GFCI Tripping Immediately

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  #1  
Old 08-19-06, 09:18 AM
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GFCI Tripping Immediately

I have just replace a standard circuit breaker with a gfci breaker and when I turn the electric back on to the panel and try to turn the switch on the circuit breaker to on it immediately turns off. Rechecked the wiring of the breaker and I do not see a problem. However, on the circuit that I am trying to protect I have 3 light switches that are "Lighted" and also a switch for a bathroom fan that has a timer built into it. Could these devices be causing the gfci to trip?
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  #2  
Old 08-19-06, 09:42 AM
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Yes, it is possible that the lighted switches or the timer could cause the problem.

A more likely scenario is that you did not wire the GFCI breaker properly. Did you connect the hot wire for the circuit to the hot terminal on the GFCI and the neutral wire for the circuit to the neutral terminal on the GFCI?
 
  #3  
Old 08-19-06, 12:14 PM
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Yes I checked that twice and also the white pigtail wire on the breaker was wired to the panel neutral bar. That all looked good.
I may just have to try to take everything else off of that circuit, and put them on a new circuit. This was going to be one of those "10 minute jobs" early this morning....
 
  #4  
Old 08-19-06, 12:19 PM
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After you put the white curlled up wire that comes from the breaker to the neutral bar, did you find the neutral from the circuit in question and wire it to the neutral screw on the GFI breaker?
 
  #5  
Old 08-19-06, 12:19 PM
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I would try removing the switches from the circuit to start. Cap off the ends and turn the circuit back on. If all is good then (after turning the circuit back off) wire not the hot and switchlegs of the lighting together. Turn on the circuit. If all is good, the switches are causing you the grief.

If no success with the light switches, try the timer the same way.

If you trip the breaker with the switches and/or timer bypassed but not with an open circuit, you have a problem with whatever device trips the breaker when you hook it into the circuit.
 
  #6  
Old 08-19-06, 12:21 PM
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If you are in luck this is not a multi wire circuit. In the panel follow out the hot wire to that breaker and see which romex sleeve it is in. The white wire from the same sleeve needs to go to the GFI breaker not the neutral bar.

If there are two hot colored wires in that same cable comming into the panel, then you cannot use a single pole gfi breaker.
 
  #7  
Old 08-19-06, 12:29 PM
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good catch jwhite.

check out jwhite's recomendations/info. The neutral placement and/or the multiwire circuit could be it.
 
  #8  
Old 08-19-06, 01:42 PM
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Well I think my next step will be to investigate the switches because the circuit in question has only a single hot wire. When I replaced the original breaker I pulled the corresponding neutral wire from the neutral bar and put it into the gfci switch to the lug that was indicated on the gfci and the single hot wire to the other lug on the breaker and then the curly pigtail of the gfci back to the neutral bar. So tomorrow I will start pulling out the individual switches to see if I can find the culprit. Thanks....
 
  #9  
Old 08-19-06, 02:25 PM
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Before pulling any switches try turning all of the lighted switches on. If your GFCI breaker then stays on try turning off each switch one at a time and see if that causes the breaker to trip. If it does, and especially if it does on operation of each lighted switch then you know that you cannot have the lighted switches on this circuit.
 
  #10  
Old 08-19-06, 02:35 PM
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I would look for a hot/neutral reverse on the breaker first. Then for a voltage leak.. Lighted sws should not cause a voltage leak.
 
  #11  
Old 08-19-06, 03:21 PM
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Well the easiest test will be to turn the switches on that should only take a few minutes to test that theory.
 
  #12  
Old 08-19-06, 03:25 PM
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jwhite, When you say "hot/neutral reverse at the breaker" do you mean the connections that I made at the breaker or a problem downstream? Thanks..
 
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