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Old 08-01-2011, 12:06 PM   #16
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GFCI not working.


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
You can use a GFCI without a ground. It is possible, that you have created a "bootlegged" ground, and that the system needs to be looked at before proceeding any further. You really need to stop messing with the one outlet, and go through and double check the circuits in the house. If not sure you can do, hire an electrician.

Most likely the GFCI was installed, due to the "Home Inspector" stated they needed one, even though the home predates those protectors. Even with the panel upgrade, the home would not qualify for one, unless you wanted the outlet to have three prong capability, but it is still an ungrounded circuit.
I have confirmed successful ground prior to installing the outlet with a multimeter, 120v from black to white and black to ground, 0 from white to ground. I have done about 12 other outlets in the house, because they were all 2 prong, and tested every ground wire I put in. This is my first GFCI.

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Old 08-01-2011, 12:10 PM   #17
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GFCI not working.


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I read back through all the postings:
I suspect what happened is when your wife was cooking lunch the breaker tripped. In replacing the GFCI you reset the breaker so now the other receptacles started working.
Since you only have a black and white wire in this box connected to the GFCI that says it is the end of the run for that circuit.
You may need a voltmeter. If the green light is on, I'd think the GFCI would have power. When you turn off the breaker, the green light does go off along with the other receptacles going dead - correct?
The breaker actually didn't trip, that was my first step, everything was in the on position on the panel. I was really surprisey by that actually

While I haven't explicitly tested the green light going off with the breaker, I think I could assume that this would the be case considering when I installed it it was off, and the breaker was off when I installed it.
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:16 PM   #18
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GFCI not working.


Just because the breaker appeared to be in the on position it still could have tripped. It does sound like the gfci must be at the end of a run.
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:20 PM   #19
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GFCI not working.


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Just because the breaker appeared to be in the on position it still could have tripped. It does sound like the gfci must be at the end of a run.

Ahh I did not know this, I thought if it tripped it switched to off. That helps a lot of my confusion!
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:27 PM   #20
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GFCI not working.


It's rare but especially if the breakers are worn they can trip but look like they are on.
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:41 PM   #21
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GFCI not working.


If it's a Leviton brand GFCI, double check the you actually landed the wire on the line side of the GFCI. They recently (in the last couple of years) swapped the line and load terminals in respect to the face of the GFCI.

This redesign has caught a few electricians (including me) who have been installing this brand for a long time. See this thread on another forum.

http://forums.mikeholt.com/showthrea...6545-ggggrrrrr....
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:22 PM   #22
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GFCI not working.


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If it's a Leviton brand GFCI, double check the you actually landed the wire on the line side of the GFCI. They recently (in the last couple of years) swapped the line and load terminals
Fortunately the "idiot proof" yellow sticker sufficiently notified me of this . Also it was my first one.
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:01 PM   #23
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GFCI not working.


Just realized I replaced the 20 amp gfci which I had thought went bad with a 15 amp one. Could this be the problem?
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:04 PM   #24
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GFCI not working.


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Just realized I replaced the 20 amp gfci which I had thought went bad with a 15 amp one. Could this be the problem?
No. The 15 amp will be fine.
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:05 PM   #25
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GFCI not working.


Sorry guys...

i am still not clear, given that there is only one black and and only one white in the box, and the ground that I put in and tested, can I sucessfully install the GFCI? Do I need an electrician?
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:41 PM   #26
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GFCI not working.


Yes you can install the gfci, but in reality, you do not have a true ground. Is the house wired with BX (armored cable), or romex wiring? If you are getting voltage from white & black, then the gfci will work. If it still is not working, start as mentioned before, check all connections from the breaker panel, to this outlet. Somewhere this is not a proper connection that is causing problems. I personally would not be surprised if you do not find a bootlegged ground or two in the house (ground connected to neutral in the junction or switch box).

When the microwave tripped that outlet, it probably caused a loose connection to finally break open, and when you place the gfci in the junction box, it is using the ground & black to complete the circuit somewhat, but it is not properly powering up, due to the neutral is loose somewhere.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:31 PM   #27
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GFCI not working.


Upon further inspection, I have noticed that prior owner had taped two black wires together and two white wires together, so while i was only seeing one, there are actually two. I assume one is load and one is lead, right? How do I figure out which is which? I guess trial and error would only take one try...

Also, my ground is grounding. Black to white is 120, black to ground is 120, and white to ground is zero, so wouldn't that mean all is well behind the walls?

PS. How do I put pics up here? Do I need photo hosting?

Last edited by teamcampreder; 08-01-2011 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:39 PM   #28
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GFCI not working.


Edit to fit, or place on flickr. At the point of finding one non-compliant non-code connection, I would go back and pull the inspection report from the home inspector, and see if they even caught this stuff. Personally, I would go through every connection in the home and look for more fire starters, including the panel.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:39 PM   #29
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GFCI not working.


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Old 08-01-2011, 06:45 PM   #30
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Edit to fit, or place on flickr. At the point of finding one non-compliant non-code connection, I would go back and pull the inspection report from the home inspector, and see if they even caught this stuff. Personally, I would go through every connection in the home and look for more fire starters, including the panel.
To me, this sounds like "get an electrician". The inspector was thorough, but I don't see any notations about shoddy electrical in the inspection. I honeslty dont know what else I would do to "check connections
" outside of taking all the outlets out and replacing them, which is what I have been doing anyway.

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