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-   -   Garage GFCI Circuit Wiring Problem (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/garage-gfci-circuit-wiring-problem-98945/)

woodworkerjeff 03-20-2011 02:53 AM

Garage GFCI Circuit Wiring Problem
 
Hi,

I seem to have created an electrical problem I could use some help with. I recently purchased an older Craftsman drill press. When I bought it the guy turned it on and it got up to full speed and ran great. I took it to my garage and plugged it in and it got up to about half speed and then shut off. The stats on the motor are 120 volt, 11.5 amps, single phase, 3/4 HP, 60 hz..nothing out of the ordinary. I've ran my table saw, miter saw, routers, etc off that outlet and never had a problem until now. I went and checked the breaker but none of them were flipped. The outlet that the drill press was on no longer works..reads a 0.0 volts with the multimeter. I checked around for other outlets on the circuit. There's an outlet on the front porch which now reads 0.0 volts and a GFCI outlet in the front bath that reads 0.0 volts. The test/reset is not working on the GFCI in the front bath. I pressed the reset in all the way but it would not hold. I'm guessing these outlets are all on the same circuit and the GFCI is part/all of the problem.

Do you think I need to replace the GFCI? Or could it be a bad breaker? Or could it be something completely different? I'm thinking I will replace the GFCI with a new 20 amp GFCI but wanted to get some suggestions from some more knowledgeable people first.

Thanks in advance!
Jeff

bluemoonshine 03-20-2011 03:16 AM

its probably one of the GFCI's somewhere in circuit, you only need one but it looks like the bathroom has an extra probably for button conveinece, the test button wont work if its not live, you could test the breaker in the panel for voltage with the beeper if theres enough room but ive never seen one even break, I have seen alot of gfci recepticals go bad tho. infact 15 amp gfci recepticals always break on 20amp circuits in my experience lol

bluemoonshine 03-20-2011 03:22 AM

try fliping the breaker in the panel a few times too

frenchelectrican 03-20-2011 03:29 AM

First thing I know you did check the GFCI test/reset button however you may have a loose connection as well that will affect it also.

So find the breaker for that circuit if the box is marked for that circuit otherwise get a NCV (non concat voltage ) tester to verify if the power is off then look at the connections to see if they are loose or burnted.

To replace the GFCI is not super hard but please make a note which leads is line and load that will affect the operation so pay attetion to them.

once you get the GFCI replaced then if still not getting power to your drillpress or other area then you may have loose connection somewhere else in that circuit.

Really the garage should be on it own circuit anyway to reduce the amout of load on exsting circuit.

Is the garage is attached to the house or it is detached ?

Merci.
Marc

woodworkerjeff 03-20-2011 03:52 AM

Thanks for the tips bluemoonshine. The existing GFCI is 20 years old..maybe it just went bad. Marc, I thought the garage should be on its own circuit as well. I found that odd. It's an attached garage. I think the connections are good. Good call with making a note of the wires when replacing the GFCI. I'll put a new GFCI on it and let you guys know how it goes..I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will do the trick!

woodworkerjeff 03-20-2011 11:32 AM

I just replaced the GFCI that I thought was the problem. Apparently it is not the problem..ugh. I replaced it, the test/reset still did not work on the new one, so then I flipped all the breakers in the panel twice (my panel isn't labeled so I had to do them all). It's like the wires are just dead. I wish I knew what breaker they were on..but the breaker is not labeled. I noticed one odd thing when I flipped the breakers. There was one breaker, which I believe is a 2 single-pole 15 amp breaker, that only one pole would reset. The other pole would only flip halfway off. The weird thing is that this breaker was added or replaced when we added a sunroom on to our house. I have no idea what I'm talking about here so I might sound dumb..but could they have wired the sunroom on to one pole of the breaker which is good and the front bath/outside receptacles/garage on the other pole which doesn't want to flip? Thanks.

