Help with garage wiring


Old 11-14-16, 10:05 AM
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Help with garage wiring

OK I'm a new homeowner with very basic electrical knowledge and I'm having trouble with the wiring for my garage. Basically the power from the house / breaker goes underground into a GFCI outlet and from there it goes to a light and one garage opener and another set of wires feeds another 3-4 outlets and 2-3 more lights.
The problem I have is that the initial outlet where the power comes in is constantly tripped. The odd part is in the spring and summer it would trip but I could reset it and use it but now that it's gotten cold again it is constantly tripped.
I replaced the outlet with a brand new one and wired it back the way the old one was with the same result. The old outlet was wired with the power from the house going into the top bracket, power to the garage opener on the bracket below that, and the 3rd bracket was everything else.
I also tried connecting all the wires with no outlet in the circuit but that cause the power to trip at the breaker when turned on.
I quit while I was ahead (not electrocuted and nothing on fire) and then the thought / question I am posing is could the issue be past the outlet where all the power comes in?
I have not tried the outlet with only the incoming power connected to it, but now I realize that should most likely be my next step. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 11-14-16, 10:20 AM
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If you are eliminating the GFCI outlet and the breaker trips back at the house you have a definite short circuit somewhere past the point of the GFCI. You need to check all connections past the point where the main power comes into the garage. Also GFCI outlets have a line side and a load side. Anything connected to the load side is GFCI protected. Not sure what you mean when you say top bracket, next bracket and 3rd bracket.
Old 11-14-16, 10:22 AM
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Yes, it's pretty clear there is a problem somewhere down stream of the GFCI. A few ways to go about troubleshooting. One would be to open up every device and junction box for a visual inspection, looking for skinned wires, broken insulation, loose connections or wire nuts, etc. That would be my first step given the relatively small number of things to look at on the circuit.

If that doesn't get you anywhere, then it's divide and conquer time. Trace out the wiring flow and pick a point somewhere near the middle to break the circuit, killing power to everything upstream of that point. If the GFCI continues to trip, the problem is in the still powered half. If it doesn't trip, the problem is in the disconnected half. You can continue in that fashion, divide and conquer, until you isolate the exact point of the problem.

Good luck with your project!
Old 11-14-16, 01:35 PM
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Make sure there is nothing plugged in including the door opener,remove the conductors from the load side of the GFCI and see if it still trips,if so find the approximate middle of the circuit and disconnect the conductors there and retest,follow that procedure until you find the problem.
Old 11-14-16, 04:07 PM
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I meant there are 4 connections on the outlet for wires to connect to, up to 4 circuits can connect to the outlet.
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