New GFCI outlet isn't working right....

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  #1  
Old 02-09-19, 03:57 PM
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New GFCI outlet isn't working right....

We had a power outage yesterday. When power came back on, some of the GFCI outlets were tripped. When I reset them, one didn't work properly. It had power, but didn't trip with either the test button or the one on a circuit tester.

I replaced it with a new one. The new one works properly EXCEPT... the down stream outlet doesn't trip with the circuit tester. It has power, but doesn't trip on a fault.
Yes, I checked it all again and have the line wires going to the line terminals. I've put in a dozen GFCIs and this is the first problem I have had.

What could cause this problem? Aside from a defective GFCI, I can't imagine.

It is worth noting that the downstream outlet has one receptacle and two USB ports. I don't know what that would have to do with it, but maybe.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-09-19, 04:01 PM
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Yes, I checked it all again and have the line wires going to the line terminals
Do you have the load wires going to the load terminals? If not, then that is your issue.
 
  #3  
Old 02-09-19, 04:03 PM
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Yeah, had load wires going to load terminals. But that was a good question, as it would have explained the problem.

And tripping the GFCI breaker does cut power to the downstream outlet; it wouldn't if I had the wires in the line terminals.
 

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  #4  
Old 02-09-19, 06:07 PM
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the down stream outlet doesn't trip with the circuit tester.
That receptacle needs to be grounded for that plug in tester to trip the GFI.
 
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Old 02-09-19, 08:24 PM
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Another good possibility! But the circuit tester shows a good ground.
 
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Old 02-09-19, 08:38 PM
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The ground might be just solid enough to make the tester show ground ok. When you push the test button it actually creates a measured short between hot and ground. So if the ground is a problem.... it can't shunt enough current to ground to trip.
 
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Old 02-09-19, 09:08 PM
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A good ground could also be a bootleg connection to the neutral.
 
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Old 02-10-19, 06:51 AM
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But isn't it true that the tester cannot tell the difference from the bootleg neutral to ground in the box from the neutral to ground connection in the panel?
 
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Old 02-10-19, 06:59 AM
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Yes, a bootleg connection will act as a ground so the GFCI would function normally. I would try a new GFCI. You could just have a bad one.
 
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Old 02-10-19, 09:36 AM
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But isn't it true that the tester cannot tell the difference from the bootleg neutral to ground in the box from the neutral to ground connection in the panel?

That is correct. So if there was neutral connected to ground on the GFI and you pushed the test button.... that would create a measured short from hot to neutral...... not hot to ground.

The GFI monitors the current flow thru white and black. When there is a difference..... like when a short/leakage occurs to ground..... the device trips.
 
  #11  
Old 02-11-19, 09:45 AM
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I emailed Pass & Seymour last week. They say that circuit testers don't work with their self testing GFCIs. If the self test button works, then everything is okay.

Does that make sense? If a downstream outlet doesn't trip on a circuit tester, why would it on a ground fault?
 
  #12  
Old 02-11-19, 11:40 AM
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There must not be a ground. Those circuit testers work by tickling a small current to ground to simulate a fault. If there is no ground they can't simulate a fault.
 
  #13  
Old 02-11-19, 01:59 PM
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How often do people confess they are getting senile?

The receptacle is upside down, so I was reading the circuit tester wrong. The hot and neutral are reversed. That explains why the GFCI didn't trip when the neutral was shorted to the ground with the circuit tester.
When I fixed it, everything works properly.
I am blaming the miswiring on the guy who installed the tile on which the outlets are situated. I couldn't have been that careless.

BUT,
From P&S "Unfortunately, GFCI's no longer reliably trip with testers due to the Self-Testing mechanisms within the device. If the unit functions correctly when the test/reset buttons are pressed, then you have installed it correctly."

That doesn't seem to be true. How could shunting current to the ground not trip the GFCI? I think they just didn't want me to return it as defective.
 
  #14  
Old 02-11-19, 02:02 PM
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How could shunting current to the ground not trip the GFCI?
If the shunt current was too small. I believe the GFCI threshold is 5 mA. If the tester shunted less than 5mA it would not trip.
 
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Old 02-11-19, 02:07 PM
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That would just mean the circuit tester was defective if it didn't shunt 5ma. P&S is saying non-defective ones don't work on their GFCIs.
 
  #16  
Old 02-11-19, 06:49 PM
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The receptacle is upside down

There is no upside down because there is no top or bottom. Ground hole can go either up or down, strictly personal preference.
 
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