GFCI Won't Power Other Outlets

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Old 12-14-14, 08:43 PM
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GFCI Won't Power Other Outlets

For context, this was a foreclosure I bought that I've been developing my DIY skills on over the years.

I've been doing a bathroom remodel and the only electrical box in the room had a double light switch and a GFI outlet. It was wired really crazy. It had about 5 lines going in the box that I could tell, all neutrals in one big blue nut, and one of the black wires going into the GFI had a another wire crimped onto it. I took most of the wires out to remove the shower light. I no longer needed the shower light (stand up and hit your head and you're toast! lol) so I just cut them and stuffed it in the back (taboo I know, but they aren't hot).

I wired up everything the way it was (minus the crimped on wire), and the GFCI 20-amp doesn't pass the load to the other outlets. I plugged in my tester to see if I wired it right (the 3 light one. Unsure of it's name) and it wouldn't even light up. The light on the outlet itself was green. I read elsewhere sometimes it doesn't like the neutrals being all tied together so I separated the hot line's neutral and attached that on the bottom (for line) to the GFCI along with the hot line. I attached the neutrals on the top and the other outlet feeds to the top for load. Still nothing... I've tried a couple different combinations like this and did everything just short of getting zapped.

I also bought another 20 amp GFCI outlet just in case it was defective, but it still did the same thing.

Here's a picture of the outlet currently with description of the wires. This feeds the downstairs electric so I had to just put a black nut on the black wires so I could get the furnace going again. Please Help

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  #2  
Old 12-14-14, 09:20 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

This feeds the downstairs electric so I had to just put a black nut on the black wires so I could get the furnace going again.
The power in the upstairs bathroom feeds the furnace ????
That isn't going to fly. The first thing you need to do is remove the furnace from that circuit.
 
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Old 12-14-14, 11:31 PM
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The gfi needs a neutral connection as well as power. Did you connect both a neutral and a power?
 
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Old 12-15-14, 06:26 AM
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Does the GFCI's own receptacle work okay and shut off when you press the test button?

(Did you press the reset button before testing other wiring?)

Don't forget that the additional wiring to also receive GFCI protection is treated as if it were a separate branch circuit, with hot and neutral connected to the GFCI unit load side terminals. The neutral here must not be interconnected (bonded) with neutrals going back to the panel or neutrals serving other circuits (or subvcircuits) not receiving protection from this GFCI unit.
 
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Old 12-15-14, 09:11 AM
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I wired up everything the way it was (minus the crimped on wire),
Why didn't you include the crimped on wire?
 
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Old 12-17-14, 11:22 PM
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First off I apologize not getting right back to you guys. I've been busy with work and haven't had time to work on this yet.

@pjmax It's in the downstairs. No worries there

@pcboss yes, I had the power and neutral from the same line going into the GFCI on bottom half indicated line.

@AllanJ I think you might be on to it there. If I had the line hot and neutral on, and then another 1 load hot and neutral on (not connected to the big bundle of neutrals in any way) and then let the other neutrals be tied together I could see that working... I'll have to try that next. I think the closest I got to this was pig tailing the combined neutrals and putting it on the neutral load.

@CasualJoe because I cut it off thinking it looked dangerous the way everything was wired in there. I also don't have a crimper. I tried needle nose pliers... didn't go so well.

I'll play around with this tomorrow and post a new picture.
 
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Old 12-18-14, 07:05 AM
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I wired up everything the way it was (minus the crimped on wire),

Why didn't you include the crimped on wire?
My best guess is that the power was feeding through this box to other loads on that crimped on wire. I'd have pigtailed those two wires together as one.
 
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Old 12-21-14, 02:53 PM
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Updated attempts

Ok ! so here's the deal so far.

I found out that the main line from the breaker into the box also has another power line (red wire) that supplies electricity to the furnace. I think the problem is that there's only 1 neutral coming out of this thing.

I decided I didn't need to have the GFCI protect the other outlets. I was happy with it just being by itself since it's the only one in the bathroom.

I now have all the black wires tied together (power now directly to the light switch and to the outlets in the downstairs) and then a pigtail to the GFCI for power in the bathroom (yes, I chuckled when I read that too). I have the main line neutral going into the GFCI and then I have all the other neutrals combined.

Guess what happens? Outlet says wired correctly, I have electricity to the furnace, outlets downstairs work, but the light switch doesn't work! ARGH!!!! I changed the light bulbs and made sure the light was wired correctly. Still doesn't work.

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Here's a wiring diagram. This is how I had it wired before, but now like I said, I have the GFCI pretty much by itself.
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Old 12-21-14, 03:17 PM
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The neutral for the light should not be off the gfi.
 
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Old 12-21-14, 07:09 PM
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I decided I didn't need to have the GFCI protect the other outlets. I was happy with it just being by itself since it's the only one in the bathroom.
That's not what your diagram says.
 
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Old 12-21-14, 08:26 PM
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The box has a MWBC where the red feeds the furnace.
 
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Old 12-21-14, 08:52 PM
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Hah thanks for reusing my diagram Ray

I will try this tomorrow and see how it goes.
 
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Old 12-21-14, 09:03 PM
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I have redid the post (thanks, PCBoss) so look at the updated diagram below before wiring.

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Old 12-21-14, 09:10 PM
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>>> The box has a multiwire branch circuit where the red feeds the furnace.

Create a second bundle of whites: the white from the power source (#3), the white of the furnace line (#5) and a short length (pigtail) to the line side of the GFC, and the whites of those other cables (#1, #2, #4) whose blacks are not connected to the load side of the GFCI..

Those cables (out of #1, #2, #4) whose black wire is connected to the load side of the GFCI unit will also have the white wire connected to the load side of the GFCI.
 
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Old 12-21-14, 09:18 PM
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Those cables (out of #1, #2, #4) whose black wire is connected to the load side of the GFCI unit will also have the white wire connected to the load side of the GFCI.
There is no need for a GFCI except the bathroom receptacle so there does not need to be any connections to load or am I missing something?
 
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Old 12-22-14, 08:48 AM
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Choice and whim of the OP.

So long as everything attached to the load terminals of the GFCI has both hot and neutral separate from the incoming hot(s) and neutral, it works okay.
 
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Old 12-22-14, 09:10 AM
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Must disagree Allan though it is my opinion not code. Do you really want downstairs lights and receptacles on a upstairs bathroom GFCI if the GFCI trips. Do you want the bathroom lights on the GFCI if the receptacle trips.

That said it is probably easiest to run a new circuit to the furnace room. You could then use one side of the multi wire circuit for just the bathroom receptacle and the other side for the bathroom lights and the living room. I suspect this is a 15 amp circuit and if so while a 15 amp dedicated receptacle in the bathroom isn't current code it is better than what is there now.
 
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Old 12-23-14, 06:31 PM
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GOT IT! I now have a lit bathroom. Thanks for the help guys! I just ran off to Menards (like a home depot) and got a 6-connector for all the neutrals. No fuss, no mess, easy to manage all the wires and put them neatly back in the box.

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Old 12-23-14, 06:42 PM
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The splices for the light need to be in a box or in the fixture.
 
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