GFCI pops whenever a load is added - why?

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  #1  
Old 03-18-18, 08:25 PM
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GFCI pops whenever a load is added - why?

Background:
Main breaker panel inside house in basement. From main breaker a newly installed dedicated 120V/20amp circuit runs outdoor to a shed via PVC conduit. This circuit has a main breaker panel mounted GFI breaker. In addition to the two outlets in the shed, there are two weatherproof outlet boxes on the same circuit between the house and the shed. Everything is weather tight, properly installed.
Problem:
When there is no load on the circuit, the circuit stays closed and I measure 120V at each outlet. As soon as I add a load - any load, e.g., single 25 watt light fixture, or I plug in a 100 watt/12 volt low voltage transformer for outdoor lights - the breaker pops. It does't matter if I add the load (i.e., plug something in after the circuit is closed) or have something plugged in and then try to close the breaker (it won't close). I have tried plugging in different devices to eliminate the possibility of a bad device - all of them make the GFCI breaker pop.

I am baffled. I have installed other GFCI circuits running outdoors in similar fashion with no problems. How do I toubleshoot this? I have checked, and double checked every outlet. But the minute I add a load, pop goes the GFCI. Where should I begin the troubleshooting please?

Many thanks.
Ross
 
  #2  
Old 03-18-18, 08:36 PM
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Neutral is shorted or faulted to the equipment grounding conductor somewhere on that branch circuit protected by the GFCI breaker..

Or you connected the neutral for that circuit coming into the feeding panel directly to the neutral bus bar when it should be connected to the neutral terminal on the GFCI breaker.
 
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Old 03-19-18, 04:43 AM
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Thanks Allan,

In the main panel where the GFI breaker is installed, I ran the hot to the breaker itself, and the neutral pigtail off the breaker to the neutral bus bar. The neutral and ground wires from the circuit are attached to the ground bus bar. This is the same way the other GFIs are installed in the same panel and they work fine. The neutrals and grounds are all attached to the same bus bar in the box, so I am unclear on how I could install it differently.

Ross
 
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Old 03-19-18, 05:48 AM
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The neutral and ground wires from the circuit are attached to the ground bus bar.
This is your problem. The neutral for the circuit must be connected to the breaker (where it is indicated on the breaker). You have the pigtail portion done correctly. Take the circuit neutral off the bus bar and connect it to the breaker
 
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Old 03-19-18, 07:22 AM
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The neutral and ground wires from the circuit are attached to the ground bus bar.
Neutral pigtail from GFCI breaker goes to neutral bar.
Neutral wire from the cable goes to neutral terminal of the breaker.
Hot wire from the cable goes to the hot terminal of the breaker.
Ground wire from the cable goes to ground bar


This is the same way the other GFIs are installed in the same panel and they work fine.
Shouldn't be. Either you are mistaken or your GFCI breaker is faulty.
 
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Old 03-19-18, 09:26 AM
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The neutral and ground wires from the circuit are attached to the ground bus bar.

By now you should know the neutral goes to the GFCI breaker.


The circuit neutral never goes to a ground bar even when using a regular breaker. With a regular breaker the neutral must always go to the neutral bus.
 
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Old 03-19-18, 06:59 PM
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Oh my God, I am dumber than a bag of hammers.......... I knew that! Christ, no wonders the darned circuit was not operating and kept popping the breaker...... (hand slap to forehead). Checked it when I got home - yup, I screwed up. Thank God the whole house didn't burn down. Moved the neutral to the breaker silver screw - voila - it all works fine. What was I thinking? Okay, thanks for the guidance and reminder how stupid I can be sometimes...... Have a wonderful week all.
Ross
 
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Old 03-20-18, 03:58 AM
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Learning something is NOT being stupid or dumb!

Just like in carpentry - "measure twice-cut once". Same thing in electrical. Study what needs to be done before doing it.
 
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Old 03-20-18, 07:07 PM
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Just like in carpentry - "measure twice-cut once".

But....but....I cut it twice and it's still too short!!
 
 

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