Breaker keeps tripping

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  #1  
Old 12-26-10, 11:18 AM
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Cool Breaker keeps tripping

I'm having a problem with a 15 amp breaker that feeds two outdoor outlet boxes. The first box has a GFI outlet, the second box does not. The second, non GFI outlet, has gotten wet from recent rain and has tripped the breaker. In the past, I simply waited for the outlet to dry and reset the breaker. But now the breaker does not reset, it will not fully click to the "on" position.
I checked the GFI outlet and reset the test button, but that hasn't helped.
Any ideas? Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 12-26-10, 11:23 AM
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Welcome to the forums! How is the second one wired? If it leaves the GFCI, you should have it on the Load side to protect it. If not, you should have either the last one on its own GFCI, or better, yet, the entire circuit on a GFCI breaker. Remove the receptacle and cap the wires. See if the breaker resets. If so, replace the receptacle with a GFCI and an In use cover. Do the cover thing on the first GFCI, as well. If there is no power to the GFCI (breaker tripped) you can't reset the GFCI.
 
  #3  
Old 12-26-10, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by robbyc View Post
I'm having a problem with a 15 amp breaker that feeds two outdoor outlet boxes. The first box has a GFI outlet, the second box does not. The second, non GFI outlet, has gotten wet from recent rain and has tripped the breaker.
This needs to get addressed, too. You need a new, in-use cover if the receptacle is getting wet.
Originally Posted by robbyc View Post
But now the breaker does not reset, it will not fully click to the "on" position.
It seems like you need a new breaker. I would also like to suggest a gfi breaker.
 
  #4  
Old 12-26-10, 11:48 AM
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Yes, the second one leaves the GFI. How do I know if it is wired to the "Load" side? I plan on replacing the second outlet with a GFI and install an in use cover.
 
  #5  
Old 12-26-10, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by robbyc View Post
Yes, the second one leaves the GFI. How do I know if it is wired to the "Load" side? I plan on replacing the second outlet with a GFI and install an in use cover.
The GFCI will be marked line and load. The line side will be power in. A test light or multimeter will show 120v across the black and white of that cable when disconnected from the GFCI. The other cable when disconnected should show 0 volts. It goes to the second receptacle. That cable should be on the load side. You do not need a second GFCI.

First though you need to check if it is a bad breaker. Turn the main power off, remove the wire from the breaker, turn the main breaker on then try the problem breaker. If it still won't reset you have a bad breaker.

If it does reset turn the main breaker off again and reconnect the breaker. Disconnect the wires at the GFCI and separate so they don't touch each other or anythin else. Turn the main breaker back on. If the problem breaker still resets you know the problem is probably the GFCI or wiring in one of the receptacle boxes. If it now won't reset it is probably the buried cable.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 12-26-10 at 01:38 PM.
  #6  
Old 12-26-10, 01:28 PM
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Would it not work as a test to press the test button on the GFCI and then see if the breaker resets? Would that not take the second outlet out of the equation?
 
  #7  
Old 12-26-10, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by badeyeben View Post
Would it not work as a test to press the test button on the GFCI and then see if the breaker resets? Would that not take the second outlet out of the equation?
How could the gfi trip when there is no power to trip it?
 
  #8  
Old 12-26-10, 04:01 PM
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Yes, I see where it says Load and to wire second outlet there.

Okay, so I disconnected the outlets and the breaker reset. I hooked the GFCI outlet back and everything is working!

Many thanks for all the help.
 
  #9  
Old 12-26-10, 04:12 PM
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Good. You'll need to keep an eye on it but it may have just been a misplaced wire touching another. When you reinstalled it no longer touched. Thank you for letting us know it is fixed.
 
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