GFCI question

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  #1  
Old 09-11-05, 06:54 AM
Kazy
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GFCI question

I recently tripped a GFCI circuit while using a lawn irrigation pump. The GFCI will not reset. I've lost several outlets and a couple of outdoor lights. I checked the circuit breakers and none seem to be tripped. I assumed that the GFCI unit needed replacing so I purchased a new one. The problem is that I want to be sure which breaker needs to be shut down prior to replacing the GFCI. With all breakers on I used a voltage tester on the wires behind the GFCI and showed no current. I don't understand why the wires would show no current. When I shut the breaker down to that area I loose a few more lights and outlets. Am I missing something? Is there some other reason why the voltage tester would not indicate current with the circuit breakers on? The house is only 1 year old.

Kazy
 
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  #2  
Old 09-11-05, 08:57 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: CA
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For one thing, a GFCI device has 'line' and 'load' terminals. The load side will be dead if the device is tripped.

Also, how are you measuring? Are you reading from possible hot wire to a white neutral. or to ground wire? Are you using a voltmeter, or a neon tester?
 
  #3  
Old 09-11-05, 09:20 AM
Kazy
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Originally Posted by 594tough
For one thing, a GFCI device has 'line' and 'load' terminals. The load side will be dead if the device is tripped.

Also, how are you measuring? Are you reading from possible hot wire to a white neutral. or to ground wire? Are you using a voltmeter, or a neon tester?
I'm using a neon tester. Several outlets do not function. The "test" button on the GFCI does not cause the "reset" button to pop outwhen pushed. I have tested every wire feeding out of the wall for current. None exists.

Kazy
 
  #4  
Old 09-11-05, 10:18 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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Shame on you for not knowing for certain which breaker controls this receptacle. Everyone should completely and thoroughly map out their receptacles, lights and electric devices so that they know which breaker control each and every location. This information is invaluable in the situation you have and could save your life in other situations.

As for your problem, it is possible that other GFCIs protect this circuit as well? It is also possible that you have an open circuit somewhere. Check each and every receptacle, light or other outlet on the circuit and find where you have power and where you don't.
 
  #5  
Old 09-11-05, 01:16 PM
Kazy
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Originally Posted by racraft
Shame on you for not knowing for certain which breaker controls this receptacle. Everyone should completely and thoroughly map out their receptacles, lights and electric devices so that they know which breaker control each and every location. This information is invaluable in the situation you have and could save your life in other situations.

As for your problem, it is possible that other GFCIs protect this circuit as well? It is also possible that you have an open circuit somewhere. Check each and every receptacle, light or other outlet on the circuit and find where you have power and where you don't.
There was indeed a second GFCI on this circuit. Not being an electrician I don't know the purpose for two GFCIs on one circuit but I guess they know best.

racraft - perhaps you could start some type of lobbying in Washington D.C. requiring all new construction to be thoroughly mapped out...if you feel that strongly.

Kazy
 
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