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Old 04-05-2010, 01:13 PM   #16
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Floor lamp doesn't work in some outlets


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is there room on that couch?
While you're on the couch, please consider my predicament.

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Old 04-05-2010, 02:26 PM   #17
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Floor lamp doesn't work in some outlets


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if it's got a three prong plug then your most likely problem is that your house is old and there's no grounds run to the plugs. The gfci kind of circumvents the no ground problem that some devices(i've recently found out) need to have. The only answer to this on if that's what the problem is, is to either run new wire all over you house with a ground . Or install a GFCI plug in the place where you want to plug in the light. Be sure to mark the plug with the "no ground" sticker.
Andrew,

I'm a bit confused by your statement. A GFCI does not "circumvent" anything except for the fact that it makes it legal to have a three prong receptacle at an outlet that has no equipment ground wire. If you replace a 2-wire receptacle with a GFCI, that GFCI still has no equipment ground. No device that you plug in will work just because you replace the receptacle with a GFCI. Either the device sees 120V AC or it doesn't.

Could you please provide specific examples of these residential devices that "require" a GFCI receptacle or an equipment ground wire to operate properly? Perhaps there are indeed such devices that I am not aware of.
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:56 PM   #18
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Floor lamp doesn't work in some outlets


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Originally Posted by jp45 View Post
The house is less than 3 years old, and all the plugs test ok for ground.
Thanks for the info.
In the location where you want to plug in, install GFCI receptacle. If that works, you're good to go. If not, it's on to plan b for you.

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Andrew,

I'm a bit confused by your statement. A GFCI does not "circumvent" anything except for the fact that it makes it legal to have a three prong receptacle at an outlet that has no equipment ground wire. If you replace a 2-wire receptacle with a GFCI, that GFCI still has no equipment ground. No device that you plug in will work just because you replace the receptacle with a GFCI. Either the device sees 120V AC or it doesn't.

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Yeah, I agree. But for some reason this crazy lamp seems to only work with a GFCI, of course there's more to the story but if replacing a standard recep with GFCi works... well, the diy job is done.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:13 PM   #19
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Floor lamp doesn't work in some outlets


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In the location where you want to plug in, install GFCI receptacle. If that works, you're good to go. If not, it's on to plan b for you.
Thanks. That was going to be my next step. If it works I will always wonder why, but I will be happy.
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:10 PM   #20
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Floor lamp doesn't work in some outlets


Have these lamps ever worked in this house?
I would take the lamps to a friends house and check them.
It may have something to do with the touch sensor to turn them on and off( But I have no clue what that could be).
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:32 PM   #21
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Floor lamp doesn't work in some outlets


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Have these lamps ever worked in this house?
I would take the lamps to a friends house and check them.
It may have something to do with the touch sensor to turn them on and off( But I have no clue what that could be).
The lamp does work in this house in the GFCI plugs, and it worked in our previous home.
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:33 PM   #22
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Floor lamp doesn't work in some outlets


Will it work in the non-gfci plugs with a cheater adapter?
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:03 PM   #23
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Floor lamp doesn't work in some outlets


Yes, try a 3 prong to 2 prong adapter with the lamp in the GFCI and other outlets and see what happens. (This should be safe since the GFCI was not tripping, thus no short to ground.)

Also take it to a friend's house and see if it works in their outlets. Preferably someone in another neighborhood.

And if you have a computer UPS or have a friend with one, try plugging it into that and see if it works. Also try it with the UPS unplugged from the wall if it does not work (on back-up power).

And also might try an outlet noise filter such as this...
(Buy locally so you can return it if it does not work.)
http://www.fruitridgetools.com/store...id=8171&dfid=1
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:21 PM   #24
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Floor lamp doesn't work in some outlets


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Will it work in the non-gfci plugs with a cheater adapter?
All the none GFCI plugs are already 3 prong and grounded according to my testing.
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:27 PM   #25
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Floor lamp doesn't work in some outlets


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Yes, try a 3 prong to 2 prong adapter with the lamp in the GFCI and other outlets and see what happens. (This should be safe since the GFCI was not tripping, thus no short to ground.)

