Siemens 20 Amp 1 pole GFCI Circuit Breaker instant trips

Reply

  #1  
Old 07-10-19, 05:17 PM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Siemens 20 Amp 1 pole GFCI Circuit Breaker instant trips

Hi,

I bought a new home. It's got a nice 200 AMP breaker box with switches for almost every single room and major appliance.

Everything works except one - a GFCI run to my backyard. It runs to a pool stake and my shed.

​​​​​​The breaker will not stay on. Nor will the reset button stay down. There is a LED but it doesn't do anything - not when I try to flip the switch on, nor whenI press down the reset button. I tried holding down the reset button while flipping the switch on, but that doesn't do anything either. The switch still instant-trips and the reset button just pops right back up. No LED lights come on either.

I removed the connection to the first outlets, which is the pool stake, leaving only an open, unconnected wire from the breaker box, which runs through the basement wall and under the ground out to the pool stake in the yard. I tried the breaker again with nothing but the wire on the run - still doesn't stay on, nor will the reset button stay down. No LED lights on the breaker either.

I then connected the wire to one of the outlets on the stake and had a spotter with me. We plugged in a little light and watched it when I tried to flip the breaker on.

The breaker still instantly trips, but the light plugged into the pool stake outlet did flash on for second. I repeated this process ten times. Each time I flipped the GFCI breaker on, the light plugged into the outlet came on for a second before the breaker tripped and shut it off again.

So, either the GFCI breaker is bad/too sensitive OR I might have a ground fault in the wire going to the outlet from the breaker box, which is tripping the GFCI breaker as intended.

Is there any way to confirm without pulling up the whole wire from under the ground OR buying a new GFCI breaker, to confirm which it is?

Should I try a regular breaker to see if that trips too?

I don't have any sort of voltage tester.

So far, just been using process of elimination.

Thanks.


EDIT: I should add the instructions for my model of GFCI breaker says to replace the breaker if the LED lights stays on solid in the off position and/or blinks in the on position. But my LED doesn't light at up at all. So, I'm not sure if that means it's functioning correctly or not.

Also - I believe the previous owners had this electrical system installed in 2003, and all the breakers are the same brand. There is only 1 GFCI breaker. I am assuming all the breakers are likely 16 years old. Not sure if what the life expectancy of this GFCI breaker is. It had a pool filter and a few shed outlets on the run, so I'm assuming it's been working pretty hard over the years. But it may be the wiring underground too. I don't know?

Thanks.
 

Last edited by HomeDudeBro; 07-10-19 at 05:34 PM.
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-10-19, 06:12 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 58,499
Received 1,029 Votes on 955 Posts
Welcome to the forums.

So, either the GFCI breaker is bad/too sensitive OR I might have a ground fault in the wire going to the outlet from the breaker box, which is tripping the GFCI breaker as intended.
Your next step is to remove the black wire from the GFCI breaker and see it it still trips.

If it does..... you will need to disconnect the white and black wires from the breaker. Use an ohmmeter set to a sensitive scale like Rx100..... or AUTO for a digital meter.... and check from each wire to ground. There should be no continuity measured. If there is.... it's most likely the underground wire.
 
  #3  
Old 07-10-19, 06:25 PM
H
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ok, I'll try that next.

I don't have an Ohm meter. Do you have a recommendation for an affordable one that would handle this situation? I'll probably only ever be using it for this situation, so I don't want to buy anything too expensive. But I don't know what I would need to test something like this.

Thanks again.
 
  #4  
Old 07-10-19, 07:04 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 58,499
Received 1,029 Votes on 955 Posts
A basic analog meter from a place like the depot is fine. The one in the link below is around $15. If you purchased that one..... you'd use the Rx100 ohms scale for testing.

Analog test meter
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: