GFCI half right

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  #1  
Old 07-11-05, 06:34 PM
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JerryF1970
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GFCI half right

I installed an GFCi outlet in my newly renovated kitchen, there are five outlets that follow. The problem is, the bottom half of the GFCi works fine, but the top half trips whenever I plug anything into it. All the outlets on the chain seam to work fine. Does this seem to be a wiring problem, ,or is the GFCI defective?
 
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  #2  
Old 07-11-05, 07:49 PM
J
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The problem is that your downstream receptacles are split-wired on a multiwire circuit. You cannot provide downstream protection from a GFCI on such a circuit. You'll need either a GFCI breaker, or a GFCI receptacle in every outlet.

To verify my above theory, please confirm that the receptacles downstream from the GFCI have both a red wire and a black wire connected to them.
 
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Old 07-12-05, 01:23 PM
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JerryF1970
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Thank you for the quick answer John.
I finished the project about a month ago, give or take, and I tested all the outlets downstream with a lamp. Plugged it in, tripped the GFCI, the lamp went out. However, i don't think I ever tested the actual GFCI as far as a working outlet, and have since discovered that the top half only trips no matter what I plug in.
 
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Old 07-12-05, 01:54 PM
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Red wires?
 
  #5  
Old 07-12-05, 01:59 PM
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JerryF1970
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It's a 14/2 Romex with black, white and ground?
 
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Old 07-12-05, 03:06 PM
J
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Then my theory is wrong. We need a new one.

You said that only the top half of each receptacle trips the GFCI. Is that true also if you plug into the GFCI receptacle itself (i.e., the receptacle with the "TEST" and "RESET" buttons on the face)?

Are the tabs broken out on either or both sides of the downstream outlets? Do you know what this quesiton means?
 
  #7  
Old 07-12-05, 04:15 PM
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If I am reading the original post correctly, everything works correctly except one 'simplex' receptacle: the top half of the GFCI receptacle. There is nothing wrong with any of the 'downstream' receptacles, either top or bottom half. One half of the GFCI receptacle works, the other half trips with any load. Do I understand this correctly?

I have an additional questions:
1) When you plug your lamp into the top half of the GFCI, does the lamp need to be on in order to trip the GFCI, or does simply plugging the lamp in cause the GFCI to trip?
2) Can this lamp be used in any of the 'working' receptacles, including the bottom half of the GFCI?
3) Have you tried the test with a different lamp?

IMHO You have a defective GFCI receptacle, where something touches causing a ground fault when you insert a plug.

-Jon
 
  #8  
Old 07-12-05, 07:49 PM
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JerryF1970
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You got it Winnie!
I cannot even get the plug completly into the top half of the GFCI outlet before it trips. No problem with bottom half of GFCI, or any parts of downstream outlets. Even tried to test the GFCI with (I apologize for sounding so stupid) that little tester that lights up and tells you if our outlets are grounded correctly and all. Same thing.
Okay, so I should replace the GFCI outlet?
Follow up silly question, should this be done immediatly? Can it wait?
 
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Old 07-12-05, 08:05 PM
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The GFCI is defective and should be replaced. Given that it has been like this for weeks, there is probably no reason to rush out and replace it immediately, but my personal preference would be to replace it sooner rather than later.

-Jon
 
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Old 07-12-05, 08:06 PM
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I don't know what brand and model of GFCI you have, but in every one I'm familiar with, the symptoms you describe would be impossible unless the device was defective.

Replace it.

It can wait.
 
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