GFCI tripping

Old 08-04-02, 09:53 PM
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Question GFCI tripping

Now that I realize my previous outlet problem was caused by a tripped GFCI in the next room, I'm having trouble tripping it repeatedly.

This only happens when I'm trying to put all of the wires on one outlet back into the box so I can replace the outlet cover. I don't see any wires touching each other, or anything that they shouldn't be touching, but the wires are so stiff that it takes a solid push to get them all in the box...when I do that, "pop" goes the GFCI.

Old 08-05-02, 06:05 AM
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Couple of possibilities. (1) You are getting wires touching where they shouldn't in the box. Recheck all connections and when pushing receptacle into box pay close attention to anything touching. Pay particular attention to the wire attach points if they are of the screw variety (vice push-in) as they can be somewhat exposed to inadvertant touching. (2) Could have a bad receptacle; GFCI's do go bad occasionally.
Old 08-05-02, 07:28 AM
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Sounds like you're pushing the receptacle back into the box while the breaker is on. I hope that's not true!
Old 08-05-02, 07:35 AM
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Maybe you have too much stuff in the box. I have had that happen also where there were wire nuts pushing against the back of the device. Organization helps and if all else fails you may have to change box. How many sets of wires are running in to the box?
Old 08-05-02, 08:18 AM
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I ended up getting it settled. Sorry to give the impression that I was doing it with power running to it! What was happening was that as soon as I'd get it back tentatively in place and flip the breaker to check it, the GFCI would trip. Then I'd turn the breaker off, pull it back out, still connected, and turn on the breaker, and there was no problem.

So like you said, it was just congestion in the box. I carefully zig-zagged the wires, and moved the wire nut back farther in the box. Now all seems to be "up to speed."

Thanks again guys!
Old 08-05-02, 08:23 AM
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Since you are working with a gfi protected receptacle you need to pay special attention when placing the conductors back in the box. We use the term "folding the conductors in." When you fold the conductors in pay close attention to the grounding conductor, which is usually bare. If this conductor comes into contact with the terminal screw for the white or "grounded conductor" it will cause the gfi to trip.
If your tripping is only happening when you fold the conductors in, then it would have to be one of two things. Either the grounding conductor is coming into contact with the grounded conductor or when you push the receptacle back it is causing force on the internal parts of the receptacle and this can sometimes lead to nuisance tripping.
LIKE JOHN SAID IN AN EARLIER REPLY; YOU SHOULD NOT BE PLACING THE RECEPTACLE BACK IN THE BOX WITH THE POWER ON!!!!! Even thought this is a gfi protected circuit, why tempt fate? Turn the circuit off and then fold the conductors in and make sure that you are not having to force the receptacle into the box.

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