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Question DetailsAsked on 3/17/2017



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1 Answer


If only that outlet or the one circuit is out, you probably overloaded the circuit with the trimmer or the trimmer tripped a GFCI. Unplug it, then look on the circuit (that outlet or other outlets on same circuit) to see if there is a GFCI outlet on the circuit which might have tripped - reset using the reset button. Otherwise, check breaker panel for a tripped (OFF) breaker - will be a single breaker (not one of the pairs joined by a bar - those are 220/240V circuits for your major appliances).

Reset the breaker if tripped - just push to ON - do NOT try to hold it on if it trips off again, which would mean (assuming trimmer is unplugged) that something got damaged in the circuit and needs repairing first before it can be used again.

Assuming this is a residential use string trimmer, they only typically run up to about 5-6 amps - your smallest capacity circuits should be probably 15 amps and generally at least 10 amps even in much older houses - (and the radio pulls negligable power unless you had high-power amp and speaker system running off it too), so unless you had some other fairly significant demand on the same circuit at the same time, I would guess the trimmer probably tripped a GFCI, which can be a GFCI outlet, or a GFCI breaker in the breaker box. It is not at all unusual for electric motors to trip out GFCI's because they commonly (bleed) a bit of power where it is not supposed to go - and brush-type motors are especially bad at this, especially if get some debris or grass cutting or such in the brush end of the armature and it is a three-wire trimmer. Also, if you were using an extension cord, it may have a bad spot or the connection got wet or partly pulled apart and shorted to the ground a bit, tripping the GFCI or breaker.

Of course, if you plug it into another outlet that is working and it trips that one out too, then the problem may be in the tool or cord. If you end up calling an electrician, after the problem is fixed test the trimmer while he is there to see if it trips it again. And if you don't know how to reset breaker or GFCI or are gunshy of them, have him show you how to test and reseet them.

If you have multiple circuits in your house out of power - roughly half of them - then you have lost power on one of the two 120V feed wires coming from the 220/240V electric service - commonly because a loose connection overheated and broke contact. If you have multiple circuits out, you need an electrician to track down the cause. And reduce your power use in the house to the bare minimum possible - no 220/240V appliance use (range, electric clothes dryer, washer, dishwasher, A/C, large power tools, car charger or block heater), and minimize other use as much as possible because with a possible loose connection or intermittent short you risk a fire using power.

Obviously, for professional diagnosis and repair, Electrical is your Search the List category to find well-rated and reviewed vendors. Assuming GFCI or breaker is the issue (as opposed to a wiring problem) probably $75-300 trip charge (typically $100-150 range in much of the country) and maybe $10-50 parts if GFCI or breaker is defective - i there is a wiring problem other than just a loose wire could go up from there.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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