Originally Posted by ashnic
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?