What would cause this?

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  #1  
Old 09-19-06, 11:04 AM
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What would cause this?

I've wired up two identical setups and one doesn't work. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

This is for a GFCI and switch for two bathrooms. 12/2 nm coming in (P1) and going out (P2) to a light fixture. I wired it up like this:

Hot and neutral from P1 to the appropriate LINE screws on the GFCI.

Hot from P2 to switch. Another black wire from switch to brass LOAD GFCI screw. Neutral from P2 to silver LOAD screw.

Ground wires from P1 and P2 pigtailed to GFCI ground screw.

Bathroom 1 works fine. Bathroom 2 doesn't. The hot wires at the GFCI, switch, light fixture, and each individual socket (3 light bulb arrangement) all show power with a non-contact tester. The GFCI outlet works. But when I flip the switch the lights don't go on.

Checked the light bulbs. Checked the connections. Replaced the switch.

What's my next move? Thanks very much.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-19-06, 11:11 AM
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I gotta say that I am lost.

Can you try to explain that again a different way.

Jeff
 
  #3  
Old 09-19-06, 11:13 AM
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Put away the non-contact tester.

Use a good quality ANALOG meter. Verify 120 volts at the LOAD terminals of the GFCI. Verify 120 volts at each light bulb socket.

Is the GFCI tripped? Did you reset it? Will it trip and reset properly?
 

Last edited by racraft; 09-19-06 at 12:34 PM.
  #4  
Old 09-19-06, 12:33 PM
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jwhite,

Thanks for the reply. I'm more lost than you are.


racraft,

Once again you're right on the money. The analog tester showed 120 on the LINE and 0 on the LOAD. Replaced the GFCI and all is well.

The bad GFCI was brand new and it's funny how you assume it's functional.

Also, I'm trying to wean myself off that non-contact tester. In previous posts you've reminded me of its limitations and I'm s-l-o-w-l-y learning the value of the meter.

Thank you.
 
  #5  
Old 09-19-06, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by findtheriver
Also, I'm trying to wean myself off that non-contact tester. In previous posts you've reminded me of its limitations and I'm s-l-o-w-l-y learning the value of the meter.
The non-contact is especially prone to false alarms. I used to use a Greenlee and find that it is especially more so. My Fluke (the older silent AC-1) is much, much better. They are best used to make sure circuits are dead before working on them.

But when you WANT to find voltage, the solenoid-type or analog voltmeters are the reliable way to know you found it.
 
  #6  
Old 09-20-06, 01:08 AM
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Mac,

I've talked with a few electricians who echo your statements. They say they've never experienced a false negative reading (unless the battery was shot) with the better testers but do see the occasional false positive (ghost voltage, etc.).

A good tool to have, but not a replacement for a meter.

Thanks for the feedback.
 
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