GFCI won't reset, how do I troubleshoot?


  #1  
Old 12-10-04, 01:08 PM
Toddler
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GFCI won't reset, how do I troubleshoot?

In my garage there is a GFCI outlet. I've got a massive Compaq server plugged into it, and every few weeks it pops and I just reset it (I know, bad idea). The server is a commercial beast, and it costs a fortune in electricity just to have it running. But the GFCI outlet is the only outlet I have in the garage...so I'm not sure what I can really do about that.

Anyway, the GFCI tripped again a few days ago, and I went to reset it, but it will not reset. I press the button, but it doesn't stay in.

I turned off the switch on the circuit breaker, and when it's off, I can reset the GFCI. But as soon as I turn the breaker back on, the reset switch pops out. I don't get juice for even an instant.

The only other outlets on this circuit are my external outlets, one on the back deck and two on the front porch. It has been raining a bunch lately.

I can only see two possiblities...either the GFCI has gone bad, or something is wrong in the circuit. So where do I begin to troubleshoot this?

I am a total amateur at this, so please talk down to me.
 
  #2  
Old 12-10-04, 01:18 PM
J
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Add another receptacle for your server. Tap off the "line" side of the GFCI and install a new box and a simplex (not duplex) receptacle directly behind your server. This non-protected recetacle must be dedicated to your server.

This is the solution usually used for garage refrigerators and freezers, but it will work well for you too. Pick up a book on home wiring at your home center or library to learn the proper skills for this job.

If this ever trips the breaker instead of the GFCI, then have a new circuit installed for your server.
 
  #3  
Old 12-10-04, 01:25 PM
Toddler
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Thanks, that sounds like the thing to do for the server, but I'm not using the server at the moment (for obvious reasons). Before I even get to that point, I need to get this circuit working again. Should I assume my GFCI has gone bad and just replace it?
 
  #4  
Old 12-10-04, 01:53 PM
J
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Since you said that it's been raining, I would guess that this GFCI is doing its job perfectly. Probably you need to dry out something on this circuit before you can reset the GFCI. Perhaps a bit of moisture got into an outside box. If they seem dry as a bone, then go ahead and try replacing the GFCI.
 
 

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