GFCI Question


  #1  
Old 12-11-02, 10:32 AM
fmv0
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GFCI Question

Let me start by saying I'm a fairly competent diy-er and have been doing electrical work for the last 8 - 10 years in my homes. I'm putting in a wet-bar with 3 outlets and 1 switch to control 2 65-watt lights. I could only use one circuit unless I wanted to add a sub-panel, so I installed a 15-amp breaker and ran 12-2 wire to the first GFCI outlet. From the load side, I ran 12-2 to the second outlet and from the 2nd to the third and from the third outlet to the switch to contro the light. Everything in the wet-bar area is on the GFCI. Unfortunately, the GFCI keeps tripping. I tried a new GFCI and it trips. Just for grins I swapped it out with a regular outlet. It works fine. What's causing the GFCI to trip??? Unless you guys have any suggestions, tonight I'm going to put the GFCI back in and hook up the additional outlets one at a time to see if I can figure out which one is causing the problem. Any ideas???

Thanks in advance.
 
  #2  
Old 12-11-02, 10:50 AM
J
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something is triggering the GFCI. I think your plan about one outlet at time is a good one. If you have an ohmmeter disconnect the wires from the load side of the gfci and measure from the hot to grnd and from the neutral to grnd. You should have infinite resistance.
 
  #3  
Old 12-11-02, 11:00 AM
bhyman
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Going outlet by outlet is a great idea to troubleshoot.

Just curious but have you tried with the two lights off? I had a flaky light bulb trip a GFCI on me once.
 
  #4  
Old 12-11-02, 11:25 AM
fmv0
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Thanks for your reply, joed. The light switch was off and nothing was plugged into the new outlets. I'm going to take a stab as what the problem is, maybe a 'real' electrician can verify my theory.

The neutral bar in the circuit box is completely full and the previous owner mixed and matched grounds and neutrals all over the place. Since I had no additional room, I had to folllow suit and connect the neutral and ground wherever I could find space. I suspect current is leaking over to the neutral and the GFCI is detecting it. Does this sound plausible???

Thanks again.
 
  #5  
Old 12-11-02, 11:33 AM
J
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No, it's not a plausible explanation. The situation you describe in your panel is normal. Continue with the plan to disconnect one thing at a time until it stops tripping. You probably have an accidental short between the neutral and grounding wire someplace.
 
  #6  
Old 12-16-02, 12:46 PM
fmv0
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Just thought I'd let you guys know I found the problem. A wire clamp crimped the wire at a recessed can. I fixed that and all is well. Thanks for all the help.

'Til next time.
 
 

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