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Old 12-23-2011, 04:41 PM   #1
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gfci tripping can't find cause


I have read lots of threads on gfci problems but none relate to my special circumstance. So.......The gfci under the sink in my bathroom trips only when we turn off(not on) one of the four light switches in that room. It always trips if the lights are on (in the same bathroom) and we turn on the television in the living room. (head scratcher). We never have anything plug into the gfci recepticle under the sink and there is another gfci above the sink which we always have a night light and wife uses blowdryer daily with no problems. I have checked all wiring in the wall switch box for wires touching eachother. Any thoughts or suggestions?
Thanks in advance to this forum!

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Old 12-23-2011, 05:10 PM   #2
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gfci tripping can't find cause


What type of light is it that blows the gfci ?
is it a CFL ?
is it a low voltage halogen ?
or is it a normal incandesant ?

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Old 12-23-2011, 05:40 PM   #3
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gfci tripping can't find cause


If you don't use the outlet in the cabinet why not just remove it?
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Old 12-23-2011, 05:41 PM   #4
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gfci tripping can't find cause


Quote:
It always trips if the lights are on (in the same bathroom) and we turn on the television in the living room.
That should be 2 seperate circuits....

Two options:

1) Receptacles from ALL bathrooms on one circuit without the lights.

or

2) Rec. and lights from each bathroom on a circuit that doesn't feed anything else.



In either case, the living room rec. can't be on the same circuit as the bathroom rec.

It might have been fine when it was originally wired...now it's not.
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Old 12-23-2011, 05:43 PM   #5
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gfci tripping can't find cause


Quote:
If you don't use the outlet in the cabinet why not just remove it?
Either way there has to be a GFCI protecting the rec.'s over the sink. (I hoping/assuming that one does that now)
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Old 12-23-2011, 06:01 PM   #6
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gfci tripping can't find cause


You need to figure out if they are on the same circuit. If they are then you don't need both of them to be GFCI. If the one inside the cabinet is being fed from the one above the sink you can remove the one in the cabinet or replace with a normal non GFCI outlet and still be protected. If it is the other way around you could still remove the outlet in the cabinet by using wire connectors / nuts to connect the wires (inside the outlet box and use a outlet box cover after the gfci outlet is removed) and the GFCI above the sink will still work.

Check the outlet itself...it will say line for the incoming electricity and load for any outlets that it is providing electricity to.

I'm not an electrician but I own a bunch of rentals and do my own electrical work often.
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Old 12-24-2011, 03:42 AM   #7
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gfci tripping can't find cause


one switch for reg incandescant, one switch for compact flourescent, one switch for fan, and one for the light that on the fan light combo.
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Old 12-24-2011, 04:00 AM   #8
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gfci tripping can't find cause


I checked the main circuit today and the bathroom is on its own circuit. living room on it's own circuit.

One thing I didn't mention , but wanted you all to know was when the television is turned on it doesnt just trip the gfci under the sink, all the lights go off in that bathroom until the reset button is pushed in. Then they come back on.

wasn't sure if that was clear or if it even matters.

I am glad I joined this chatroom and I really appreciate all the quick and helpful responses. Keep'em coming.
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Old 12-24-2011, 09:16 AM   #9
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gfci tripping can't find cause


the cause of the tripping is bad wiring. is the tv on the same breaker as the receptacle that trips?
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Old 12-24-2011, 11:21 AM   #10
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gfci tripping can't find cause


If the lights are going off when the GFCI is tripped that means that the lights are wired on the Load side of the outlet. (The electricity is flowing through the outlets to the lights)

Not sure why the TV on a separate circuit would be tripping your bathroom GFCI but strange things happen. DO a little trouble shooting...plug your TV into an extension cord from another circuit maybe from kitchen or bedroom and see if the same thing occurs. It could be that your GFCI's are sensing a minor microvolt surge when the TV is turned on and they are tripping....they can be very sensitive, especially if you have two in line. If your bathroom circuit and TV circuit are next to each other at the breaker box they could be detecting that surge. (possible fix move the circuits away from each other at the box....but that's a job for someone maybe a little more experienced than you?)

In regards to your two GFCI's you still need to figure out which one is feeding the other. Everything on the load side of the outlet is protected by that one GFCI outlet (again assuming you were correct in determining they are on the same circuit). Take the cover off the outlet and see which one has four wires attached to it and which one only has two. The one with two is protected by the other one (my guess is that the one in the cabinet will have 2) Try replacing the one with only 2 wires attached to it with a standard outlet or eliminate it altogether. See if that has any effect. Always turn off the circuit when replacing any outlets.

And if none of that works you can always replace your breakers with GFCI breakers and replace both GFCI outlets in the bathroom with standard outlets as the breaker now handles the GFCI protection.

(You may want to invest in a cheap outlet tester)

Good luck.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:01 AM   #11
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gfci tripping can't find cause


Again, thank you for your interest in my thread. It must be challenging to try to help people who are clueless, and in my case, don't give you all the information that would help solve the problem.

I've been busy. I'm glad to get back to this pet peave gfci receptacle under my sink! If I have to reset it one more time.......

UPDATE:

So, I did the extension cord thing and it did not trip the gfci. I also opened up both gfci receptacles. The one under the sink has four wires, marked "lead gang hot" on one side, the other side of recepticle labeled "lead 1". Makes sense that's the one that keeps tripping. The gfci rec above only had two wires.
I double checked the main circuits, the front room is a separate breaker than the bath.
Any thoughts?

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