GFI Keeps Tripping

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  #1  
Old 05-14-18, 02:04 PM
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GFI Keeps Tripping

I bought a house a month or so ago. The bathroom in the basement has a GFI outlet that is apparently tied into 4 electrical plugs in my garage. I first noticed that the plug was tripped when my fridge wasn't working. I thought maybe me running my table saw and the fridge at the same time tripped it. I would reset it and everything would be OK for a few days. Then one day it tripped and wouldn't reset at all. I turned off the breaker and removed the plug. The hot wire from the breaker was loose on the plug, so I reinstalled and tightened all the wires, making sure to keep the LINE and LOAD wires in the right spots. Well, it was good for a few days and then it started to trip again. I replaced the GFI thinking maybe I had a bad plug. Nope, that wasn't it. I unplugged everything from the garage plugs and it still won't reset. It will hold for about 30 seconds and it trips again. Short of replacing all 4 plugs in the garage, I'm not sure what else to do. Any ideas??

Thanks in advance!
 
  #2  
Old 05-14-18, 02:15 PM
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Given that you already tried replacing the GFCI receptacle and unplugging everything on the circuit there are really only three likely possibilities.

The first is that you have wires intermittently contacting neutral or ground somewhere in the circuit. It can be from a receptacle touching a metal box, wires pushed too tight into a box or wire insulation damage. Likely candidates for damage are a box clamp, staple, nail something like that crimping the wire off or rodents chewing on the wiring.

The second possibility is some moisture/water infiltration into box(es) on this circuit. Could be several sources of this one, you just have to open up the boxes and scout around.

The third is there is something else going bad on this circuit you aren't aware of. A hidden box perhaps behind something heavy, splices buried under the drywall, something tapped off in the crawlspace, etc...

Rare possibilities include: the new GFCI is also bad, weird RF or powerline interference.
 
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Old 05-14-18, 02:18 PM
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I did open the boxes in the garage last night just to make sure all the wiring was tightly connected, and it was. The plugs in the garage are the push in connections, not the screw down kind. The garage is totally dry, so I can't imagine it would be moisture. Since 3/4 outlet boxes in the garage are metal, that is a likely scenario I suppose. It just seems random that it is starting to do it constantly now when it wasn't that was earlier.
 
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Old 05-14-18, 02:36 PM
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If they are GFCI that is back wired not back stabbed and is okay. If they are not GFCI they need to be replaced with non GFCI receptacles that have screws.
 
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Old 05-14-18, 02:43 PM
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Yea, they are not GFI plugs and they are the push in connections. So I guess I will replace those 4 plugs with the screw in connections and see if that fixes the issue.
 
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Old 05-14-18, 04:06 PM
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It's a good place to start.
 
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Old 05-14-18, 04:13 PM
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Hoping to do it tomorrow evening. I'll update and let you know how it goes.
 
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Old 05-15-18, 11:17 AM
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Well, I reset the GFI last night and it didn't trip overnight. Don't know why this thing is so finicky.
 
  #9  
Old 05-15-18, 01:17 PM
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If the GFCI trips again try replacing with a new one. The electronics in them do go bad.
 
  #10  
Old 05-15-18, 01:53 PM
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I did replace the GFI plug, still acting finicky. Next step is I guess to replace all the other non-GFI plugs
 
 

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