Electrical loss of power

My neighbor (single mom) left for the weekend and came home to no power in her garage to the receptacles or lights. She was having her floors refinished over the weekend, we are thinking that the power draw from the machines may have caused the issue.

We checked all the breakers and zero were tripped. GFCI receptacles in the house all had power. There weren’t any GFCI receptacles inside the garage or on the exterior. I told her she will need to have an electrician come out. My thought is there is a faulty circuit breaker. Would that be correct? Any other ideas?

Did you manually trip and reset the suspect breakers?

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If the flooring guys opened the panel to plug in a 240 breaker for their sander they may have knocked something loose


Yes we did

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Have her call the flooring guys for their thoughts on the topic and then the electrician if needs be.


My money is on a GFI that no one can find.


Agreed…One tucked behind boxes or shelves in garage. I had a house long ago where a gfci in a bathroom would take out garage. Dumb set up that was quickly rewired.


This is an all too common and kind of scary practice. They pop the dead front and clamp onto some wires to power the large drum sander. They may have disconnected something in the process.


My neighbor has power back and she told me the issue as determined by the contractor was on a double pole breaker, where one of the breakers wasn’t resetting.


Likely a tripped breaker in the panel.
Reset the garage circuit breaker/s and try the outlets and switches.

Typically/usually a refinishing flooring contractor will use a 240 appliance receptacle to operate floor sander, if they have to. Never seen a flooring company open a dead front to get power but I have refinished/sanded floors on several occasions.

Fairly simple diagnosis, pull the dead front and see which breaker has no power out. A ‘wiggy’ works fine here.


OK dumb question, and you might not know all the details, but were receptacles and lights on one side of a double pole breaker? A multi wire branch circuit?

Do you have an endorsement deal we should know about?


I take it you don’t have one. My neighbor is 85 years old. That breaker would have been far cheaper then some of the things my wife has me fix for her.