GFCI Breaker trips when turned on


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Old 06-05-14, 04:33 PM
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GFCI Breaker trips when turned on

I just moved to a new house and discovered an outlet on the deck that was not GFCI. The box containing the outlet is waterproof (cover with gasket) but is not deep enough for a GFCI outlet. The box has one 3/4" PVC conduit entering and one 3/4" conduit leaving to another outlet downstream. That makes if difficult but not impossible to change the box, so I decided to go with a GFCI breaker. This circuit only has the two outlets on the deck. I changed the 20 amp breaker to a 20 amp GFCI breaker. I removed the white neutral from the grounding bus and connected it to the breaker along with the black hot wire. I connected the white wire that came with the breaker to the bonding bus. When I try to turn on the GFCI breaker it trips immediately. That means either the breaker is bad or there is a neutral ground fault. While I do not know code, I understand electricity. Nothing is plugged into either outlet. The outlets are cheap 15 amp outlets. I pulled both to make sure they where not back stabbed and they weren't. Is it possible the cheap outlets have a leakage? The conduit also has 6 ga. wires running to a hot tub. The conduit is 1" leaving the panel, and at a junction box, the 6 Ga wires go to the hot tub and the 12 ga. wires (black, white and green) go to the outlets.
 
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Old 06-05-14, 05:00 PM
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There is a high likelihood there is corrosion or some other booger in the outdoor receptacles. Pull the receptacles and leave them outside the box temporarily to see if the breaker will reset.
 
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Old 06-05-14, 06:10 PM
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Thanks chandler for the quick response. I pulled the first outlet out of the box and I was able to re-set the breaker. That outlet and the 2nd outlet both work now without tripping the breaker. I will try cleaning the box and putting the outlet back in.

This is the first time I have used a GFCI breaker. Is the breaker just as good as a GFCI outlet?
 
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Old 06-05-14, 06:17 PM
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Same protection, only better, IMO. It protects all the wiring and circuits from the panel as opposed to receptacles which start their protection at their slots, and downline.
 
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Old 06-05-14, 06:38 PM
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Resolved

Thanks again chandler for the quick response. I removed the existing outlet, cleaned the copper wires and installed a new outlet, put it back in the box and all appears well. An easy fix for once. We are expecting heavy rain tonight, so I will know more in the morning. Both outlets are under the deck, so they are not exposed directly to the rain.
 
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Old 06-05-14, 07:39 PM
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If they stand any chance of getting wet, you should use weather resistant receptacles and "bubble" covers.
 
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Old 06-05-14, 07:44 PM
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If they stand any chance of getting wet, you should use weather resistant receptacles and "bubble" covers.
Technically, weather resistant receptacles are a code requirement, but many inspectors don't seem to know it or don't bother to check.
 
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Old 06-05-14, 07:52 PM
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This is the cover used, I did not change the cover. Is this a "bubble cover"? Not sure you mean by weather resistant receptacles. Is it the box? I will post a pic of the box.

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Old 06-05-14, 07:58 PM
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This is the box used for both receptacles. 3/4" PVC conduit runs between the boxes.

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Old 06-05-14, 07:59 PM
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This is an in use cover (AKA bubble cover).

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Image source: summit.com
 
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Old 06-05-14, 08:20 PM
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Thanks for posting the picture Ray. I will get that type cover tomorrow. I have a lot of temporary code violations at the moment. I am having coyote problems and have IP cameras all over my acreage. I have extension cords running into the woods to power wireless cameras. Coyotes have almost gotten my little dog twice this year. I have had packs on my property and I live in the city. Currently I have 3 newborn deer on the property that I am also trying to protect. I have had no issues so far even though we have had heavy rain lately. I have several obvious code violations on permanent wiring that I am trying to fix, one of which the outside receptacles not on a GFCI circuit. I think one of these outlets is too close to the pool (20 ft.) but I need to look up that code.
 
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Old 06-06-14, 07:18 AM
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Not sure you mean by weather resistant receptacles. Is it the box? I will post a pic of the box.
No, I didn't mean the box although it must be weatherproof. The receptacle should be weather resistant whether it be a duplex receptacle or GFCI receptacle.


Weather-Resistant Duplex > GFCI Receptacles > Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) > Electrical Wiring Devices > Products from Leviton Electrical and Electronic Products

Item Description

Feature: Weather and Tamper-Resistant, Amperage: 15 Amp, Voltage: 125 Volt, NEMA: 5-15R, Pole: 2, Wire: 3-Wire, Blade Type: Straight Blade, Device Type: Duplex Receptacle, Grounding: Grounding, Termination: Quickwire Push-In & Side, Standards and Certifications: UL/CSA, Warranty: 2 Year Limited, Color: White, 2008 NEC compliant
W5320-T0W > 15 Amp > Standard > Tamper-Resistant Receptacles > Electrical Wiring Devices > Products from Leviton Electrical and Electronic Products
 
 

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