GFCI Outlet & all live circuit


Old 07-24-00, 06:50 AM
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Please can someone explain to me what a GFCI outlet is please as I have been told that one of my GFCI outlets may have tripped instead of the circuit breaker.

Or maybe someone has a suggestion regarding my problem with an internal electric circuit with both lights and wall sockets and switches on. The problem is that both prongs are live all the time on the outlets and no lights will come on.
It originated with a ground wire which was in contact with a live wire inside a wall socket and sparking. It also shut the circuit off but never tripped the breaker if something was plugged in or the circuit was being used alot (stereo, tv and lights on at the same time). So I simply moved the ground wire away from the live and neutral wire.
I switched the electricity back on and hey presto nothing worked on the circuit. I though maye something had meltd inside the wall socket so I replaced the double plug and double checked the wiring. Nothing is visibly melted or crossed and everything is wired correctly.
What do you all recommend?
Old 07-24-00, 12:38 PM
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For your purposes, merely think of the GFCI as a second circuit breaker. A GFCI outlet normally has two buttons on it, one labeled "T" or "test" and one labeled "R" or "reset". When tripped, the "R" button will be popped out (kind of hard to tell unless you have one to compare it to). You can reset this "breaker" by pushing the "R" button.

GFCI breakers can be anywhere, but you typically see them near sources of water (kitchen or bathroom) or other areas that might get wet (garage, porch).

Note: GFCI outlets are not current overload devices like a regular breaker, so don't expect them to serve that purpose. They serve another purpose, but you don't need to understand that to solve your problem.

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