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Swapped out receptacle with GFCI now entire circuit is dead

Swapped out receptacle with GFCI now entire circuit is dead

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  #1  
Old 03-12-12, 07:22 AM
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Swapped out receptacle with GFCI now entire circuit is dead

I was doing some work in my master bathroom upstairs where there was an existing light switch/ fan switch (over-under) and receptacle in one junction box. It was in no way ideal for my wife who uses the plug daily for hair dryer, curling iron, etc. Given that the existing receptacle was not GFCI protected it was a priority for me to replace it with one. While replacing I added a single junction box and located the GFCI there. So I wired up the new outlet and tested it with a Analog Multimeter GFCI Receptacle Tester and it showed two orange lights meaning it was wired correctly. When I tested the GFCI using the test button on tester the reset switch on the GFCI tripped but the breaker did not. I then tried to reset the GFCI and it would not allow me to. I proceeded down to the panel and the breaker did not trip. After some investigation I discovered that none of the outlets on this breaker now work.
On this 15 amp circuit are three receptacles in the garage for the two garage-door openers and one double duplex wall outlet, one exterior duplex GFCI at our front porch, one GFCI duplex at our first floor powder room, one GFCI duplex at a second floor bathroom, and finally the one GFCI duplex at the master. Prior to me swithing out for the GFCI in the master all other outlets worked just fine.
I have since replaced the breaker in the panel thinking it was faulty and that is not the case. When I replaced the breaker it did not trip and remained in the one position but all of the plugs are still not energized. In the panel there is only one black wiring going to the breaker so all of the rooms have to be wired in sequence, right? Is it possible that the wire from the panel to the first receptacle has shorted out causing all the outlets further down the line to be without power? Maybe when I pulled the wire from the existing junction box (with the over under switch and non-GFCI receptacle) to the new junction box maybe I damaged the wire?
I disconnected the GFCI in the master and tried the breaker again and all outlets still have no power.
I am at a loss and short of rewiring it all I don't know where to start.
Thanks for any insights!
 
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  #2  
Old 03-12-12, 07:32 AM
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Dead Circuit

Look for another tripped GFCI receptacle on this circuit. May be the the one closest to the service panel.
 
  #3  
Old 03-12-12, 07:44 AM
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Okay. That would mean that the first GFCI has the feed from the panel coming in on the 'line' terminals and the wire going to the remainder of the circuit on the load terminals. Right? That would only kill the receptacle down-stream of this GFCI right? IF there was a receptacle before this GFCI on the ciruit it should be live?
 
  #4  
Old 03-12-12, 08:22 AM
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Correct, a tripped GFI will only stop power on the downstream side, not upstream.
 
  #5  
Old 03-12-12, 08:32 AM
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Given that I have all these GFCI's on one circuit. Would it make sense to simply install a GFCI breaker in the panel and eliminate at each location? The other factor that adds some complexity is that the breaker is a Square D tandem side-by-side, with a left right. I have never come across a side-by-side GFCI breaker. I do have an open circuit in the panel that I could relocate the circuit sharing the breaker. Or am I just complicating things? I thought I read somewhere that having multiple GFCI on a circuit might cause some interference, where they were fighting with each other and possible causing each other to trip?
 
  #6  
Old 03-12-12, 08:47 AM
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Very often multiple GFCIs will not play well together. All you need is one as the first on the line after the panel.

My place in VA was wired similar to yours IIRC. Powder room, 2 bathrooms, 2 exterior outlets and garage were all on one circuit. Garage was where the GFCI was located. PITA when it tripped and you were in the upstairs master bath.

Wouldn't even be allowed today I don't think.
 
  #7  
Old 03-14-12, 08:40 AM
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Located the offender

As suspected the GFI in the first floor powder room had tripped. This receptacle must be the first in the branch circuit. I was surprised that the plugs in the garage are located after this GFI as the main panel is located in the garage. Logic would have them coming right off the panel but we all know how far logic will get you sometimes.
Thanks for the help!
 
  #8  
Old 03-14-12, 10:02 AM
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Actually....that's a better arrangement than mine was. Where would you rather go to reset it if all you had was a towel wrapped around you? The garage (which might be cold or the door open) or a first floor 1/2 bath?
 
  #9  
Old 03-15-12, 10:55 AM
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You could wire this so that each GFI is a standalone and would not affect the downstream receptacles.
 
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