woodworkerjeff 03-20-2011 12:46 PM

Good news! Replaced the circuit breaker I suspected and all is back to normal..thanks! Hopefully the drill press does not break it again..looking at it now maybe I should have put a 2 single-pole 20 amp breaker in instead of a new 2 single-pole 15 amp breaker.

frenchelectrican 03-20-2011 05:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by woodworkerjeff (Post 613223)
Good news! Replaced the circuit breaker I suspected and all is back to normal..thanks! Hopefully the drill press does not break it again..looking at it now maybe I should have put a 2 single-pole 20 amp breaker in instead of a new 2 single-pole 15 amp breaker.

Just becarefull with that part if you have MWBC then yes you must use the 2 pole breaker but for induvial circuit which they are not MWBC then you can use single pole breakers.

I hope you did double check the conductor size if you see the conductor size is 12 AWG that will useally take 20 amp breaker without issue but if you have 14 AWG conductor then you have no choice but use 15 amp you CAN not use 20 amp breaker on this one.

So check it out thruout the affected circuit to make sure they are #12 otherwise if you find them in #14 then you have to change to 15 amp breaker for time being until you run a new circuit.

It was pretty common in older code have bathroom , outdoor receptale , garage on the same GFCI some case kitchen involded as well but not anymore per modern electrical codes.

Merci.
Marc

woodworkerjeff 03-20-2011 11:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by frenchelectrican (Post 613428)
I hope you did double check the conductor size if you see the conductor size is 12 AWG that will useally take 20 amp breaker without issue but if you have 14 AWG conductor then you have no choice but use 15 amp you CAN not use 20 amp breaker on this one.

Thanks for this tip..I would not have known any better. I still have the 15 amp breaker on the panel but I will check the conductor to see if it is 12 AWG or 14 AWG before deciding to switch to a 20 amp breaker.

SD515 03-21-2011 09:05 AM

Just to clarify...Like Marc said, the entire circuit has to be 12ga wire in order to use a 20A breaker. If any part of that circuit has 14ga, you are limited to 15A, until that portion is replaced with 12ga.

Jim Port 03-21-2011 09:53 AM

Quote:

I have seen alot of gfci recepticals go bad tho. infact 15 amp gfci recepticals always break on 20amp circuits in my experience lol
I don't know why, the difference is the slot configuration. The internals are the same. A 15 amp device is still rated for 20 amp feed-thru.

woodworkerjeff 03-21-2011 12:06 PM

Thanks for the help guys! I'm not positive, but it appears that it is 14 awg..so looks like I will have to stay away from putting on a 20 amp breaker. Here's something that doesn't make sense..maybe you all have some suggestions:

I tried starting up the drill press today with the tensioning belt removed (so the motor would turn freely and not have to drive the press). It got almost up to full speed then shut off. Fortunately this time it just tripped the breaker instead of frying it so I just had to flip it back and now I have power again on the circuit. I don't understand why the drill press would cause the breaker to flip. The motor says it's 11.5 amp. I run my 15 amp miter saw all the time from the same outlet and it never flinches. I don't think it would be the extention cord I use with the drill press since I use the same cord for the miter saw and it works fine on that. Could something be bad on the drill press motor that would cause it to draw too much?

Thanks,
Jeff

jbfan 03-21-2011 01:55 PM

Have you tried the drill press anywhere else?

woodworkerjeff 03-21-2011 04:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbfan (Post 614000)
Have you tried the drill press anywhere else?

Yes. When I went to go buy it the guy started it up and it ran fine. I also had it in a dorm room for 2 months until I could get it home. I turned it on a few times in the dorm and it got up to speed fine, then one time I started it up, it got to half speed and shut off. It hasn't worked properly since.

It's the 1985 version of this Craftsman:

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...u=00922901000P

jbfan 03-21-2011 05:50 PM

I can't tell from the pics, but mine has a starting cap.
It sounds like it may be bad.


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