GFI keeps tripping under no load...

Reply

  #1  
Old 02-10-12, 05:13 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
GFI keeps tripping under no load...

Iv'e got a GFI circuit tripping with nothing pulling from the circuit... has worked for 7 years now. I haven't added any new appliances or anything to it and it was working this morning. The GFI covers an outlet in the garage, two outside, and one in the unfinished portion of my basement that the water softener plugs into.

Thanks in advance!!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 02-10-12, 06:13 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
First disconnect the cable on the load side and see if it still trips with only power to the line side.
 
  #3  
Old 02-10-12, 07:39 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 10,239
Received 40 Votes on 32 Posts
Ray, it sounds to me like a GFI breaker and not a GFI receptacle, but the OP doesn't specify which.

Iv'e got a GFI circuit tripping with nothing pulling from the circuit
I'd suggest reviewing what is on the circuit and also checking the load with a clamp type meter (Amprobe). How much current is being drawn on this circuit when the breaker trips? It could just be a bad GFI breaker, but they can be tested if the electrician has the right equipment.
 
  #4  
Old 02-10-12, 08:25 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yeah, it is a GFI outlet and not in the box. I just replaced the GFI outlet with a new one, but its still occurring.
 
  #5  
Old 02-10-12, 08:33 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Oh, and Ray, I disconnected both of the load lines, and it did not trip... so (bearing in mind I'm not an electrician and am a beginner DIY'er at best) I'm going to try and determine which outlet it is by disconnecting one of the loads, testing, and then the other if neccessary.

lets say I narrow it down to which recepticle.. then what? Open up that outlet box (both outside by the way) and make sure they're dry?
 
  #6  
Old 02-10-12, 08:46 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Alright so I figured out which load it was... it was the load that goes to my lamp post outside, and an outside outlet that is covered at our front door and has almost never been used... I don't really know where to go from here to determine which of the two it is, but I think I should be able to follow the wires in the basement to see where it goes to first. ..

any ideas what I should be looking for?
 
  #7  
Old 02-10-12, 09:12 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
My first guess would be the underground cable feeding the light. If you can find where the light cable begins disconnect it there and see if that eliminates the problem. If so it is either the light or the cable. You can disconnect the cable at the light to see if it is the light. I'd guess the light is connected at the outside porch receptacle you mentioned if it has two cables in the box.
 
  #8  
Old 02-10-12, 09:22 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 10,239
Received 40 Votes on 32 Posts
Yeah, it is a GFI outlet and not in the box
Then you don't have a GFI circuit. Follow ray's advice, he's on top of it.
 
  #9  
Old 02-10-12, 09:45 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ray, I figured the same thing... I opened the recepticle on the front porch and there was only one set of lines in it, so I have to assume that means its running to the lamp, and then to the porch?? I disconnected (and busted the outlet and my knuckles) the front porch outlet, and just left the wires unconnected... powered back up, and I can literally count to 4 and then click with that circuit on. And the lamp post comes on during that 4 seconds too...

Do I replace the front porch recepticle?... If it were a problem with the line running to the lamp post, would it still come on? Thanks a bunch ray and everyone else...

I'm the FNG playing trial and error...
 
  #10  
Old 02-10-12, 09:48 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
One more seperate but related question... has anyone seen or heard of gfi's that have an audible alarm when tripped? I only ask because the GFI for this circuit is behind our second fridge in the garage, so you don't see the red light unless you're looking for it, and its not practical to move the fridge... if there were an audible alarm or beeping I'd hear it the first time I went into the garage. I lost a freezer full of deer meat last spring when my wife cut an extension cord in half with the electric hedge trimmers that it was powering... no ****.
 
  #11  
Old 02-10-12, 10:45 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Ray, I figured the same thing... I opened the recepticle on the front porch and there was only one set of lines in it, so I have to assume that means its running to the lamp, and then to the porch??
It would seem a strange way to wire it. Normally runs are made to use as little cable as possible

Check the cable(s) into the light. Is there one cable or two. If only one then that rules out the porch receptacle. Also is the cable at the light UF or NM-b?
 
  #12  
Old 02-12-12, 07:14 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ray,
I thought so too. That being said, should I consider replacing the receptical outlet and trying ?? I'm not really sure how to get into the lamp post to check how many wires are going into it.
 
  #13  
Old 02-12-12, 08:57 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
The top of the lamp should come off the post. Be sure power is off at the breaker before trying to remove it. May be held by a screw or two. If you don't see any way post a couple of pictures. Maybe someone will see a way. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html
 
  #14  
Old 02-12-12, 12:13 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Checked it out... theres only one line going in there, so I don't know quite what to think now? There is a box on the front of the house that looks like it should be an outlet, but theres just a solid cover over the top of it, and its positioned in between the two? Would it split from there? Should I consider just replacing the receptacle on the porch and seeing if that would help.

If it were a problem with the lamp post, would the lamp still turn on for that few seconds before the gfi trips?? thanks.

If its helpful for me to take pictures, I could do that. Thanks agian.

Mike
 
  #15  
Old 02-12-12, 01:29 PM
Justin Smith's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cressona, Pa, USA
Posts: 2,546
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
There is a box on the front of the house that looks like it should be an outlet, but theres just a solid cover over the top of it, and its positioned in between the two? Would it split from there?

That seems like it may be your spot.

I'd still replace it, although it's not the problem. The new one needs to be listed weather-resistant and have an in-use cover.

If it were a problem with the lamp post, would the lamp still turn on for that few seconds before the gfi trips?? thanks.

It might be the problem. Just becuase it turns on doesn't mean there's not a problem.
 
  #16  
Old 02-12-12, 03:01 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
What kind of cable at the lamp or is it conduit. If they used NM-b (AKA Romex) instead of UF that might be your problem.

If the Jbox with the blank cover has a splice in it undo it and see if the light still works. If the light doesn't work and the circuit no longer trips you have narrowed down the source of your problem.

Should I consider just replacing the receptacle on the porch and seeing if that would help
I doubt that is the problem. I would test out the light first. It or its cable seems the more likely cause.
 
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
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: