what could be wrong with the wiring of this GFCI?

Reply

  #1  
Old 02-12-13, 08:02 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
what could be wrong with the wiring of this GFCI?

In a washroom, I have two outlets - one a GFCI and the other normal two plug receptacle. When I connect say a shaver to the GFCI - it's fine. When I connect to the plug, it trips the GFCI outlet.

I replaced the plug with a new one thinking a faulty plug could be the cause. It made no difference.

Opened the GFCI outlet and I see one white wire going from the line side to a marette with a bunch of other white wires, a hot/black wire from the load side but no white wire from the load side.

On the plug side, I only see a black/hot
and a white wire (and a ground wire) connected properly.

I turned off at the breaker panel and did not find any other receptacles that turned off. The lights and the fan in the washroom continue to work. So it does not seem to be feeding any other outlets or devices.

I have attached photos of the two plugs. Any suggestions?

Name:  DSCN2603.jpg
Views: 2866
Size:  27.1 KBName:  DSCN2602.jpg
Views: 5492
Size:  27.0 KB

Greatly appreciate your help.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 02-12-13, 08:20 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
It's tripping because of how the neutrals are connected. You need to find the neutral for the "load", the single receptacle, and place it into the correct position on the GFCI.

The GFCI looks for a balance in the current in the hot/neutral lines. The way it is wired, it can't do that. The hot line to the receptacle is drawing current (and being measured) but the GFCI is bypassed on the neutral side (not measured). It thinks there's a ground fault.

Instant trip. The GFCI is working correctly.
 
  #3  
Old 02-12-13, 10:04 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks aandpdan,

Any suggestions on how to isolate the neutral feeding the load/receptacle in the washroom from the ones that are all twisted up..

After identifying the neutral that feeds the receptacle in the washroom, what do I do with the rest neutrals - leave them as they are?

thanks
 
  #4  
Old 02-12-13, 10:27 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Any suggestions on how to isolate the neutral feeding the load/receptacle in the washroom from the ones that are all twisted up.
It will be the neutral wire in the same cable as the hot wire feeding the GFCI. With all of the wires separated and the power switched on, it will also be the only neutral that will complete the circuit and register 120V on your test meter.

what do I do with the rest neutrals
That depends on what they're doing now. Connect the hot and neutral for the second receptacle to the LOAD terminals on the GFCI. The LINE terminals need to connected to the hot feed from the panel. Any remaining pairs can be connected to LOAD, if they need protection, or to LINE if they don't.
 
  #5  
Old 02-12-13, 10:33 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 54,550
Received 508 Votes on 478 Posts
Do you have an ohmmeter ?

Turn off power to that circuit
You will need to open the white splice.
You will have 3 whites and the jumper to the GFI.
Using your ohmmeter set to Rx1 check from the white wire on the single outlet to the three white wires. One will show continuity.
That wire goes to the neutral (white) side of the GFI on the terminal UNDER that yellow label.
Put the other three white wires back together.

That should do it.
 
  #6  
Old 02-12-13, 11:15 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks Nashkat1

The panel has a separate breaker for just the washroom - which means these two receptacles (one with gfi and the other without) nothing else should be downstream from this gfi.

So, I think wiring the neutrals off the line side of the gfi should be ok.

thanks for your feedback.
 
  #7  
Old 02-12-13, 11:23 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
thanks PJmax

Nope, I don't have any meters, except for the little tester that buzzez if the wire is live..

But I understand exactly what you said - basically I need to match the wire coming from the single outlet to the piglet of white wire and determine which is the other end of it...that end then goes to the white side of the load connector on the gfi.

And the rest of the wires remain the same.

What is interesting is that with the little tester (and the circuit breaker on the panel in off) I still get buzzing or light coming on on both the gfi and the single outlet..where could the juice be coming from?
 
  #8  
Old 02-13-13, 07:44 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
I don't have any meters, except for the little tester that buzzez if the wire is live.
Useless far all but the least critical purposes. You need a cheap analog (not digital) multimeter. It will cost $8-$15 and give you information that actually means something. Want to do the job got to have the tools.
 
  #9  
Old 02-13-13, 11:43 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks Ray2047,

totally agreed...I just bought this condo and I guess, time to tool up...will do as suggested.
 
  #10  
Old 02-13-13, 12:04 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: KS
Posts: 1,896
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by desib View Post
Thanks Nashkat1

The panel has a separate breaker for just the washroom - which means these two receptacles (one with gfi and the other without) nothing else should be downstream from this gfi.

So, I think wiring the neutrals off the line side of the gfi should be ok.

thanks for your feedback.
You actually have to put the black and white wires that go to the second outlet onto the LOAD side of the GFCI (under the yellow sticker). If you connect them to the LINE side, then the second outlet will not have GFCI protection.
 
  #11  
Old 02-13-13, 02:08 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ok, got everything to work...method of elimination....we found the pair coming from the single outlet and did exactly what PJmax suggested.

Manually trip the gfi and the single outlet is off
All the tests pass.

thanks everyone...
 
  #12  
Old 02-13-13, 05:06 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
thanks JerseyMatt,
That's exactly what we ended up doing.
The trick was in finding the right neutral that was feeding the second outlet...with just the circut buzzer tester...I should really be buying an analog tester as suggested by ray2047.

With the power on the panel to on, we just tested all the neutrals and when we found an inactive one - that was the likely candidate...then we tested and of course it was the only one..
More tests and we nailed it...

Must say...my first time on this forum and very impressive with the quality of assistance/advise...thanks everyone.
 
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: