GFCI Circuit Inop

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-06-10, 04:27 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 2
GFCI Circuit Inop

I have a multiple outlet (2 Bathroom wall sockets, outside outlets, shower light) protected by one 20A GFCI Breaker. None of the fixtures on that circuit work. The Breaker isn't tripped. I figured the common denominator and replaced the GFCI Breaker and still nothing works...............what next?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 12-06-10, 05:02 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Welcome to the forums! The outside receptacles should not be on the same circuit as the bathroom receptacles. But to your question, it is likely the receptacles utilize stab back connections which are less than good. Turn the breaker off and remove the receptacles, checking them for loose wires. If stab back is used, remove the wires from the stab backs and install them under the corresponding screw.
 
  #3  
Old 12-06-10, 05:06 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,644
Are you sure there no GFCI receptacles on the circuit anywhere? They could be inside, outside, garage, attic, crawl space, or hidden and forgotten behind something.

If that is not it then it could be a connection in the last working fixture or first non-working fixture. All back stab connections moved to screws. All wire nuts replaced, not just receptacles checked but also switch box connections and light box connections checked.
 
  #4  
Old 12-06-10, 06:38 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 11,981
Originally Posted by chandler View Post
The outside receptacles should not be on the same circuit as the bathroom receptacles.
Just a friendly FYI - I had a house that was built in 1996 (That I did not wire, was not an electrician at the time ) where the bathroom, basement and outside receptacles were on the same circuit. The bathrooms being on their own is a relatively newer code.
 
  #5  
Old 12-07-10, 04:03 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Yeah, I think 1996 (?) is where a bunch of changes took place both in bathrooms and in kitchens. I remember I was taking a Residential and Commercial Wiring course at our local Tech school and the instructor was constantly bringing the "profound" changes to our attention. I guess before the changes were not so drastic.
I think that is why Ray is suggesting checking for other GFCI's since they were done that way. I went into a never occupied house (3 years old and upwards to $900k) and the double car garage had plenty of receptacles......one GFCI per receptacle!! I could have eaten lunch for a week on the excess spent.
 
  #6  
Old 12-07-10, 07:20 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,644
I think that is why Ray is suggesting checking for other GFCI's since they were done that way.
My thought was either the GFCI breaker was added after the fact to a circuit that already had GFCI receptacles or someone saw a circuit that they thought should have GFCI protection and added a GFCI receptacle not realizing there was a GFCI breaker.
 
  #7  
Old 12-07-10, 02:30 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 2
Thanks for info

House built in late 1987. All of the circuits went out at the same time and none of the mentioned outlets are individually protected. Only GFCI outlets are ones I added in kitchen after remodel, they're on a different circuit. Breaker trips and resets as advertised. Would it be likely all the outlets if stabbed went bad at once? Also the shower light? Anyone ever heard of a breaker box connection going bad? It's a Square D and has individually tabs instead of a power bar the breakers lock onto.
 
  #8  
Old 12-07-10, 02:52 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,295
Originally Posted by GaFlow View Post
Would it be likely all the outlets if stabbed went bad at once?
No, but it's probably the first one or one near the beginning of the circuit, thus taking out all of the downstream outlets also. Could be a bad stab or a wire burned off inside a wire nut.

Anyone ever heard of a breaker box connection going bad?
Sure, but you can easily inspect that by killing the main, pulling the breaker and examining the stab for burning. Also check the connection of the circuit's neutral wire at the GFCI breaker and the breaker neutral pigtail at the bus bar in the panel as that can burn off if it was loose.
 
  #9  
Old 12-07-10, 06:55 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,356
Given the age of the house I would look for one GFI that protects all those receptacles. I would look near the panel or outside or in the garage.
 
  #10  
Old 12-07-10, 07:26 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,644
Only GFCI outlets are ones I added in kitchen after remodel
More then once in this forum people have sworn there were no GFCIs only to find them 20 posts later behind a box in the garage that hasn't been moved since they moved in, or in a crawl space or.... well you get the idea. As PCboss wrote the house is new enough there is possibly of a GFCI, one you have never seen.
 
  #11  
Old 12-07-10, 09:45 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
Posts: 4,808
Check in the garage , basement , outside receptale and check behind the frezzer or other area where you normally don't use that wall or area and look for receptale some case it will be up in the ceiling in basement area {I have see it allready couple time }

take a table lamp or portable radio and see each recpetale is working once you find not working it may be a GFCI receptale and some case it pretty hard to find espcally with some older GFCI receptle may look like standard duplex receptales.

Merci.
Marc
 
  #12  
Old 12-08-10, 03:55 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Last one I found was on a front porch. Controlled outside receptacles and dining room lighting and kitchen lighting. Basements, garages, crawlspaces, porches all are prime areas for GFCIs during that time period.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'