$180 Later...Live and Learn. GFI Outlet reset

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  #1  
Old 06-16-13, 04:06 PM
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$180 Later...Live and Learn. GFCI Outlet reset

Just Fyi for anyone with not working GFI

GFCI receptacle in bathroom stopped working while flat iron being used.
Hitting reset did not help. Breaker was not popped. Resetting breaker did not
help. Installed new GFI receptacle.. still not working. Searched online for answers.... Read that using the outlet to make something hot like the iron, could have burned out the wires somewhere in the line. Worried there would be a hot live wire somewhere, got scared and called an electrician out.
He went straight into the garage, hit the reset button on the GFCI in there
and the bathroom GFCI worked. Said they're connected. (?)

That was my expensive lesson for the day.
Maybe it's new Dade County, FL code ? House was built in 1993.
 
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  #2  
Old 06-16-13, 04:20 PM
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You said GFI receptacle. Did you mean that or a receptacle on a GFI circuit ?
There should not be two GFI receptacles inline.

I'm an electrician and I run into that problem all the time. Most people have no idea what their GFI controls are even where they are. In my house I know where every receptacle is and what circuit it's on. I know what size the circuit is. I know what circuit all my lights are on. I consider that important information to have handy.

The moral of the story is...... learn how your house is wired. Go thru and check every receptacle and light and make a chart up. Do it soon so that it's available when you need it.
 
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Old 06-16-13, 04:21 PM
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Should have asked here first... could have saved the money. Thats the first thing we advise...Look for another GFCI somewhere. You should not have 2 in line though. Did he at least remove and replace the one in the bath with a regular receptacle?
 
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Old 06-16-13, 04:41 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I sure do wish I had asked here first
The receptacle in the bathroom is a GFCI (with test and reset buttons).
Isn't that what should be in a bathroom ?
Why would the builders of the house make it so you have to reset
2 GFCIs ? I'm not the original owner so maybe someone changed it.
I just checked and Yes the garage is on the same breaker as the bathroom !!
Just didn't occur to me to check for another GFCI.
Great suggestion to make a chart of which breaker works what before the next problem.
Thank you both.
 
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Old 06-16-13, 04:59 PM
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In that era.....a builder/electrician was required to supply one garage receptacle, one receptacle to every bathroom, one receptacle if there was a deck and one in the unfinished basement on a GFI circuit. So what the electrician did was to make that all one circuit and install one GFI receptacle at the closest point to the panel. Met the code and was cheap to do. The code has changed since then.

That's probably how your place is wired and someone didn't realize the receptacle in the bathroom was already GFI protected as it wasn't at that point....so they just went and installed a GFI receptacle.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 06-16-13 at 05:39 PM. Reason: spelling error
  #6  
Old 06-16-13, 05:00 PM
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My house back in VA was built in 1990. One GFCI (in the garage) protected 2 1/2 baths plus the 2 outside outlets. It was allowed back then...not now...depending on where you live.

As another example...my house here..also built in 1990, has separate GFCIs for each bath, one for the kitchen, and one for the outside outlets (those are fed from the garage).

Dunno if mine may have been added after it was built...likely..as we are pretty slow on new codes out here.
 
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Old 06-16-13, 05:28 PM
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Never know, maybe a genius home inspector said a GFI was required in the bathroom or some people think that, if I put a GFI "here" it will trip before the other one does.
 
  #8  
Old 06-16-13, 07:30 PM
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The simplest way to remedy this is to reconnect the LOAD wires in the garage GFCI to the LINE terminals. Then the two GFCIs are independent of each other. If you have additional GFCI protected receptacles, either upstream or downstream of the bathroom they too should have GFCI receptacles wired the same way, with the LINE and LOAD wires both connected to the LINE terminals.

Doing it this way offers no additional protection but it DOES limit the GFCI trips to the one supplying the load that caused it to trip.
 
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Old 06-16-13, 09:36 PM
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The simplest way to remedy this is to reconnect the LOAD wires in the garage GFCI to the LINE terminals.
That's a great quick fix if the receptacle in the bathroom is the only receptacle protected by the GFCI receptacle in the garage.

Before you simply switch the wires feeding power out of the garage receptacle to the LINE terminals, you should do several things.
  • With the power off pull the bathroom receptacle out of the wall and see if there are wires connected to the LOAD terminals on it.
  • With the power on, use a plug-in tester with a push button for testing for GFCI protection to test any and all receptacles in any bath, the kitchen, outdoors, in the crawl space, in the attic and anywhere else you can think of the see if they are wired off the GFCIs you've already found.
  • Map the circuits in your house. Sketch a floor plan, mark the receptacles, switches and lighting outlets on it, and flip breakers until you find out which circuit is feeding each one. Note that on the sketch. As PJ said,
    In my house I know where every receptacle is and what circuit it's on. I know what size the circuit is. I know what circuit all my lights are on. I consider that important information to have handy.
  • Any time you have the face plate off a wall box or a light fixture down, use a permanent marker to record the circuit # on the back of the face plate or inside the ceiling box.
 
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