GFCI - Downstream Receptacles only 50 V

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  #1  
Old 12-28-13, 03:30 PM
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GFCI - Downstream Receptacles only 50 V

My GFCI was tripping every one to two weeks (I suspect by a compact fridge on the downstream circuit). I would reset and things would work fine. Now the fridge is inoperable and downstream receptacles are showing about 50 to 55 V according to my multimeter, though the outlets on the GFCI receptacle show the full 120 V. The indicator light is not illuminated. I removed the fridge from the circuit (it was the only item) and no luck with resets. Any thoughts on a fix? Simple GFCI replacement? Thanks.

-Tom
 
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  #2  
Old 12-28-13, 03:45 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I find the indicators all but useless. When you install them for a living..... some have a red light, some have a green light, some lights come on when GFI is normal, some come on when it trips and some come on when GFI is defective.

Try checking the voltage from the small slot to ground. The GFI may trip depending on the meter you use. Also check from the large slot to ground.

I would doubt the GFI receptacle is defective.
 
  #3  
Old 12-28-13, 04:22 PM
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Double check to be sure that the live power feed for this GFCI receptacle is connected to the GFCI terminals labeled "line." Cables connected to downstream receptacles to be GFCI protectedl are connected to the GFCI terminals labeled "load."

Something is definitely wrong (probably a wiring mistake) if the GFCI receptacle itself has a different voltage from other receptacles that GFCI also protects.
 
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Old 12-28-13, 04:57 PM
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Good questions, so here's some additional info:

GFCI receptacle:
small to large slot = 120V
small to ground = 120V
large to ground = 0V

downstream receptacles:
small to large slot = ~51V
small to ground = 120V
large to ground = ~56V

T
 
  #5  
Old 12-28-13, 05:21 PM
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The 56v from the large slot to ground tells us that you have an open neutral. It should be 0v.
 
  #6  
Old 12-28-13, 05:21 PM
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downstream receptacles:
small to large slot = ~51V
small to ground = 120V

large to ground = ~56V
Classic example of lost neutral. You need to double check all connections.

If you are using a digital multimeter the readings below 90 volts are probably just induced voltages.
 
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Old 12-28-13, 06:23 PM
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You know you have hot to ground - 120 volts. You also know you only have hot to neutral - 51 volts.

The 56v from the large slot to ground tells us that you have an open neutral.
I agree with PJ, you have an open/loose neutral connection after the GFCI device and before the downstream receptacles. I've seen this happen many times.
 
  #8  
Old 12-29-13, 05:29 AM
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Great! Thanks everyone-- will check it out and see what I can find.
 
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