Circuit Breaker GFCI Won't Reset

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  #1  
Old 08-28-06, 12:07 PM
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Circuit Breaker GFCI Won't Reset

This morning I found out that there was no power to the recepticals in my bathroom. My house is wired with a GCFI in my breaker box, so I head down to the basement and attempt to reset it. So I try flipping totally off (doesn't move) and then flip it back on, and immediately it flips off. This breaker feeds the outlet in my bathroom (not the lights or fan), to outdoor outlets (one in the front and one in the back of the house and both covered), and the outlets in my garage (including the outlet that my garage door opener plugs into).

I've unplugged everything, and the breaker will still not reset. So I'm thinking that my GFCI Breaker is dead, and am going to replace it.

1. Is there anything else I should check.

2. Is there anything special I should know when going to buy a replacement other than it's 15 amps and the physical size? (manufacture or other details?)
 
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  #2  
Old 08-28-06, 12:12 PM
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Remove the hot and neutral wire from the breaker then see if it will reset.

You will need the breaker mfg name and the frame of the breaker. For residential panels just knowing the mfg name, and wether it stabs in or bolts in is usually enough.
 
  #3  
Old 08-28-06, 12:18 PM
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I suspect that it is NOT the breaker, but rather is a true fault at one of the recetpacles, most likely caused by water.

If the breaker works properly AFTER you remove the wires as jwhite has indicated to try, then you need to find and fix the fault.

To do this requires that you try to determine where the problem is. This is usually done by isolating sections of the circuit. If you determine it to be an outside receptacle or a bathroom receptacle, then suspect water damage. Try to correct this using a hair dryer set on high and blow drying the receptacle.
 
  #4  
Old 08-28-06, 12:28 PM
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So I should:
Turn off the main.
Remove the Hot and Neutral wires from the breaker.
Turn On the Main.
And then try to reset the GFCI????

Could just turning off the main and trying to switch on the GFCI work?
 
  #5  
Old 08-28-06, 12:36 PM
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"Could just turning off the main and trying to switch on the GFCI work?"

Some GFI devices will not reset when power is off.
 
  #6  
Old 08-28-06, 01:17 PM
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So I'll go home and use my wife's hair dryer on the bathroom outlet (at least to start with)...which is kind of funny because it's how this whole adventure began...my wife trying to use her blow dryer after her shower this morning. If that doesn't work...then I'll move on to taking wires off and checking the breaker.
 
  #7  
Old 08-28-06, 01:39 PM
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If you feel comfortable doing it,, then do what the other people said,, remove the hot wire,, and neutral ,, and try to reset the breaker,, if it trips,,, get a new breaker,,, if not,, start opeining receptables and look for problems, I;m going with the outside receptable as the culprit,, if you dont shut off the main,, just be carefull where you whip that screwdriver around in the panel
 
  #8  
Old 08-29-06, 06:19 AM
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Ended up replacing the breaker. Tested it as stated above, and it still would not reset. The switch seemed to have some electrolytic compound leaking as well. Got myself a new one, installed it, and everything is fine.
 
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