GFCI receptacle wiring trouble.

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  #1  
Old 03-21-16, 08:21 PM
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GFCI receptacle wiring trouble.

I am finishing my basement and I have ran all new electrical. I have LED recessed lights and all new outlets run. I had everything working. All the outlets and lights working fine. I went to install a GFCI Nightlight as the 1st outlet in the line and now none of the rest of the outlets work. I have made sure multiple times that it's wired correctly and I know they come tripped and you have to reset it but when you push reset the button doesn't stay in.

All the outlets are on one circuit and the recessed lights on another with an exception. There is a switch box that controls two outside lights. It needed power, so i tapped into the closest outlet. So there is 3 wires coming into the switch box. Two from the outside lights and the power from the outlet. The black power wire and outside light #2 and go to the brass screw on the bottom of the switch. The top brass screw has the black wire going to the outside light #1. All the neutrals and grounds are pigtailed together respectively. I know it's confusing but when I replace the 1st GFCI in the line with a regular outlet all the outlets and lights work fine.

We already have the drywall up but there is no junctions behind the drywall so I am hoping it is as easy as switching some wires.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-21-16, 08:25 PM
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A little hard to follow what you did but if you are using the LOAD terminals of the GFI to run other receptacles.... you need to make sure those neutrals go to the GFI. They can't be connected to the neutral bundle in the box.

Try connecting just the LINE (power wires) to the GFI and see if it sets then.

At your switch.... the power/hot wire should go to one screw terminal. The hot wires from the two lights should be combined and then connected to the other screw terminal.
 
  #3  
Old 03-21-16, 09:08 PM
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Thanks Pete. The neutrals in the gfi are not bundled together. But I will rewire the switch and see if that helps. Should all the neutrals in the switch box be capped together?
 
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Old 03-21-16, 09:10 PM
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Should all the neutrals in the switch box be capped together?
Yes.... there should be three of them and they can't touch ground.
 
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Old 03-22-16, 06:12 AM
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Here is a quick diagram....

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Old 03-22-16, 11:50 AM
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Ok.... very basic setup.

Does everything work with a regular receptacle in place of the GFI receptacle ?
Does the GFI receptacle work with just the line connected and no load connected ?

I'm guessing the answer will be yes to both questions. That would leave a short between neutral and ground. With an ohmmeter..... check between the white load wire and ground at the GFI, with the GFI loads not connected.

When using a GFI.... the white/neutral wires cannot touch ground. My guess is....that is what is happening at one receptacle or even with your outside lights.
 
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Old 03-23-16, 04:17 PM
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Ok.... getting more frustrated. Everything works when I use a regular outlet in place of the gfci. When I unhook the load wires from the gfci and reset it, the out works fine. When I hook them back up to supply power to all the other outlets, the gfci won't reset again. I have triple checked all the outlets on the that circuit and none of the neutral wires are touching the ground wire. Any other ideas please!?!?!?
 
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Old 03-23-16, 04:43 PM
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Tri a new GFCI. I'd buy a different brand or from a different place just to be sure that if yours is bad the new one doesn't come from the same lot.
 
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Old 03-23-16, 05:39 PM
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It may take more than a visual check. You checked the receptacles..... did you check the outside lights?

Do you have an ohmmeter in your possession ? At this point you are going to need to check from the white wire to ground. There cannot be any measurable continuity there.

If you had a short on black to ground.... the breaker would trip.
 
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Old 03-25-16, 09:45 AM
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I do have a Multimeter but I never know which setting to have it on to test. So should I turn the power on and Start at the last outlet and work my way back to the GFCI? Put the Black Tester in the Ground hole in the outlet and the Red Tester in the Hot or Neutral? Sorry, this has always confused me but I really appreciate the help!!!
 
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Old 03-25-16, 10:05 AM
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You will disconnect the load wires from the GFI receptacle. We're testing with no voltage in the lines. You will need to set the meter to ohms. If you aren't sure which scale that is.... post the make and model number of your meter and we can better advise.

You will be checking from the white wire to ground. There should be no continuity measured.
 
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Old 03-25-16, 12:55 PM
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I have this Craftsman Digital MultiMeter

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  #13  
Old 03-25-16, 02:03 PM
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I have marked your ohm settings in yellow. For this test use the 20K ohm setting.
 
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Old 03-25-16, 04:34 PM
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I am getting an audible beep and readings on all the outlets with the loads wires removed and the breaker turned off
 
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Old 03-25-16, 04:35 PM
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So to clarify.... when you touch the load white wire and the ground.... you get a visual and audible indication. That means there is a short there.
 
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Old 03-25-16, 04:40 PM
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You said you were finishing the basement. Finished basements don't need GFCI protected receptacles.
 
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