GFCI Trips When I Change Light Bulb???


Old 01-08-13, 07:33 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: USA
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GFCI Trips When I Change Light Bulb???

Hi -

In the basement of the home we just purchased, there is a series of wall outlets wired all on the same circuit - one outlet in the run is a GFCI. From there, the line goes into a switch box. These 6 switches control various lights wired in series throughout the basement.

Tonight, I went to remove the still working light bulb from one light fixture at the end of the run (wire into the light fixture box, but none out as last in series). When I did so, the said GFCI wall outlet tripped and all the lights in the basement went out. I screwed the bulb back in and the GFCI reset/lights came back on. Unscrewed it, tripped again.

I'm stumped. What is this telling me? Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-08-13, 07:45 PM
PJmax's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NJ - USA
Posts: 43,460
First thing it's telling you is that the lights shouldn't be on the GFI.
The second thing it may be telling you that something in that socket is touching the box.
Old 01-08-13, 10:02 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Three things:
  1. The supply for the lights should not be GFCI protected, as PJ said;
  2. Something is causing a ground fault in that fixture when you move the lamp to change it as PJ said; and
  3. You should always turn the power off, wash your hands, and hold the new lamp with a cloth when changing one.

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