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GFCI tripped while nothing "on" except clock, receptacle outlets don't work

GFCI tripped while nothing "on" except clock, receptacle outlets don't work

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Old 06-21-11, 11:14 AM
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GFCI tripped while nothing "on" except clock, receptacle outlets don't work

GFCI tripped while nothing "on" except clock, receptacle outlets don't work in room, but the overhead light does. the gfci outlet has a green light indicator, but neither test nor reset button will work, light stays off. I unplugged all appliances from all outlets to no avail. This is a bedroom with 3 outlets, one has the lighted gfci which is supposed to trip for the whole room. We had this installed last year and have had no trouble till now. I read the sticky about testing dead receptacles and went down and looked at the breaker box -- but wouldn't the light not work if it had tripped the breaker box? Our breaker box is not labeled so I don't know which to trip, they all appear and feel untripped. So I haven't tripped any breakers, thought I would check online before. that is where my knowledge of electricity ends.

The items that were plugged into that circuit include a large plasma tv, x-box, a bluray dvd player - all of those are in one outlet on a power strip. Maybe that isn't smart? I did it that way because I have them in a child safety protector for the power strip and there was no other child safe way to do it. Anyhow, it has been that way for months without tripping anything.

Then, in a different outlet we have an old alarm clock and a 'touch' 3-way lamp. Nothing but the clock was 'on' when it must have tripped as no one was in the room. Immediately prior I turned off the tv and x-box which had been on all morning.

All of the other rooms have power, all other rooms have their own gfci circuit. I have not been out to the garage and I know there is some sort of power out there.
 
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Old 06-21-11, 11:25 AM
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Try it without the touch lamp plugged in. I have seen those confuse GFCI receptacles.

After that, try it with everything else unplugged (not just off, but unplugged) to see if it's a problem with the receptacle and wiring or with an appliance.
 
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Old 06-21-11, 12:27 PM
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I unplugged everything and it still won't reset. Additionally I ran an extension cord from another green gfci outlet and tried the electronics one at a time, and all work and none set off the other gfci. However, I did find an outlet in another room that is also not working, must be on the same circuit. everything else in that room is still working.
 
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Old 06-21-11, 06:27 PM
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This is a bedroom with 3 outlets, one has the lighted gfci which is supposed to trip for the whole room. We had this installed last year and have had no trouble till now.
Why would you want GFCI protection on bedroom outlets? If anything, you could have installed a AFCI device, but I wouldn't. I think I would have left the circuit on a regular circuit breaker.
 
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Old 06-21-11, 06:31 PM
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If neither the test or reset buttons work and the light is OFF, you may have lost power to the outlet. Check the circuit breaker or the last outlet that feeds it.
 
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Old 06-21-11, 07:33 PM
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We had this installed last year and have had no trouble till now.
This tells me the receptacle has locked itself out. You need a new receptacle. Levitons seem to lock themselves out more often than any other companies.
 
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Old 06-21-11, 08:33 PM
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because we don't know the difference. we were having other electric work done and wanted child safety as none of our outlets were grounded.
 
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Old 06-21-11, 09:13 PM
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because we don't know the difference. we were having other electric work done and wanted child safety as none of our outlets were grounded.
Tamper-resistant receptacles would be a good investment, and the nec 2008 requires them.
 
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Old 06-22-11, 12:53 PM
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GFCI is an appropriate protection on ungrounded circuits. For child safety you could also install or have someone install TR receptacles as Justin mentioned. TRs have a system of shutters built in that make it much more difficult for a child to stick something into the receptacle.

There are four possibilities for what's wrong.

1) The breaker is actually tripped and just doesn't look like it. Since you don't know which one it is, try flipping them all completely to the off position then completely back to the on position. You may need a decent amount of force to flip them. You'll have to reset some clocks, but it's an easy test.

2) There is a loose, broken or burned off wire in the circuit that feeds the dead GFCI receptacle. These can be pretty easy to repair, but tedious to find. It requires opening up all of the device boxes on this circuit and checking and remaking connections until you find the bad one(s). It is often at the first non-working or last working receptacle on the circuit. I would start at the GFCI and work my way back toward the panel.

3) The GFCI receptacle itself is faulty, damaged, etc. This is a pretty straightforward replacement if it is the problem. A new GFCI is about $15.

4) There is an actual ground fault in the wiring of this circuit. Perhaps some moisture got into an electrical box, a wire hit by a nail (picture hanging, new siding), or rodents chewed a wire.
 
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