Testing GFCI outlets

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Old 10-30-08, 06:15 PM
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Testing GFCI outlets

I have a completely new bathroom circuit with a GFCI outlet. The test button works fine, but when I plug in my GFCI tester, it does not trip the outlet. I went out and bought another tester. This one does trip the outlet, but it does not trip the next outlet downstream. What is going on here?

It is a very simple circuit. The line in is connected to the power. The LOAD side of the GFCI goes to a switch. The switch goes to another outlet. This outlet is actually going to be a fan/light above the tub area so it needs to be GFCI protected. I temporarily have a regular outlet connected to test the GFCI downstream.
 
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Old 10-30-08, 06:23 PM
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If the internal test button trips the GFCI, but the external tester does not, then the grounding connection on the GFCI is not good. The GFCI, however, is still providing ground fault protection even though the external tester does not show it.

If you trip the GFCI, either with an internal or external tester, and the downstream outlets do not lose power, then you wired the GFCI incorrectly, possibly reversing the line and load, or possibly the downstream outlet is not really connected to the load side of the GFCI.

Review carefully all the fine print that came with the GFCI and make sure you have it correctly wired.
 
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Old 10-31-08, 05:12 AM
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I bought anothet GFCI outlet (the exact same brand/model) and got the exact same results.

I'm sure I have everything wired properly - there are only a few connections.

So, it wouldn't have anything to do with the "sensitivity" of the GFCI? Maybe I should try buying a different brand, or maybe a 15A instead of 20A?
 
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Old 10-31-08, 07:53 AM
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How did you determine which wires were LINE and which wires were LOAD?

Tell me about your grounding wires.

No, a 15-amp vs. 20-amp GFCI would make no difference. And all GFCIs have the same sensitivity.

It's almost certain that you made a wiring mistake. Keep your focus there.
 
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Old 10-31-08, 03:46 PM
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Thumbs up All good now

Thanks, John.
Did what you said and focused on the ground wires. Apparently, I was relying on the outlet yokes and the metal box to complete the ground between the two items in the box. I had the power grounded to the gfci outlet. Then I pigtailed the load wires to the switch. I figured everything would be grounded together because of the metal box, yokes, screws. I guess I figured wrong.
 
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Old 10-31-08, 04:07 PM
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You have at least two problems. Grounding is only one of them. Go back to my previous post and answer the question therein.
 
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Old 10-31-08, 05:11 PM
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Smile You lost me

Everything seems to be good now.

You said - "If the internal test button trips the GFCI, but the external tester does not, then the grounding connection on the GFCI is not good. The GFCI, however, is still providing ground fault protection even though the external tester does not show it."
Both the internal and the external test trip the GFCI.

You said - "If you trip the GFCI, either with an internal or external tester, and the downstream outlets do not lose power, then you wired the GFCI incorrectly, possibly reversing the line and load, or possibly the downstream outlet is not really connected to the load side of the GFCI."
I can now trip the GFCI outlet and the downsteam outlet using the tester. When the GFCI is tripped, ALL power is cut off.
 
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Old 10-31-08, 06:16 PM
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Sounds like you're good to go. But I'm a bit worried that you may still have an intermittent problem, possibly due to a bit of poor workmanship somewhere.
 
 

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