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Old 02-27-2011, 02:41 PM   #1
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GFCI problem


I just installed a GFCI in my kitchen. This outlet also fed an outlet in a room adjacent to the kitchen. I pigtailed off the hot and neutral and wired to my GFCI. Hot and neutral went to the line terminals and I did not use the load terminals. I plugged a lamp into it for test and the lamp would not work in the test and did work in the reset.
However, with the lamp unplugged and GFCI in the test mode, my tester indicates that both top and bottom hot receptacle slots of the GFCI are still hot. When I plug the lamp back in during the test mode, I get a short burst of phantom current in the other hot slot and my tester indicates no current in the line to the lamp. I checked the terminals and the black is to brass and neutral is to silver.

The bath GFCI I installed with line and load connections has no current to the hot receptacle slots when it is in test mode.
Any ideas as to what is going on? Why is there current in the hot slots when in test mode and nothing plugged in?

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Old 02-27-2011, 03:18 PM   #2
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GFCI problem


O.K., after posting, I tossed my "voltage detector" and used my voltage meter. It is reading less than a volt when ther GFCI is in test mode. Should this voltage be there? It is apparent the voltage detector is extremely sensitive.
Thanks.

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Old 02-27-2011, 03:47 PM   #3
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GFCI problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by Captflx View Post
O.K., after posting, I tossed my "voltage detector" and used my voltage meter. It is reading less than a volt when ther GFCI is in test mode. Should this voltage be there? It is apparent the voltage detector is extremely sensitive.
Thanks.
Non contact testers (voltage detectors) are the wrong instrument to check a gfci for voltage when the gfci is tripped using the test button. Trip the gfci with the test button , there should not be voltage hot to neutral and nothing should operate if plugged into that gfci. Reset it and all should be well. Less than a volt on a multimeter is nothing to be concerned with.

As for testers it doesn't get much better than the fluke line of testers. My new favorite is the T-Plus for around the house for testing voltage and continuity. It won't read all that phantom voltage causing you great confusion.

Testing for current I have a few others I like.
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:21 PM   #4
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GFCI problem


Thanks Stubbie. Good advice. The detector is easy to use but I've just found out it's not the one to use in all situations.
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