Also take it to a friend's house and see if it works in their outlets. Preferably someone in another neighborhood.

And if you have a computer UPS or have a friend with one, try plugging it into that and see if it works. Also try it with the UPS unplugged from the wall if it does not work (on back-up power).

And also might try an outlet noise filter such as this...
(Buy locally so you can return it if it does not work.)
http://www.fruitridgetools.com/store...id=8171&dfid=1
Thanks for the suggestion. I have a UPS and it doesn't work plugged into it. I can't uplug the UPS at the moment, but will try it later.
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:59 PM   #26
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Floor lamp doesn't work in some outlets


Is the only way to turn on this lamp touching it? Or is there a regular pushbutton or twist or pull chain switch on it?

Are all your regular outlets ungrounded and all the GFCI outlets grounded?

Maybe touching the lamp to turn it on requires that it be grounded. Probably has something to do with capacitance. Capacitance, like resistance, is an attribute measured across two points in a circuit. Apparently with the lamp not grounded, the change in capacitance or whatever is different when you touch the lamp and the circuit doesn't recognized that you touched the lamp.

What happens if you plug the lamp into one of your non-GFCI receptacles using a 3 to 2 prong adapter and string a wire from the green tab on the adapter across the room and/or into the next room to a nearby water pipe or radiator?
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Last edited by AllanJ; 04-05-2010 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:10 PM   #27
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Floor lamp doesn't work in some outlets


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Is the only way to turn on this lamp touching it? Or is there a regular pushbutton or twist or pull chain switch on it?

Are all your regular outlets ungrounded and all the GFCI outlets grounded?

Maybe touching the lamp to turn it on requires that it be grounded.

What happens if you plug the lamp into one of your non-GFCI receptacles using a 3 to 2 prong adapter and string a wire from the green tab on the adapter across the room and/or into the next room to a nearby water pipe or radiator?
There is a touch button for the upper light, and a switch for the bottom light. All outlets are grounded. The house is less than 3 years old in Auburn, CA.
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:23 PM   #28
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Floor lamp doesn't work in some outlets


How old is the lamp?

(No further replies allowed from those who have identified themselves as couch potatoes! )
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:14 PM   #29
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Floor lamp doesn't work in some outlets


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Originally Posted by DetroitEE View Post
Andrew,

I'm a bit confused by your statement. A GFCI does not "circumvent" anything except for the fact that it makes it legal to have a three prong receptacle at an outlet that has no equipment ground wire. If you replace a 2-wire receptacle with a GFCI, that GFCI still has no equipment ground. No device that you plug in will work just because you replace the receptacle with a GFCI. Either the device sees 120V AC or it doesn't.

Could you please provide specific examples of these residential devices that "require" a GFCI receptacle or an equipment ground wire to operate properly? Perhaps there are indeed such devices that I am not aware of.
try plugging in a couple guitars into a house with no ground then strap one on and grab the other...if the right conditions are met it'll hurt like crazy. Also not so much with the newer electronics as has been pointed out to me before but with the older three prong style they need the ground to keep any voltages from being induced. Electronic ballasts have written right on them "Must be grounded" just for this reason.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:38 AM   #30
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Floor lamp doesn't work in some outlets


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try plugging in a couple guitars into a house with no ground then strap one on and grab the other...if the right conditions are met it'll hurt like crazy..
Psst! The guitars should still operate properly i.e. be playable.

Here is one thing I sometimes do (including what I did to find out that a power plug was bad). Take a needle or pin and poke the cord (works only with flat cords with lengthwise grooves that identify the conductors), then attach a meter test prod. Continuity between plug prong and cord conductor can then be determined. With care and with wires with alligator clips on both ends which Radio Shack sells, voltage measurements can be done. (Have the equipment unplugged while you are actually poking the cord.)

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