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Old 02-12-2011, 11:01 AM   #1
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GFCI outlets lose power, and then get it back


I added a few new GFCI outlets. All of them are on the same breaker. Right after I finished wiring and turn on power, outlet didn't have power on then, but got it in about 5 minutes. I didn't pay attention to that.

A few days later all of the outlets loose power (light on the outlets went off, and they would not reset). I thought that probably one of the wire connector got loose and was planing trip to attic over the weekend to fix it. However, a few days later outlet's got power back.

I've never heard of power coming on/off. All the wiring is in the attic or inside the wall, so nobody touched it. Any recommendations?


Thanks,

Vadim

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Old 02-12-2011, 11:25 AM   #2
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GFCI outlets lose power, and then get it back


You should consider testing your GFI outlets to make sure they function properly. Simply plug in a small appliance or even a clock or lamp, make sure it's on and then press the test button. If the GFI works properly then the clock or lamp should lose power and turn off, and the reset button on the GFI outlet should pop out, indicating the power is out. If the reset button pops out but the light does not go out, the GFCI has been improperly wired. Contact an electrocution to fix the problem. If the reset button does not pop out, the GFCI is defective and should be replaced. If the GFCI is functioning properly and the lamp goes out, press the reset button to restore power to the outlet. You can also purchase a GFI tester, available at most hardware stores. It plugs into the GFI outlet, and will supply you with information about your connections, indicating wiring problems and/or the condition of the GFI.

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Old 02-12-2011, 11:44 AM   #3
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GFCI outlets lose power, and then get it back


(copied from another forum)
Probably a loose connection either at the first dead outlet or the last live outlet or junction box in the overall daisy chain from the panel.

Incidentally in a daisy chain not involving a multiwire branch circuit (red/black/white; shared neutral; 120/240 volt circuit) just one GFCI receptacle unit will provide GFCI protection to other receptacles further downstream. Simply use the "load" terminals for the cable (both black and white) continuing on from that point. (The power feed connects to the "line" terminals, and the neutral on the line side is not combined with the neutral(s) on the load side.)
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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-12-2011 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:44 AM   #4
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GFCI outlets lose power, and then get it back


Quote:
Originally Posted by epson View Post
You should consider testing your GFI outlets to make sure they function properly.

I did test outlets, and they work corrctly (all 3). The power loss has to be somewhere before outlets, It is hard to belive that all 3 outlets would have a problem at the same time.
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:47 AM   #5
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GFCI outlets lose power, and then get it back


[quote=AllanJ;589565](copied from another forum)
Probably a loose connection either at the first dead outlet or the last live outlet in the overall daisy chain from the panel.
[quote]

They are not in the chain. I've put a box in the attic and 3 wires goes to 3 outles independently. So the only loose conection could be in that box. I did double check and I don't see anything. Also, if it would be a loose connection, why power would come back?
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:52 AM   #6
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GFCI outlets lose power, and then get it back


Then there might be a loose wire somewhere. These things can be hard to track down. Somewhere in the circuit, there is a break. It could even be at a device that is working, because it could be the wire leaving the working device that is not working.

Check all outlets, switches, and lights. Check the wire nuts, because the wire could look connected, but not be. Especially check any outlets and switches that have the wires pushed in the back rather than screwed to the sides, because sometimes these fail.
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:55 AM   #7
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GFCI outlets lose power, and then get it back


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Originally Posted by epson View Post
Then there might be a loose wire somewhere. These things can be hard to track down.
I was hopping for some better ideas . I'll wait till it fail again and then will try to check right away. As right now, I don't see a problems with any of the connections.


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Old 02-12-2011, 12:02 PM   #8
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GFCI outlets lose power, and then get it back


Like I mentioned in my other post you should purchase a GFI tester which you can get at most hardware stores or big box stores. It plugs into the GFI outlet, and will supply you with information about your connections, indicating wiring problems and/or the condition of the GFI it costs around $10.00 give that a go.
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:35 PM   #9
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GFCI outlets lose power, and then get it back


Quote:
Originally Posted by epson View Post
Like I mentioned in my other post you should purchase a GFI tester which you can get at most hardware stores or big box stores. It plugs into the GFI outlet, and will supply you with information about your connections, indicating wiring problems and/or the condition of the GFI it costs around $10.00 give that a go.
Well, I have it. And as I said before, if there is no power, then there is no power coming to the outlet. Question is, why did power came back.
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:00 PM   #10
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GFCI outlets lose power, and then get it back


What comes before the junction box? (where the power feed cable came from)

Also check the connections in the breaker panel for tightness.
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Old 02-13-2011, 02:31 AM   #11
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GFCI outlets lose power, and then get it back


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Well, I have it. And as I said before, if there is no power, then there is no power coming to the outlet. Question is, why did power came back.
well thermal expandsion can cause a lot of weird things.

Lets say that a wire is free to move a little. As the temperature in the room fluctuates it might expand and move to complete/break a connection. Wires under load do quite a bit of movement.

Your best bet is to remake all of your connection, preferably pretwisting your wires before installing wire nuts.
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:45 AM   #12
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GFCI outlets lose power, and then get it back


Where a wire goes into the back of a switch or receptacle where it supposedly sticks in place but can rotate freely, the wire should be taken out, any nicked copper clipped off and new copper exposed, and the wire screwed onto the side of the switch or receptacle.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:38 AM   #13
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GFCI outlets lose power, and then get it back


Where did the feed wire come from?
Could it be from a switch?

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