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Old 05-14-2011, 08:23 PM   #31
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which GFCI to buy?


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I am wondering if you are sure which is which (line and load wires)
My thoughts exactly.....

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Old 05-14-2011, 08:43 PM   #32
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Yes, I am sure about the difference between line and load. Line comes from the circuit breaker. Load goes to outlets in other rooms that need to be protected by the GFCI.

I just bought a sniffer, and I am very glad that I did. Every wire is dead except near the back of the box.

So I will disconnect the GFCI (after labeling the wires), and then use the sniffer to see exactly where the hot line dies.

My guess is that one of the wire nuts is loose.

I still don't understand why the GFCI has 2 neutral wires connected to neutral line.

Last edited by mike932; 05-14-2011 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:06 PM   #33
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My guess is that one of the wire nuts is loose.
Or another connection is loose or completely open.

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Old 05-14-2011, 09:08 PM   #34
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I still don't understand why the GFCI has 2 neutral wires connected to neutral line.
Neither do we. But it is probably a splice of many blacks in the back and they used the device to splice their neutrals.
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:07 PM   #35
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I disconnected and tested all the wires......



Wire A is a white wire but has current running through it. It was connected to GFCI "line" silver (not gold) screw when the house was built!

Wire B is a black wire with no current. It was connected to GFCI "load" gold screw when the house was built which seems correct.

Wire C is a white wire with no current. It was connected to GFCI "load" silver screw when the house was built which seems correct.

Wire D is a black wire with current running through it. It was connected to GFCI "line" gold screw when the house was built which seems correct.

Wire E is a white wire with no current. It was connected to GFCI "line" silver screw when the house was built which seems correct.

Wire F is the ground wire. It was connected to GFCI green screw when the house was built which is correct.

Wire G is black with current running through it. It is wire nutted to wire H.

Wire H is is red with current running though it. It is wire nutted to wire G.

Notice that Wire A and Wire E were both connected to GFCI "line" silver screw even though Wire A has current!

Please tell me how to solve this.

Last edited by mike932; 05-14-2011 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:31 PM   #36
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When I use a multimeter, white wire A paired with white wire E produces 120 volts.

But black wire D paired with white wire E produces zero volts even though black wire D has current according to the sniffer.

Last edited by mike932; 05-15-2011 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:19 AM   #37
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I am guessing I should cut wire A so that no copper is showing and then cover the end of it with electrical tape, and stop using it?
NO!! NEVER do that. If you need to discontinue use of a wire put a wire nut on it and tuck it in the back of the box.

It is not uncommon to have whites used as hots(they are supposed to be marked but that rarely happens)
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:21 AM   #38
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Okay then, I guess I should put a nut on black wire D and discontinue using it?

And then I will wrap black tape along the length of white wire A to label it as hot?

Then I will use wire A as "line" hot? And wire E as "line" neutral?
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:47 AM   #39
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Okay then, I guess I should put a nut on black wire D and discontinue using it?

And then I will wrap black tape along the length of white wire A to label it as hot?

Then I will use wire A as "line" hot? And wire E as "line" neutral?
umm probably not. We need to figure out what is happening here. I think I see three cables entering this box. one of which is a 3wire. Can we determine where they go? It might be important


which of the above lettered wires are in the same cables?
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:49 AM   #40
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umm probably not. We need to figure out what is happening here. I think I see three cables entering this box. one of which is a 3wire. Can we determine where they go? It might be important
Well, the breaker has been off for many days, and I am not noticed any loss of electricity anywhere in the house besides 2 outlets in another bathroom. Those 2 outlets have not worked since the GFCI produced smoke.

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Old 05-15-2011, 12:55 AM   #41
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which of the above lettered wires are in the same cables?
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:56 AM   #42
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Hot whites tells me that lights are involved some how.
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:00 AM   #43
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A and G are from the left cable and are both hot.

D and E and H are from the middle cable.

B and C are from the right cable.
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:43 AM   #44
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how are you measuring "hotness" ? with a DMM or a non contact voltage pen?

and ur measuring to ground
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:46 AM   #45
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well I really think we need to insure where the cables go. What I suggest is to open box that you think it goes to, and temp tie neutral and black together using wire nut, back at trouble box teat for contuinity between wires of questioned cable.

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