GFCI problem with RESET

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  #1  
Old 05-03-04, 11:23 AM
cckleung
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GFCI problem with RESET

I have a GFCI outlet with the TEST/RESET buttons in the bathroom downstair and it's connected to the bathrooms upstair. One day I found out that I am not getting any power from the plug in the bathroom upstair so I try to RESET the GFCI outlet in the bathroom downstair but the RESET button won't RESET. When I push the RESET button, it pops back out right away. I removed the wiring (load) from the GFCI and I the RESET button can be reset (button goes in). Once I connect the load back to the GFCI, the RESET button pops out again. I bought a new GFCI outlet and it behaves the same way. If I by-pass the GFCI (connect directly to the power source) then everything works. Can anyone tell me what's wrong with my setup?
 
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  #2  
Old 05-03-04, 11:40 AM
cckleung
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I was told that I have a ground fault. Recently I did the wiring myself at the backyard. Maybe I wired the wires incorrectly? But I'm still getting power in the backyard now. I tried to uplug everything that's connected to the GFCI but still can't reset the GFCI. Is that mean I have a wiring problem? Perhaps in the backyard?

"You have a true ground fault somewhere. Check for plugs outside that might be on the same GFCI and may have gotten wet or been invaded by animals or bugs. Ants are a common problem here in Texas. Unplug anything that's plugged into the GFCI protected circuit and try to reset the GFCI. If it resets, carefully plug one thing in at a time until it trips - the last thing plugged in is probably defective and may present a shock hazard. If you still cannot find the problem, please have the circuit looked at by a professional electrician. There could be a dangerous situation present."
 
  #3  
Old 05-03-04, 02:04 PM
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Yes, you have the symptoms of a ground fault.

If this used to work, and stopped working not coincident with wiring changes, then moisture is the most likely culprit. It is sometimes associated with power washing, a popular springtime activity. But we also sometimes see this when somebody drives a nail into the wall to hang a new picture, accidentally hitting a cable.

If this has not worked properly since your made wiring changes, then you may made an inadvertant or overt mistake. Possibilities are endless, but they include accidental or intentional contact between the grounding and neutral, or perhaps the use of a GFCI on a shared neutral circuit, or any condition in which the hot and neutral wires do not run together and supply exactly the same loads.
 
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Old 05-03-04, 04:27 PM
cckleung
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Yes the outlet used to work and stopped working suddenly. I thought about it more and I don't think it's related to my backyard wire changes. The reason I said that it's because I tried to isolated the GFCI to the bathrooms upstair and the RESET button would stay in and won't pop-up and I can use the outlet which is located on the bathroom downstair. If I wired my backyard wires incorrectly, the GFCI shouldn't work in this case. So I believe the ground fault happens upstair. Maybe like you said, the moisture. But I'm in California, it's has been very dry lately.
 
  #5  
Old 05-04-04, 05:47 AM
lagunavolts
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gfi reset

You need to start tracing out the load side of the receptacle. Box by box checking for ground fault. It could be a nicked wire in the back of a box that is now making contact with with another wire. Check all your connections at these boxes and you will find the fault.
 
  #6  
Old 05-04-04, 12:36 PM
cckleung
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Yup, that's exactly what I did last night. It took me about an hour to find out which box was causing the problem. I removed all the wires connected to that box and re-wire them back and everything works now. I wasn't sure if it's the nicked wire making contact with another wire, but most likely. Thanks for those people who have given me suggestions.

Originally Posted by lagunavolts
You need to start tracing out the load side of the receptacle. Box by box checking for ground fault. It could be a nicked wire in the back of a box that is now making contact with with another wire. Check all your connections at these boxes and you will find the fault.
 
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