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Old 03-10-2008, 08:12 PM   #1
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GFCI receptacle gets tripped by hallway light


I just installed a GFCI receptacle in the bathroom (it was just a plain receptacle before that). After installation, it seemed to work fine. That is, until I flipped the hallway light on. That's when it tripped the breaker to that GFCI in the bathroom. Why would that happen? An issue might be this GFCI receptacle. On the box, it reads: Leviton SmartLock Pro 15 amp. However, there's a white label stuck to this GFCI that reads: Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, Class A, 2 Pole Unit, 20A 125V 60HZ. So is this a 20-amp receptacle in a 15-amp box? Would that trip the breaker? And why would turning on the hallway light trip the bathroom's GFCI?

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Old 03-10-2008, 09:37 PM   #2
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GFCI receptacle gets tripped by hallway light


The hall light is getting it's power from the bathroom receptacle, if your house were wired today that would not be as it is against code for a bathroom circuit to power anything other the bathroom.

I don't put my bathroom lights on the load side of a GFCI just for that reason, sometimes the light will cause a trip.

Are there any other receptacles in the room? If not I am assuming there are more that three wires coming into that box correct? If so attach them all to the LINE side of the receptacle. Is the GFCI back wired it should have a few holes for the wires on the hot and neutral screws.

If you need more help or don't understand something post back and someone will help.

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Old 03-10-2008, 09:48 PM   #3
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GFCI receptacle gets tripped by hallway light


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I just installed a GFCI receptacle in the bathroom (it was just a plain receptacle before that). After installation, it seemed to work fine. That is, until I flipped the hallway light on. That's when it tripped the breaker to that GFCI in the bathroom. Why would that happen? An issue might be this GFCI receptacle. On the box, it reads: Leviton SmartLock Pro 15 amp. However, there's a white label stuck to this GFCI that reads: Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, Class A, 2 Pole Unit, 20A 125V 60HZ. So is this a 20-amp receptacle in a 15-amp box? Would that trip the breaker? And why would turning on the hallway light trip the bathroom's GFCI?
You use the terms "trip the breaker" and "trip the bathroom's GFCI". One, the other or both? You may have erred in your wiring of the GFCI. Suggest you consider removing the GFCI outlet for now and replace it with the original outlet so that you are up and running. You may want to have an electrician check it out for you.

Last edited by End Grain; 03-10-2008 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:11 PM   #4
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GFCI receptacle gets tripped by hallway light


What tripped? The breaker? The GFCI? Look for a wiring mistake or something touching something else in the box you worked on. Putting a 20 amp rated receptacle in place of a 15 will not trip the breaker or cause any other problems.
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:19 AM   #5
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GFCI receptacle gets tripped by hallway light


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What tripped? The breaker? The GFCI? Look for a wiring mistake or something touching something else in the box you worked on. Putting a 20 amp rated receptacle in place of a 15 will not trip the breaker or cause any other problems.
Yes please clarify I am sorry I failed to notice you did mention the breaker tripping and not the GFCI, if the breaker tripped after you did your work and it did not before you have a short between a hot and neutral or a hot and a ground.
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:24 AM   #6
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GFCI receptacle gets tripped by hallway light


Proofer:

I will recomend that you check the hallway luminaire for any shorting there espcally with netrual and ground that will trip the GFCI first.

if hot shorted with ground or netural with hot it will trip the breaker before the GFCI will react some case both at the same time.

Merci, Marc
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:49 PM   #7
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GFCI receptacle gets tripped by hallway light


Thanks for all your suggestions. But to answer your question first, it was the GFCI that tripped---not the breaker. (Sorry about that.) I had the power coming into the line side and going out the load side. I'll try putting both the power coming in and going out to the line side. I'm heading out now to try that. Will post what happens when I return. Your suggestions are really appreciated.
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:25 PM   #8
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GFCI receptacle gets tripped by hallway light


Thanks to the input here, it now works just fine.

This forum is invaluable!
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Old 03-12-2008, 10:26 AM   #9
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GFCI receptacle gets tripped by hallway light


I'm glad to hear it is fixed. But I would still take Marc's advice in post 6 and check out the light fixture. You may have a ground wire touching the neutral in that fixture box or some other issue which caused your problem. Just pull it down and take a look.
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Old 03-17-2008, 07:32 PM   #10
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GFCI receptacle gets tripped by hallway light


This hall light that tripped the bathroom GFCI is not 1 light, but it has actually 3 different lights along the ceiling. Does that make a difference?
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Old 03-17-2008, 08:29 PM   #11
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GFCI receptacle gets tripped by hallway light


Yep Proofer it will affect it that why i recomend to check the affected luminare or repectales along on that circuit. sometime when the luminaire get warm up a bit sometime the wire can move very little and can cause it to trip or something can jarred [ bumped] can do the same thing.

Merci, Marc

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