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Old 07-31-2013, 01:14 PM   #1
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GFCI as culprit?


I'm not really a do-it-myselfer, but I like to have a basic understanding before I hire, because some tradesmen add things without my knowledge and without explaining it -- like I was getting ready to plug in my AC when I noticed an outlet that had a little light in it with the barely visible words "test" and "reset." So I pushed the buttons, and the circuit (the other outlets on that wall) went dead.

I went outside to the box. Please see the picture where it shows the two switches for the AC on the left. One is up and one is down. Did the GFCI cause one switch to pop up? In the normal position, are they both supposed to be switched in the same direction (like the other switches next to the AC switches).

Which of the AC switches is on? The one on the left says "on" but is that the one that is off? If that's the one that's off, should I flip it up? Thank you.
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:15 PM   #2
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GFCI as culprit?


Did you "reset" the GFCI?

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Old 07-31-2013, 02:31 PM   #3
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GFCI as culprit?


I pushed the reset button, and that's when the outlets failed. I had my computer plugged into one of the outlets on that wall, and when I pushed the reset, the computer went out. Never did plug in the AC.
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Old 07-31-2013, 04:51 PM   #4
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GFCI as culprit?


Both those breaker are on. I'm not sure what the problem is.


If you pressed the TEST button the GFI should have tripped and anything that is fed from the LOAD side of it should have gone off.
Pushing the RESET button should have put everything back to normal.
None of this would have affected the breakers in the panel.
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Old 07-31-2013, 05:39 PM   #5
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GFCI as culprit?


Pushing the reset button in will shut power off until you let it back out.


In this video, I'm pushing the reset on the gfi and it shuts off the light until I let go of it. They all do that. http://youtu.be/hbE7dUrYfRQ

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Old 07-31-2013, 05:57 PM   #6
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GFCI as culprit?


Quote:
Originally Posted by DIherself View Post
Please see the picture where it shows the two switches for the AC on the left.
These are NOT switches. These are breakers.
Do you use them for any sort of daily on/off purpose?

Quote:
Which of the AC switches is on?
The one on the left says "on" but is that the one that is off?
If that's the one that's off, should I flip it up?
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Old 07-31-2013, 05:57 PM   #7
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GFCI as culprit?


Are you a renter or do you own this home?
Anytime I see Stab Loc on a panel I think Federal panel. What brand does it say on the panel?
http://inspectapedia.com/fpe/fpepanel.htm
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:04 PM   #8
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GFCI as culprit?


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Anytime I see Stab Loc on a panel I think Federal panel. What brand does it say on the panel?
StabLoc is FPE.
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:27 PM   #9
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GFCI as culprit?


Those receptacles shouldn't be on a 30 amp breaker anyway.
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wirenut1110
Those receptacles shouldn't be on a 30 amp breaker anyway.
It's not like the fpe breakers would trip anyway. You should have power to your plugs if all you did was push the reset button. Power is restored when you let the reset button come back out to its normal position
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:12 PM   #11
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GFCI as culprit?


Quote:
Originally Posted by wirenut1110 View Post
Those receptacles shouldn't be on a 30 amp breaker anyway.
They must not be explaining it right.
That 2-pole 30 has to be for central air or something.
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:17 AM   #12
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GFCI as culprit?


It was a faulty GFCI. Not only was the test button stuck in position, but the reset button doesn't restore power. So I learned that it has nothing to do with the two breakers, which are for my AC 15,000 BTU window unit, and the breakers are both on after all (optical illusion with the word "on" written only on one of them). The breaker panel is a Federal Pacific. Is that good or bad? I own the house. Whoever put the GFCI in didn't tell me what it was for or how it worked, but now I know, thanks to you all.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:13 AM   #13
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GFCI as culprit?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
Both those breaker are on. I'm not sure what the problem is.


If you pressed the TEST button the GFI should have tripped and anything that is fed from the LOAD side of it should have gone off.
Pushing the RESET button should have put everything back to normal.
None of this would have affected the breakers in the panel.
Look closer at the bottom of the panel, below the A/C breaker.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:19 AM   #14
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GFCI as culprit?


It looks like a recessed breaker below the AC breaker, at the bottom of the panel. I have no idea what that is or why it's like that, just that it doesn't look right. Would you like to shed some light on it? I need all the help I can get with this old house.

Last edited by DIherself; 08-02-2013 at 11:31 AM. Reason: clarify pronoun
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:09 PM   #15
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GFCI as culprit?


Quote:
Originally Posted by DIherself View Post
It looks like a recessed breaker below the AC breaker..
It's not 'recessed'...
it's not mounted to the bus bar (inside) properly
(here's a LINK to what should be there)
Quote:
Would you like to shed some light on it?
I need all the help I can get with this old house.
Cutting to the chase... it's time for a new panel.
And very likely some other electrical work around there.

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