GFCI Circuit Prob


Old 09-22-04, 09:25 AM
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GFCI Circuit Prob

4 yr old home with 3 GFCI circuits Identified in Breaker Box. Can't identify any GFCI breakers (no test push button), or GFCI outlets other than by tagging done by home inspector some time ago.

The wall outlets in the 3 baths and the 2 external outlets won't carry a lamp, but will operate an electric razer.

Razer will operate even if the main house breaker is turned off.

With main house breaker ON, Measuring voltage at each breaker shows 124 v.

Any suggestions would be appreciated at this point.
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Old 09-22-04, 09:29 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,680
Are all these receptacles on the same circuit? They shouldn't be in a 4 year old home. There should be GFCI protection for the bathrooms and the outdoor receptacles somewhere. The outdoor could be in the garage. The bathrooms must be on thier own circuit. Get yourself a 3 light receptacle tester and tell us the results. It sounds like a poor connection.
Do you have an electric stove, dryer or hot water heater? Do these devices work properly?
Old 09-22-04, 09:31 AM
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I'm seriously hoping there's a battery in the razor... If not, something very strange is going on.

Are there any subpanels in the house? When you turn off the main breaker, nothing should be on. Get an analog voltmeter and tell us what kind of voltage is going through these outlets with the main on and off.
Old 09-22-04, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
I'm betting on the following:

A battery in the razor.

An open neutral on the circuit.

Testing with a digital meter.

As has been stated, repeat your testing using an analog meter or use a standard receptacle tester.

As for the GFCI devices, which home inspector tagged the circuits as GFCI protected and how long ago? Did someone remove the GFCI receptacles because they kept tripping or because they didn;t like the color and didn;t know what they needed to buy as replacements?
Old 09-22-04, 09:57 AM
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The other appliances in the house are working fine. Other outlets marked GFCI are functioning in the kitchen.

You're right I should have checked the breakers with the house main off. I'll have to go back and do that.

You say the external and bathroom circuits should be on separate breakers! Don't know if they are or not because I can't tell what's on what. Once I get them working again I'll label better.
Old 09-22-04, 10:21 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Here's my bets:
  • Razor works even when unplugged.
  • The GFCI receptacle in the garage is tripped.
You have GFCI receptacles that need resetting. You just have never seen them ever since the day you moved in because you stored things in front of them.

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