are expensive - because it takes a lot of training and experience to do that kind of work without burning a house down.
 
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Smileyboy

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2008
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Power to garage is dead what to do?

I'm an electrician. Make sure all your breakers are on. It's a very simple check... Don't bypass it, you'd be surprised how many people miss that. Also check if any Gfcis in the garage, outdoors or basements haven't tripped.

Don't bypass a breaker. That's asinine. Anyone that knows anything about electrical, knows that's begging for a fire.
 
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A.Goldberg

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Jan 31, 2015
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This guy is the best. Next thing you know, he'll have a TV show sponsored by Binford Tools and co-starring Richard Karn.
Ever seen The Red Green Show out of Canada? They help "viewers" solve household problems or build things with very creative solutions. Duct tape is a commonly used tool.

Matt, perhaps it's as simple as your circuit breaker may be dead to the garage. Call an electrician to look into these issues. Male-Male extension cords are not a good idea. It sounds like you haven't pinpointed what the actual issue is here. You are not an electrician, playing around in a breaker box is a great way to get electrocuted or start a fire.

If there is in fact an issue with the wiring in the garage, bypassing the breakers could very well start a fire. You're better off running (outdoor) extension cords to the garage components right now rather than trying to rewire the garage in a jerry-rigged, highly dangerous manner. Have the electrician solve the problem when you can afford it. Just don't run the lawn mower over the cords.

EDIT: Why pay someone for something i can do myself? (abit a fraction the cost and 5x the time it would take but it would be done either way)
Because you don't know what you're doing and electricity is dangerous.

Money should never be used as an excuse to do unsafe things. I don't think you want your house or garage burnt down and risk the lives and material items within.

Hint: If nearly everyone tells you something is a bad idea, it usually is. Don't let ignorance get in the way. I used to work in the ER, you wouldn't believe the stupid things people do thinking it's a good idea at the time.
 
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MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 22, 2015
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Rochester, MN
You say there's no power to a garage right? If you have a multi meter, check the circuit breaker for voltage even if it doesn't look tripped. Should be 110 to 120 volts from the breaker leg to the neutral ground if it's a single pole breaker, or 220 to 240 volts (across the two breaker legs) if it's a two pole. you could have a defective breaker. I've seen this many times
I used a multi-meter and checked ALL electrical connections inside the house fuse box. all points put out 115. The breakers are in the way so i cannot test the line coming into the garage. there is a total of 4 breakers in the garage.
No offense, but the fact that you 1) asked to bypass the breaker, and 2) are considering using a dual male-end extension cord to run power to the garage tells me that you do not know what the hell you are doing. Electricity is not something you mess around with. There's a reason electricians are expensive - because it takes a lot of training and experience to do that kind of work without burning a house down.
this was my grandpa's idea actually, I, myself didn't think of it even.
I'm an electrician. Make sure all your breakers are on. It's a very simple check... Don't bypass it, you'd be surprised how many people miss that. Also check if any Gfcis in the garage, outdoors or basements haven't tripped.

Don't bypass a breaker. That's asinine. Anyone that knows anything about electrical, knows that's begging for a fire.
all breakers are in the "Reset" position no GCFI's in the entire house there is no outdoor outlets either (something I plan to fix one of these days) not hard to add a few exterior outlets.
Ever seen The Red Green Show out of Canada? They help "viewers" solve household problems or build things with very creative solutions. Duct tape is a commonly used tool.

Matt, perhaps it's as simple as your circuit breaker may be dead to the garage. Call an electrician to look into these issues. Male-Male extension cords are not a good idea. It sounds like you haven't pinpointed what the actual issue is here. You are not an electrician, playing around in a breaker box is a great way to get electrocuted or start a fire.

If there is in fact an issue with the wiring in the garage, bypassing the breakers could very well start a fire. You're better off running (outdoor) extension cords to the garage components right now rather than trying to rewire the garage in a jerry-rigged, highly dangerous manner. Have the electrician solve the problem when you can afford it. Just don't run the lawn mower over the cords.


Because you don't know what you're doing and electricity is dangerous.

Money should never be used as an excuse to do unsafe things. I don't think you want your house or garage burnt down and risk the lives and material items within.

Hint: If nearly everyone tells you something is a bad idea, it usually is. Don't let ignorance get in the way. I used to work in the ER, you wouldn't believe the stupid things people do thinking it's a good idea at the time.
Of course I haven't pinpointed the issue. the main wire going into the garage is behind the breakers I cannot get to the wire to test it. (Hence why I asked how to remove the breakers from the box) All I have determined is that the wire LEADING outside has power, I still have to determine if it has power going IN to the garage. Bypassing the breakers would just mean the fuse powering the garage inside the house would blow if there is an overload. one of the four fuses inside the house powers the garage I just have no clue which one of the house fuses it is. Right now the extension cord is plugged into an oultlet that is wired into the Dryer fuse box. (A seperate box from the main) The main fuse box contains:
The house MAIN fuses (2x60A)
RANGE 2x30A
4 W/TL type fuses (1 30A in the kitchen and 3 20A Breaker-fuses)
1 15A Breaker-fuse for the furnace (Seperate box)
2x 30A TL type fuses for the dryer (seperate 220 box)
There is atleast 1 outlet wired to the box used by the Dryer. This outlet wired to the dryer is what the extension cord running to the garage is plugged into. This outlet (due to its proximity to the main sewer pipe) has a Surge Protector on it.

I am running a couple of green coloured extension cords daisy-chained to the garage to power the Opener and the freezer. How to power a light or two is the challenge.
 
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