GFI problem

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Old 05-24-09, 08:40 PM
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GFI problem

Hi folks. My first time on this forum. Looks like there are some very knowledgeable people here.

I have been doing home re-wiring and upgrading for years but every now and then I come up with something I can't figure out. This is one of those times.

I tapped into a 20 amp circuit at a junction box that had a ceramic light with an outlet in it. It also had 3 other outlets feeding off it that were in other rooms. I placed a GFCI outlet to the box and added a 4th outlet in yet and other room. None of the outlets have only an occasional load on any of them, very rarely at the same time.

My problem - when all the wiring is put together (black to black, white to white, ground to ground) coming off the load side of the GFCI the circuit will not open at the GFCI. It trips as soon as I reset the main breaker. I have taken all the wires off the GFCI and tried each branch outlet alone and each one works through the GFCI outlet just fine but when I put them all back on the GFCI trips.

I am stumped!!!!

Any help will be greatly appreciated. If you need more detail just let me know.
 
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Old 05-24-09, 09:09 PM
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the circuit will not open at the GFCI.
I don't understand. What do you mean? Is the light on a switch? If so it sounds like you mis-wired it. If there is a switch and the power comes in at the light then all whites don't go together. One of the whites carries power to the switch. Tell us all the wires for each cable at the light and switch.
 
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Old 05-24-09, 09:11 PM
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Your report was not specific enough.

Note that GFCIs don't trip until you put a load on them. So when you tried each branch outlet one at a time, did you put a load on that branch outlet?

Note also that not all white wires are neutrals.

Can you tell us the age of the house?
 
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Old 05-24-09, 10:01 PM
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I took the light out and replaced it with the GFI. The circuit runs from the breaker box to the junction box where the GFI has been placed. All wires in the 4 rooms come together at the GFI and connect on the out going terminals of the GFI through a jumper connected by screw on caps. Every time I tried just one branch circuit connected to out going terminals of the GFI and I would put power to the GFI and it would work just fine. I would reset the GFI and the down stream circuit works. When I wired all down stream circuits to the out going terminals of the GFI and re energized the circuit at the breaker box the GFI would trip off and nothing down stream would work. This house was built in the mid 60's. It has a 100 amp main breaker with mains and the circuit in question Is wired with 12-2 with ground wire all the way to the GFI and beyond.

Hope this helps. I have to hit the rack now. Will check back in the morning.
 
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Old 05-25-09, 06:59 AM
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But you haven't told us if there was previously a switch and all the wires in the box. Is there just 5 cables in the box or more?
and connect on the out going terminals of the GFI
Do you mean load side?

Another possible problem on this setup is box fill.
 
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Old 05-25-09, 07:28 AM
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There was no external switch, it had a pull chain on the light fixture. There is just 5 cables coming into the box. The main cable from the breaker panel going into the GFI and 4 cables coming after the GFI ( load side ).
 
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Old 05-26-09, 10:01 AM
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I realize that my question was posted on a holiday weekend but I really thought someone would be able to supply me with an answer. This board looked like it really had it together with lots of knowledgeable people. But what do I get? Lots of replies telling me I didn't supply enough information and that it looks like I did it all wrong.

Guess what folks? I checked with an electrician friend today, who was not available over the weekend. I gave him exactly the same information I supplied you in my first post and he gave me the solution, and he didn't need any more information then just that.

I think this smiley says it all!!!

To say that I am disappointed is really an understatement.
 
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Old 05-26-09, 10:39 AM
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So what was the solution so we will know next time?
 
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Old 05-26-09, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Dougwh View Post
I realize that my question was posted on a holiday weekend but I really thought someone would be able to supply me with an answer. This board looked like it really had it together with lots of knowledgeable people. But what do I get? Lots of replies telling me I didn't supply enough information and that it looks like I did it all wrong.

Guess what folks? I checked with an electrician friend today, who was not available over the weekend. I gave him exactly the same information I supplied you in my first post and he gave me the solution, and he didn't need any more information then just that.

I think this smiley says it all!!!

To say that I am disappointed is really an understatement.
Well you will have to understand why some of our members here are very thru with details they want to make sure they are following the correct step to prevent a serious screw up.

I allready did see some infomation worst than that what you gave us.

For me it was a simple answer you got line and load crisscrossed that why the GFCI malfunction and all the new GFCI are line / load reveral protection which it mean if you get one of the line and load conductor reversed it will shut off the GFCI for your potection.

Second thing is that you may have issue with box fill I do not know if you have standard octal box or deepwell box verison.

Some of the members here is electrician here including myself so we try to give you the best answer as possible in safe manner we are not harsh with anything as we are doing the job in right way.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 05-26-09, 11:01 AM
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In my post I ask you what you meant by "out going side" and ask if you meant load? If in fact that is what you did wrong then we did give you the answer you just didn't recognize it.
Quote:
and connect on the out going terminals of the GFI
Do you mean load side?
 
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