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Old 03-06-2011, 03:19 PM   #1
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Garage GFI Help please


I had a new garage built 2 years ago. In the garage I had a 200 amp service installed (for future service). I only had 60 amp of service installed at the time the garage was built. 1 20 for the wall outlets, 1 20 amp for the ceiling and outside lighting and 1 20 amp for the garage door opener. Ok with that said here is what happened..last week we had a pretty good thunder storm with lots and lots of rain..went back out in the garage a day or so later and all my wall outlets are dead...the first outlet next to box is the GFI. It was tripped and would not reset. So I purchased a new one and replaced it. As soon as I turn on the breaker the GFI trips. Now I was very careful in wiring it up and everything is correct. I unplugged the load wires on the GFI and the ground, reset the GFI turn the breaker on and it still trips? Now my garage door opener which is on a different circuit has a GFI as well and it is fine and the overhead/outside lights are on a GFI breaker and they are all fine. I have checked everything in the panel for as making sure everything is tight and can not figure this out for the life of me. Any suggestions would be great. Also I have tryed to get in contact with the electrician who installed everything but I do not believe he is in the area anymore.

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Old 03-06-2011, 04:56 PM   #2
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Garage GFI Help please


Either its miswired, you have another bad receptacle, or you have had a short somewhere in the cable and its shorting to the neutral. Could be that you had a surge and fried that wire somehow, or you damaged the wire in the process of replacing the receptacle. Turn off that breaker until you can verify everything or refeed that circuit. Can you take a picture of the panel and feed to the receptacle, and the inside of the box.

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Old 03-06-2011, 05:47 PM   #3
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Garage GFI Help please


Is it a breaker tripping or is the GFCI tripping?
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by iminaquagmire View Post
Either its miswired, you have another bad receptacle, or you have had a short somewhere in the cable and its shorting to the neutral. Could be that you had a surge and fried that wire somehow, or you damaged the wire in the process of replacing the receptacle. Turn off that breaker until you can verify everything or refeed that circuit. Can you take a picture of the panel and feed to the receptacle, and the inside of the box.
Since it was a short run to the GFI I went ahead and ran a new 4 foot piece outside of the box from the breaker box to the GFI. Same result..as soon as I flip on the breaker the GFI trips and that is with no load wires connected just the GFI.. Reset same thing. As far as miswired I am positive it is wired correctly..


Is it a breaker tripping or is the GFCI tripping?

GFI only...the breaker has not tripped yet. I had another new breaker there so I replaced it earlier...no change however.
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:33 PM   #5
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Garage GFI Help please


Get a new GFCI.
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:38 PM   #6
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Get a new GFCI.
I have replaced it twice with new one's. Did it twice just to make sure. This is really a weird thing because I have never had any issues until that real hard rain storm..and I just keep thinking that water is involved some how but everything on that circuit is inside and bone dry.???

Last edited by ashnic; 03-06-2011 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:05 PM   #7
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Garage GFI Help please


You want to check all wiring on the line side of the gfci for shorts to ground. It could be another receptacle is bad. Gfci's can be very sensitive to moisture it only takes a few miliamps of leakage to trip them. Since your problem started after a storm I would think water is the culprit. But where is another question.
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:11 PM   #8
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You want to check all wiring on the line side of the gfci for shorts to ground. It could be another receptacle is bad. Gfci's can be very sensitive to moisture it only takes a few miliamps of leakage to trip them. Since your problem started after a storm I would think water is the culprit. But where is another question.
Well the GFI still trips with the line side completly unhooked including the ground to the other outlets. I have 3 wires coming out of the breaker box to the GFI hot/neutrel &ground. Nothing on the load side. I thought well maybe I was getting a short in the wiring in the wall so I replaced it with a 4 foot piece outside the wall..same thing...hit the breaker pop! Tripped...
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:24 PM   #9
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Are there any other rec. On the load side of the gfci
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:24 PM   #10
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Garage GFI Help please


How can a GFI trip with nothing connected to the LINE side? There should be no power.

The line side is where the power goes into a GFI. Load terminals are to protect receptacles downstream of the GFI.
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:29 PM   #11
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How can a GFI trip with nothing connected to the LINE side? There should be no power.

The line side is where the power goes into a GFI. Load terminals are to protect receptacles downstream of the GFI.
You are correct...I did mean the load side...nothing connected to the load side...only wires connected were straight out of the box to the line side of the GFI.
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:31 PM   #12
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Are there any other rec. On the load side of the gfci
Yes there is but I have them unhooked including the ground to the other outlets... But it makes no differance at all does the exact same thing..If the load is hooked up to the GFI and you turn on the breaker pop..GFI trips...leave the load unhooked from the GFI and turn on the breaker and pop GFI Trips..
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:42 PM   #13
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Garage GFI Help please


Can you temporarily disconnect one of the circuits that has a GFCI on it and is functioning properly and see if the problem GFCI will properly reset wired to that breaker? Also what about swapping the problematic GFCI with the good one controlling the garage door? Will it reset wired to that circuit?
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:46 PM   #14
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Can you temporarily disconnect one of the circuits that has a GFCI on it and is functioning properly and see if the problem GFCI will properly reset wired to that breaker? Also what about swapping the problematic GFCI with the good one controlling the garage door? Will it reset wired to that circuit?

I guess I could try that but I have installed a new breaker and 2 new GFI outlets with no luck but I will try it tomorrow!
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:44 AM   #15
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Garage GFI Help please


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Originally Posted by ashnic View Post
You are correct...I did mean the load side...nothing connected to the load side...only wires connected were straight out of the box to the line side of the GFI.
Are you absolutely positive you don't have line and load reversed on the GFCI? They are intended to trip and not reset when mis-wired. Could hot and neutral be reversed somehow? Check everything again, down to reading the printing on the GFCI to verify line and load, and testing with a meter with the power on.

It strikes me as odd that you say the GFCI trips when you turn the power on. It should not be resettable unless the power is already on, and should not reset if there is a fault present. How are you able to reset the GFCI to try this more than one time?

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