gfci not working


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Old 05-02-07, 10:39 PM
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gfci not working

I have a total of 2 gfci's in my house one of which isn't working. The one in my kitchen works fine and I can hit the test and reset button with out any problems. The second gfci is in one of my bathrooms. I can not trip the yellow test light on it nore do I get any power from it or any of the other outlets in line with it. I'm replaced the gfci once already and I still have the same problem, I'm pretty sure that I wired everything right, but I can't seem to figure out the problem. Help! Please!
 
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Old 05-03-07, 03:54 AM
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GFI's do fail. When the test button no longer works, they should be replaced. Are you sure you have power to the receptacle?? And there are two placecs to make connections, line side should the power into the receptacle, load should be the downline outlets. Hot(blk) goes on the brass terminal, neutral on the silver/white.
 
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Old 05-03-07, 04:17 AM
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Did you connect it properly? When you test the bare wires do you get power?
 
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Old 05-03-07, 06:11 AM
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I pretty sure that I've connected it properly. There are 2 GFCI's in my home, I replaced both about 2 years ago. The one in the kitchen still works fine, it's the one in the bathroom that is giving me trouble.

Here's how I have it conneded. I have the line wires (3 from the box - white black and ground connected the the line inputs and ground to ground) and the load wires (2 to the other outlets connected to the load inputs).

I just recently started having problems with the bathroom GFCI. It tripped a couple of weeks ago and I had to reset it, then it tripped again a couple of days ago and has not worked since. The old GFCI does not make that clicking sound when I push the test or reset buttons. I tried 2 new GFCIs and neither of them make the click sound when you push the test or reset buttons. I don't know if this makes a difference but the old GFCI was a 15 amp model, I am trying to replace it with a 20 amp model.

I did not test the bare wires for power. Where do I need to look if I do not have power when I test the bare wires?

Thanks for your help!
 
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Old 05-03-07, 06:15 AM
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Test the bare wires for power without the GFCI connected. If you have power, test the GFCI without the load wires attached.

If you have no power feeding the GFCI then you have to check further "upstream" on the circuit, perhaps all the way at the circuit breaker. What else is on this circuit?
 
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Old 05-03-07, 08:56 AM
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You might be very surprised how many people here have incorrectly asserted that they are "pretty sure that I've connected it properly". If you "did not test the bare wires for power", then I don't know how you can be "pretty sure". The only way to connect it properly is to test the wires.
 
  #7  
Old 05-03-07, 06:12 PM
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Is there a correct way to test voltage? The tester I picked up from lowes said to place one lead on the ground and the other on the live wire. I did that, no light.

Thanks
 
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Old 05-03-07, 06:47 PM
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Have you checked to see if the breaker that feeds the bathroom is tripped?

Remove everything plugged into the bathroom receptacles. Does the GFI reset now?
 
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Old 05-03-07, 06:57 PM
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The breaker is not tripped and the gfci still does not reset.
Thanks
 
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Old 05-03-07, 07:19 PM
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The GFCI will not reset because you do not have power to it. If the circuit breaker is closed (supplying power) then you have a break in the wiring somewhere between the circuit breaker and the GFCI.
 
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Old 05-03-07, 07:34 PM
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What would cause a break in the circuit? Could one of the outlets that's on the same line as the GFCI be bad. Could it be one of the electrical lines in the wall? Where should I look first?
Thanks
 
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Old 05-03-07, 07:35 PM
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Check for power between the hot wire and the neutral wire. In fact, check for power between ALL three combinations of the three wires (hot to neutral, hot to ground, and neutral to ground).
 
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Old 05-03-07, 07:56 PM
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In fact, test for voltage between every possible pair of wires in the box. Do these tests with all the wires separated individually and not connected to the device, and the breaker on. If none of them have voltage, the problem is not in this box--it's somewhere else.
 
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Old 05-03-07, 08:13 PM
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how old is your house?
do you know for a fact bath plugs are on their own circuit?
if your house is fairly new, and bath plugs are on own circuit, it can only be a few things..at the panel,in a mutlicable assembly homerun box,gfi wackiness or a broken wire.
I do reccomend getting the gfi out of the loop for the duration of trouble shooting, wirenut your color to color and go downstream and plug in a lamp.
That tester and a lamp are all you need for your basic t-shooting.
My gut says if everything else is working in you house, its one of those things above.
 
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Old 05-04-07, 05:37 AM
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Please read the responses people supply.

If you really and truly have no power to the GFCI receptacle then you must backtrack to the panel and find the problem. It could be a wire in the wall (not likely), it could be a failed connection at some other location on the circuit (more likely), it could be a problem at the circuit breaker panel (less likely), or it could be a tripped GFCI.

Check all of the other location on the circuit. Initially check with a tester without even opening the junction box, but then check inside the box.

This is not rocket science and is not difficult to diagnose. But you have to do the work.

Perhaps it would be easier if you had a little better idea how electricity works, and how circuit are wired. I strongly suggest that you do some reading. The bvook "Wiring Simplified" would be a good place to start.
 
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Old 05-07-07, 08:13 PM
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I have the gfci outlet working, but now I have a different problem. I have power on the load side of the outlet, but no power on the line side of the outlet, so all of the oulets behind the gfci do not work. I am unable to trip the gfci (does that mean a bad gfci?). Does anyone know where the problem might be?

Thanks!
 
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Old 05-07-07, 08:44 PM
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"I have power on the load side of the outlet, but no power on the line side"

Ummm... there's your problem right there. You seem to have reversed line & load. The line side should be connected to the incoming line voltage. The load goes to... well, the load (the downstream receps).

John Nelson wrote: "You might be very surprised how many people here have incorrectly asserted that they are "pretty sure that I've connected it properly"."
 
  #18  
Old 05-07-07, 08:45 PM
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Sorry I was wrong, no power from the gfci outlet, but the bare load wire has power. I turned on my cable box and everything went out, so I started testing outlets, no power. I unpluged one of my lamps and there was an amber spark, so I grabed my tester to test the outlet. I insterted the tester and then there was a blue spark and everything trurned back on.
 
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Old 05-07-07, 09:15 PM
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Yea, I really thought that I had read the instructions when I hooked the gfci up. I now have everything wired correctly. Thanks Core for pointing out my mistake. I now think that I have a short in one of my outlets. it's an outlet that we just recently started using. I'm guessing that the outlet is what keeps causing the gfci to trip. comments suggestions. I'll try to do a better job of making sure that I understand this time.
Thanks!
 
  #20  
Old 05-08-07, 04:42 AM
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While I suppose that a receptacle itself could be the cause of a problem, I doubt this is the case.

A more likely cause is that the ground wire for the receptacle is ciontacing the neutral wire, or that the neutral terminals of the receptacle itself are contacting the metal receptacle box.

If the GFCI trips with nothing plugged in then very carefully, and with the power off, open each and every box including the one with the GFCI in it and check all the connections.

However, if the GFCI does not trip until something is plugged in, then you should suspect a problem with whatever you plug in. If it happens no matter what you plug in then suspect the receptacle.
 
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Old 05-08-07, 09:21 PM
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I replaced the outlet with the short, (it look like it was starting to melt) with a new outlet and bam! everything work! I was able to trip the gfci with out any problems. Thanks to everyone for all of your help.

One last question, does anyone know why that outlet would have started to melt? Is there something else wrong?
 
  #22  
Old 05-09-07, 07:27 AM
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Not exactly sure what you mean by "short", but a high current or poor connection produces heat and heat causes melting. No mystery there. Since you have now corrected the problem, you should be okay.
 
 

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