GFCI receptacle load issue

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Old 11-15-16, 08:50 AM
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Angry GFCI receptacle load issue

Hi all,

My wife and I bought a home that primarily has two-prong outlets. Down the road I plan to rewire the house and add a ground to every outlet, but in the meanwhile I'm simply replacing certain outlets with GFCIs as a stopgap.

On a box I replaced the other day, I'm experiencing a strange thing. I identified the positive/negative leads, and also made sure to get the line/load connections right. When I tested the outlet before pushing it all the way in the box, just to be double check that it all worked, everything worked fine. But when I pushed the receptacle into the box, every outlet further down the circuit from this receptacle turned off. I can reproduce this issue simply by pulling the receptacle out of the box a bit (everything down-circuit turns on again) and then pushing it back in (everything down-circuit turns off).

My best guess is that somehow the wires are getting kinked and causing this disruption. Has anybody seen a similar issue, or does anyone have an idea what might be causing this? Thanks!
 
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Old 11-15-16, 10:27 AM
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Are these cloth covered wires?
 
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Old 11-15-16, 10:43 AM
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sounds like a bad connection... a wire is loosing contact when you push the box in.

a "kink" will not cause that, unless there is a break in the copper inside the insulation that you cannot see. when pulled out, the copper is in contact, but then when you push it in, the contact is lost. This is dangerous. An arc can occur and set things on fire.

or is the gfci tripping when you push it into the box?
 
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Old 11-15-16, 04:35 PM
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Alternating current doe not have positive and negative. That is DC wiring.
 
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Old 11-19-16, 06:25 AM
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Thanks for your responses and follow-ups! Here are answers to your questions/responses.
1. ray2047, yes, they are cloth covered wires.
2. venison, the GFCI does not trip. I simply lose power to all receptacles "downstream" (the load side)
3. pcboss, thanks for your keen eye and clarification. I should have written hot/neutral.

Still experiencing the problem. Finally got some time today to play around with it; will post an update afterwards. Thanks!
 
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Old 11-19-16, 06:48 AM
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yes, they are cloth covered wires.
The insulation may be failing on wire that old Try it with the receptacle pulled out of the box and wires well separated.
 
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Old 11-19-16, 07:06 AM
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ray2047, when I do that everything works fine. In fact, I can identify a "point of no return" – until the receptacle is about 75% in the box, it works fine. As soon as I push it in the last 25% to screw it tight, that's when I lose power downstream.

Is there a fix for old insulation, short of replacing the wire? Would it be a safety hazard to wrap electrical tape around each wire?

Thanks!
 
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Old 11-19-16, 07:09 AM
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Heat shrink tubing is a better solution than tape.
 
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Old 11-19-16, 02:16 PM
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I can reproduce this issue simply by pulling the receptacle out of the box a bit (everything down-circuit turns on again) and then pushing it back in (everything down-circuit turns off).
As venison said, I don't think this is an insulation problem, probably a loose connection within a wire nut.

The power comes on and off without tripping the breaker or the GFCI, that means a loose wire.
 
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Old 11-19-16, 09:29 PM
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probably a loose connection within a wire nut.
+1 now that I reread it. I thought the GFCI was tripping. If it isn't then replace all wire nuts if there are wire nuts in the box. If no wire nuts in the box let us know.
 
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Old 11-20-16, 03:40 AM
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There are no wire nuts in the box. Just four wires coming in through two holes (line side through one hole, load side through the other).
 
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Old 11-20-16, 04:19 AM
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Turn breaker off, remove wires from outlet, carefully wiggle wires one at a time. if one bends easy there will be a break in the wire. This has a 30 to 40 % chance of finding the problem.
 
 

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