GFCI Problem

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  #1  
Old 12-19-12, 06:31 PM
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GFCI Problem

Please help, today while plugging in my christmas lights (have worked for the past week and a half) I heard a click on the outside outlet (120v). While this outlet does not have your typical GFCI receiver setup with the "test/reset' buttons, it is apparently hooked up to the garage GFCI Receiver that is equipped with such buttons. The garage outlet "reset" button is stuck in the out "tripped"position, and when I push it in, it pops right back out. When I let it "snap back out" the power comes on for a split second and turns off again. All the other outlets in the house are working fine, GFCIs included. I checked the main breaker, and nothing is tripped or off. The christmas lights are short 150-200 strand, with approximately 2 strands (3 max) per receiver (totaling maybe 6-7 light sets) so i know its not excessive. My question is, is it possible the GFCI receiver is bad, and just a quick replacement will get the outlet back up and running, or is it possible I have something more complicated that might require an electrician? Thank you for your time.... if you need more info please let me know...

Summary:

2-3 light sets per "reciever", 1-2 per socket, 2 receivers total, with 6-7 light sets in all.... plugging in outside, i hear a click (non traditional GFCI setup "trip/reset" buttons, but connected to garage circuit. Reset button on garage GFCI is stuck in tripped position. wont reset. when it trips back out power comes on for a split second, goes off... have diagnosed with simple steps... looking for possibilities.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-19-12, 06:55 PM
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My question is, is it possible the GFCI receiver is bad, and just a quick replacement will get the outlet back up and running, or is it possible I have something more complicated that might require an electrician?
Have you tried unplugging all Christmas lights from that receptacle and then resetting it? You could have something as simple as a bad GFCI receptacle or lights that have a fault. It doesn't sound like an issue serious enough to call an electrician at this point.
 
  #3  
Old 12-19-12, 06:56 PM
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Unplug every thing and see if it will reset. If not open the box and disconnect the load side of the GFCI. If it still won't reset install a new one.

Just a couple of misconceptions you have. It is a GFCI receptacle not receiver and it isn't tripped by excessive load. It is tripped by current leakage between hot and neutral.
 
  #4  
Old 12-19-12, 07:14 PM
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Ok thanks for the fast replies, when Doing the "testing" trying to "reset" the GFCI nothing was plugged in in any of those two outlets, but the "reset" button just springs right back out. I later tried it with the lights in to see if it would at least come on at all while pushing the reset button, and as the button popped back out, the lights would come on for a split second, then shut off... ill open the box tomorrow, its getting late.... thanks gentlemen for your quick replies and corrections to my ignorance.... i took a few electric and circuitry classes in HS (12 years ago) but i have forgotten a lot... but i dont mind getting my hands dirty (or shocked) for that matter...lol
 
  #5  
Old 12-19-12, 09:51 PM
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Since you heard something in the outside box, I'd look there first after killing the power.
 
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