Ciruct Questions


Old 01-24-07, 09:32 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 8
Ciruct Questions

I had an overload on a ciruct that tripped a GFCI in our bathroom. I tried to rest it but I just stuck and would not come back on. It was old so I replaced it and with a new one. The new one reset fine and I thought everything was fine but after a short while the downstream outlets protected by the GFCI stop working but it was not tripped. So, I cut the power, took it back out checked the wires which reattached them. I then tripped the GFCI breaker with the test and rest it. Again, everything worked fine for a while and then stops working. Only only takes a few minutes We also have a home alarm system on that ciruct that chrips like it is getting interminet power during this process because it chirps. Because I did not want to damage anyting, I just tripped the GFCI again to kill all the power downstream. Do you think there may be damage to the wiring downstream? I would think it would trip the GFCI breaker if there was but it seems strange to work and then stop and nothing trips and everything works fine upstream from the GFCI.

Another note, I want to move part of the downstream ciruct to a new ciruct so this does not happen again. In order to do this I would have to disconnect the feeding run that goes to the garage that is in a receptical box outside and cut where it comes into the garage and add a junction box. It is impossible for me to get the diconnected run of wire out of the wall. Is okay to do this? (leave unused wire in the wall?)
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Old 01-24-07, 09:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 11
Dont know if this will help,but I had similair problem with a gfci outlet outside,and it would reset and trip every so often,then it eventually would not reset.I found the problem to be a cut wire in an elbow in my conduit.And once I started taking apart the conduit run,I found that elbow was all burnt inside ,so that was my problem,but I let it go too long thinking moisture waas causes the outlet to trip,when indeed this problem existed for a week or so.
Old 01-24-07, 09:58 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Saint Louis
Posts: 259
Your wiring in the bathroom should only serve the bathroom. If this is not the case, don't freak out, but any changes you're making should be getting this circuit to only feed this bathroom. (Or the circuit can feed the outlet in this bathroom and another outlet in another bathroom).

I doubt that all these GFIs are defective. Check the receptacles downstream and see how they are wired. I'm guessing that they are back stabbed and not making good contact.

Also, to be sure, the line side of the GFI goes towards the circuit breaker, the load goes downstream. Make 100% sure you have this correct.
Old 01-24-07, 10:04 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,537
> home alarm system on that ciruct that chrips like it is getting interminet
> power during this process because it chirps.

You probably have a either a loose connection at a receptacle downstream from the GFCI or a neutral touching a ground somewhere downstream. Perhaps a downstream receptacle is touching the metal box? Does this circuit serve any receptacles that may have gotten wet? It can take weeks for the inside of a junction box to dry out.

> Do you think there may be damage to the wiring downstream?

Depends on what kind of overload that caused the original problem. A heavy load can cause a connection to burn off or loosen up at a terminal. The wire itself is probably not damaged, but a connection could be.

> leave unused wire in the wall?

Unused wire in the wall is just fine as long as you push the wire out of the junction boxes at both ends so that the abandoned section of wire can never be accidentally connected to power.
Old 01-24-07, 12:01 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 8
Dang backstabs.... Next outlet downstream. Burnt out wires and outlet. Guess it was unrelated to what I tought it was. Next time I should check all possiblities! I did find that someone placed a 30 amp breaker on this ciruct of 14 gage wire because there is so much stuff on it. So not all was lost, this lead me to the larger problem of an overloaded ciruct and needing to move some to a new ciruct and place it back to a 15 amp ciruct. Thanks for the info.....
Old 01-24-07, 07:33 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Not to point fingers, but the 30 amp circuit breaker is your fault. You may not have placed it there, but you should have discovered it and corrected it a long ago.

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