Similar Bathroom Problem GFCI (metal box)

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  #1  
Old 04-02-13, 09:26 AM
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Similar Bathroom Problem GFCI (metal box)

Post sepparated from: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...utlet-fan.html

I've run a brand new 20 amp circuit with a GFCI in the main breaker box for an old bathroom in a home my son just bought. I traced back and removed the old non-grounded circuit which was tied into a light fixture. All great.
light, fan, shower light and two outlets. The three switched are all in a large combo metal box on one line and the outlets on another line, with both lines in a junction box.
All works great EXCEPT when i carefully cram all switches into the switch box.
WITH NO LOAD, GFCI breaker trips. I removed the outlets from the junction box and sure enough the problem is in the switch box.
I have not put a separate ground wire on the metal box itself. Nor have I used wire nuts for all grounds. I've never used a metal box for gfci circuit before and this seems like the flaw.
Do I have to be sure that the grounds aren't touching the metal box AND make sure a pigtail goes to a screw on the box?
Thanks, Rick (Uniontown, OH)
 

Last edited by ray2047; 04-02-13 at 09:43 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-02-13, 09:54 AM
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Nor have I used wire nuts for all grounds. I've never used a metal box for gfci circuit before and this seems like the flaw.
All connections should be wire nutted. The ground must be pigtailed to the box.

Yes the problem is in the switch box, something is touching. Is the GFCI also in the switch box? How many gangs is the switch box. Can you post a picture of the switch box with the devices pulled out but connected so we can see the wiring. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...-pictures.html

Notes: Except in special cases only the receptacles need to be protected by a GFCI.
A GFCI does not need a ground to work but crossed wires may be causing it to trip.
 
  #3  
Old 04-02-13, 10:16 AM
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Grounding connector that is bare copper has no issue with touching the metal box and it fact is what the pigtail is for. You need to make sure that it doesn't touch any screws on the receptacle when you push it back into the box.

The grounded (white) needs to be kept away and not touch.
 
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Old 04-02-13, 01:46 PM
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Diagram attached

Name:  GFCI Diagram.jpg
Views: 4095
Size:  33.1 KB - have thoughoughly checked for grounds touching screws, had switches mostly out of box checking. when completely out, circuits are operating fine. can't find any nicks, etc.
 
  #5  
Old 04-02-13, 02:30 PM
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Carefully fold the wiring into the boxes behind the devices.

A better setup would be to protect the circuit with a standard 20A breaker and use a GFCI receptacle to protect the second receptacle but not the switches, lights and fans.
 
  #6  
Old 04-02-13, 03:20 PM
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My thought was to do this setup since there was a shower light. Right in the shower, recessed and for that purpose with a sealed LED, but....
 
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Old 04-02-13, 03:37 PM
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My thought was to do this setup since there was a shower light. Right in the shower, recessed and for that purpose with a sealed LED
It does not need GFCI protection.
 
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Old 04-16-13, 11:18 AM
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Sorry to run this so long... had a death on the family. Thought I had solved this issue. Replaced the GFCI in the box with a std breaker and put the GFCI on the first outlet. All looked great, no trips ever. Everything functioned perfectly. The bathroom was finished and I went to replace the single bulb fixture on the vanity switch with a new light fixture and then the crap hit the fan again. Seems like the same issue, but weirdly enough just moving the bulb fixture out from the round box before cutting the breaker caused the shower light to go out. The switch box seems to be goofy again. The outlets which showed proper with a checker now show as hot/ground reversed and if you turn on a switch, no light, and the indicator light on the gfci dimms.
I was wondering if a faulty switch could cause this or if the cement board (which has metal sheathe sandwiched in) can cause issues.
I know this sounds way obvious what I'm about to say, but I swear I've checked these switched when pulled outside of the metal box - BUT, I did apply a little pressure on one of the switches to get the 3-gang cover over the switch poles.
Thanks,
Rick, Uniontown OH
 
  #9  
Old 04-16-13, 04:02 PM
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I went to replace the single bulb fixture on the vanity switch with a new light fixture and... just moving the bulb fixture out from the round box before cutting the breaker caused the shower light to go out.
Don't do this work with the breaker on!

If the bathroom is wired as you show in your diagram, except that there is now a GFCI receptacle in the first receptacle box after the J-box, then there should be nothing that you can do in the wall box for the vanity light that would affect anything else in the room.

Is that how everything is wired?
 
  #10  
Old 04-17-13, 06:57 AM
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Fixed it, finally.

Thanks for all advice! Found the open neutral in the junction box which made everything goofy. Bathroom is now done, with the new daughter-n-law pleased as punch with her very cheaply remodeled bathroom. Nothing like fathers and father-n-laws to save on labor costs, eh?!
[ATTACH=CONFIG]11610[/ATTACH]
 
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  #11  
Old 04-17-13, 07:03 AM
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Very nice. Thanks for letting us know the outcome.
 
  #12  
Old 04-17-13, 10:59 AM
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Nothing like fathers and father-n-laws to save on labor costs, eh?!
Yep. Been there, done that.

Glad you got it and thanks for the nice picture!
 
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