Suspect bad GFI, how to kill circuit?

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Old 01-20-19, 08:16 AM
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Suspect bad GFI, how to kill circuit?

I have two GFIs that are dead. They are on either side of my sink so I assume they are on the same circuit. One has no indicator light lit, other one is blinking red. I want to remove the what I believe is the upstream one and replace it but when I kill circuits, the one with the red blinking light never goes out. How do I tell what circuit the bad GFI is on so don't kill myself?
 
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Old 01-20-19, 08:25 AM
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Modern codes call for the over the counter outlets in a kitchen to be on two different circuits.
Tried just resetting the GFI's?
Start shutting off breakers until the light goes out, then make sure that breaker is marked so you do not have to go through this again.
You should also be checking the wires with a real Volt/OHM meter to double check it's off.
 
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Old 01-20-19, 08:26 AM
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It would be highly unusual for both GFCI receptacles along a kitchen counter to be on the same circuit. If you suspect one, or both, still has power to them, I would carefully remove them from the box and check for 120 volts to neutral and to ground at the line side of the device with a meter. If in fact one, or both, still has power to them, I'd start turning off breakers till I found the one that killed the power.
 
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Old 01-20-19, 08:28 AM
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I assume they are on the same circuit.
Not necessarily. Receptacles that serve a kitchen counter are normally served by two or more circuits. To disconnect power you will likely need to shut off two or more breakers. Just keep shutting off breakers until the light goes off.
 
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Old 01-20-19, 08:30 AM
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Typical process is to have only one GFCI receptacle on a circuit so I would not start by assuming these are on the same circuit.

Do you have a circuit test or, better, a multi-meter? If not, have a neighbor who does?
 
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Old 01-20-19, 08:37 AM
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Seems a huge coincidence that both would go out at the same time. I did try resetting many times, no luck.
My house was built in '76, maybe before the code that says they need to be on a different circuit? BTW, no other malfunctioning outlets or lights.
 
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Old 01-20-19, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by CasualJoe View Post
It would be highly unusual for both GFCI receptacles along a kitchen counter to be on the same circuit. If you suspect one, or both, still has power to them, I would carefully remove them from the box and check for 120 volts to neutral and to ground at the line side of the device with a meter. If in fact one, or both, still has power to them, I'd start turning off breakers till I found the one that killed the power.
I don't feel comfortable removing an outlet that possibly has power to it.
 
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Old 01-20-19, 09:07 AM
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My house was built in '76, maybe before the code that says they need to be on a different circuit?

In 1976 there was not yet a requirement for 2 circuits to feed the counter receptacles nor was GFCI protection required for kitchen receptacles so the two GFCIs probably are on the same circuit and were most likely installed by a previous homeowner. My guess is the one with the red flashing light is the upstream one and the other is fed from the "Load" side of the one that is flashing red. That would be wrong, but it happens a lot when homeowners do their own work. You may have to turn off all the breakers in your panel to kill the power. If my guess is correct, the second GFCI receptacle should be replaced with a 15 amp duplex receptacle.
 
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Old 01-20-19, 09:11 AM
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OK, so this is a DIY site but, if you're not "comfortable removing an outlet that possibly has power to it," then I think you've ventured into hiring an electrician territory. We all start somewhere, nothing wrong with a little healthy respect for electricity.
 
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Old 01-20-19, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by CasualJoe View Post
In 1976 there was not yet a requirement for 2 circuits to feed the counter receptacles nor was GFCI protection required for kitchen receptacles so the two GFCIs probably are on the same circuit and were most likely installed by a previous homeowner. My guess is the one with the red flashing light is the upstream one and the other is fed from the "Load" side of the one that is flashing red. That would be wrong, but it happens a lot when homeowners do their own work. You may have to turn off all the breakers in your panel to kill the power. If my guess is correct, the second GFCI receptacle should be replaced with a 15 amp duplex receptacle.
Thanks, that's exactly what I did. Replaced the non-blinky one, other one still went blinky blinky. Then I replaced that one, and, no more blinky blinky, just solid green! Yah!
 
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Old 01-21-19, 10:54 AM
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No blinky blinky is a good thing!
 
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