Wires are hot but new GFCI won't work, what gives?

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  #1  
Old 10-28-13, 11:43 PM
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Wires are hot but new GFCI won't work, what gives?

Here's my situation, I'm doing a kitchen remodel. I have 5 kitchen counter outlets on a 20amp circuit. I am running 5 separate 12/2 lines that are spliced all into one at the junction box in the attic.

Then, I have another 20 amp circuit for the kitchen counter outlets with one dedicated 12/2 line for 1 outlet.

I have voltage tested each line individually and they are all reading at 120V and are live. I have taken 3 new GFI's (15 amp, ) out of a 3 pack and have tried each one of them on the lines, and I can't get one to turn on/work. I put put the black wire into the "hot" line , and the the white wire into where it says white on the back and then put the ground in the green screw. I do not plug them into where the tape covers the area which is the "load" slots.

I have been messing around trying to get this to work for 3 hours and it is driving me crazy. Why won't the GFI's turn on? These are the ones I bought

Leviton SmartLockPro 15 Amp Slim GFCI Duplex Outlet (3-Pack) - White-M02-N7599-03W at The Home Depot
 
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  #2  
Old 10-29-13, 12:14 AM
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To provide more information, I have an old GE panel that uses tandem breakers, but I have other gfcis in 2 bathrooms with no problem so I dont think the tandem breaker is an issue. I have not tried to have all gfcis on the same circuit/breaker hooked up at once. Do I need to have all the gfcis (5) connected at once for it to work? I did try the gfci with the circuit that has just 1line for an outlet but that one didnt work either
 
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Old 10-29-13, 02:19 AM
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Do I need to have all the gfcis (5) connected at once for it to work?
No. The tandems are not the issue either.

Everything you did sounds right. So let's check something wildly unusual. That somewhere blacks, whites and grounds got mixed up. Run a three prong extension cord from a working GFCI receptacle to the kitchen. Set your analog meter to AC volts, 250 volt range or greater. Clear out the kids, have an adult stand guard and turn on the breakers.

1. Test from the kitchen ground wire to the extension cord ground. It should read zero volts.

2. Test neutral wire to the bigger slot. If nothing is plugged in to either circuit, it should also read zero volts.

3. Test black wire to the smaller slot. It should read 0(same leg) or 240(opposite leg) volts.

A solid 120 or 240 on tests 1 or 2, or 120 on test 3, means someone, somewhere, connected the wiring wrong.
 
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Old 10-29-13, 03:00 AM
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Since you are getting voltage to each set of wires,hopefully tested with an analog multimeter, I would bypass the extension cord testing thingy. I also have bought 3 packs of GFCI's where two were not good, so it is highly likely you have the same thing. Why would you spider the cables to the individual locations? That will mean you will need a GFCI at each location. A simpler solution, and probably more cost efficient than 5 GFCI's is to purchase a GFCI breaker for that circuit. GFCI's will run a minimum of $15 x 5 =$75, wile a GFCI breaker will probably not be more than $40 or so.
 
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Old 10-29-13, 04:31 AM
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I have an old style system and prefer to just run the individual gfcis. Regardless, its not the gfcis that are defective. I have tested 5 of them. Do I need all of the gfcis installed on the 5 line splice at one time for the gfis to turn on? Because as stated I cannot figure out why it wont work when theoretically it appears ive done everything right.

If I switch the black and white wire and its not the answer doesn't that blow the gfi?
 
  #6  
Old 10-29-13, 04:58 AM
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Furthermore, I tested a standard 120v outlet on the lines and it works perfectly fine on all of them. The black goes goes into the hot and the white in the white slot...so I dont think the hot line is reversed , so I can't understsnd for the lofe of me why these gfis wont turn on.
 
  #7  
Old 10-29-13, 05:51 AM
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Haha I am so stupid. I didn't hit the reset button hard enough till it clicked. All is good thanks for the help
 
  #8  
Old 10-29-13, 07:29 AM
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Thanks for letting us know the final solution. It may help someone else.
 
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