GFCI Troubleshooting Advice

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Old 12-30-07, 03:04 PM
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GFCI Troubleshooting Advice

Hi, I need some advice on how to further troubleshoot a problem with GFCI receptacle installation.

I had a problem with the existing GFCI breaker feeding my garage when attempting to install a fluorescent light over my new work bench. I replaced the GFCI breaker with a regular 20 amp breaker to resolve the light problem. Next, I installed a GFIC receptacle for ground fault protection.

The problem is nothing downstream of the GFCI receptacle has power when the reset is pushed. The GFCI receptacle itself has power which shuts off when test button is pressed.

I have done the following:
* Verified that the incoming power is connected to the LINE connectors on the receptacle.
* Using volt meter, verified 120 V on LINE side terminals. Found 0 V on LOAD side terminals when downstream circuit connected. LOAD side is 120 V when downstream circuit is disconnected.
* Inspected terminations on downstream receptacles and found no problems.

I donít know what else to check. Any advice?
 
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Old 12-30-07, 03:06 PM
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I hate to be too simplistic, but push the reset button after it is energized. Make sure you have hot and neutral on the load side of the GFCI, and make sure they are from the same cable. You may have an open neutral downstream from the GFCI, or a multi circuit, since you have energy when it is tripped. You should have 120 volts on line and load when the gfci is reset, and 0 volts on load when tripped.
 

Last edited by chandler; 12-30-07 at 03:12 PM. Reason: re-read op
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Old 12-30-07, 03:52 PM
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Chandler, Thanks for the quick response.

GFCI line side hot and neutral is from the same cable. No mix-up there. There is no multi circuit. There is no voltage present when tripped with test button except on the line side terminal connections. The voltages I mentioned in the original post is after reseting GFCI when the power was on. What is confusing to me is this circuit (and all the receptacles) was working when on the GFCI breaker. The only thing I changed was the first receptacle in the circuit.
 

Last edited by TheCivilGuy; 12-30-07 at 03:59 PM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 12-30-07, 03:58 PM
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One more question. I know you don't have energy in the gfci when tripped, except for line. Do you have any on load when it is reset? If not, you may have a bad receptacle. It happens.
 
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Old 12-30-07, 04:17 PM
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After GFCI is reset, there is no voltage on the load terminals when the downstream circuit is connected. There is voltage present on the load terminals when I disconnect the downstream circuit.
 
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Old 12-30-07, 04:31 PM
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I should have asked this first. Is the GFCI in the first receptacle hole from the breaker panel?
 
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Old 12-30-07, 05:27 PM
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It is the first in this line of receptacles (three total).

Here's how the circuit is constructed: The wire from the breaker runs first to a junction box where it feeds garage lights and a separate run of two receptacles. The problem GFCI power is fed from the garage lights power. The two receptacles that are fed from the junction upstream of the garage lights is also GFCI and it works properly controlling the downstream receptacle.
 

Last edited by TheCivilGuy; 12-30-07 at 05:32 PM. Reason: add clarity
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Old 12-30-07, 08:17 PM
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The symptoms you describe don't make perfect sense (in fact, they seem impossible). But I suggest you try a new GFCI receptacle -- maybe the one you have is bad.
 
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Old 12-31-07, 02:39 AM
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Is the garage is attached or detachated ??

the reason why i am supecting either you have bad GFCI repectale or soemthing is not right there when you describing the " run " of circuits

Merci, Marc
 
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Old 12-31-07, 09:02 AM
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Thumbs up

Problem is solved. The GFCI receptacle was defective. Replaced it with a new one and the downstream receptacles work perfectly. Thanks for the advice.
 
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