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Old 09-20-2013, 03:32 PM   #1
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GFCI won't work


I have installed several GFCIs in my home but I ran into one where a GFCI won't work. When I connect the load wires (and I am certain I have them properly identified) the GFCI won't work and if I disconnect the load wires it works perfectly. What am I doing wrong?

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Old 09-20-2013, 05:42 PM   #2
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GFCI won't work


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I have installed several GFCIs in my home but I ran into one where a GFCI won't work. When I connect the load wires (and I am certain I have them properly identified) the GFCI won't work and if I disconnect the load wires it works perfectly. What am I doing wrong?
Check the load side to make sure something is not ground faulted.
The gfci may be doing it's job.

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Old 09-20-2013, 10:42 PM   #3
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Is this GFCI downstream of another GFCI outlet, on that Branch Circuit? What is the Load wiring going to? Can you post a wiring diagram of how you have the circuit connected, and what is on the circuit? Also, Bath, basement, outside, Kitchen, Laundry that you are using this in.
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:28 AM   #4
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Thanks,

I attempted to wire it in what appeared to be the start of a circuit in the master bedroom suite. The circuit has wall plugs and overhead lights but nothing special or heavy duty plugged in anywhere. I haven't a clue on how the circuit is wired except that when the load wires at this outlet were disconnected all the other outlets and switches were without power.
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Old 09-21-2013, 12:09 PM   #5
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GFCI won't work


Where are you located? You need to first figure out which wires are the incoming "Line" from the breaker panel, then the other set of wires, would be your "Load". That means using a Digital Multi-Meter, or a 120/240/480vAC tester, to find the hot & Neutral coming in.

From the sounds of it, I am guessing you are in Canada, since you are coming off the Master Bedroom circuit, for this GFCI, if it is for a Bath.
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:00 PM   #6
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GFCI won't work


Try measuring resistance from neutral to ground on the disconnected load wires. If there is continuity, then you have a neutral-to-ground fault somewhere which is causing the GFCI to trip. Then measure resistance from the disconnected load hot to ground. If it is anything other than infinite, then you have an actual ground fault which is tripping the GFCI.
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Old 09-21-2013, 04:34 PM   #7
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GFCI won't work


What exactly do you mean by "doesn't work"? Will it not respond.to the test button? Will it not reset? Will it not pass current to the load? Does it trip immediately? What are you using to test for power?

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Old 09-23-2013, 12:47 PM   #8
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What I mean the CFCI won't reset when I apply the power. Works fine when the lines are disconnected.
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:51 PM   #9
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Well you must be a good lawyer because you gave something to try. Haven't done it but will try. I think the GFCI is already telling me have one so how do I find it.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:29 PM   #10
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The first step will be to figure out what kind of fault it is: neutral-ground, or actual hot-ground fault. Once you know that, then you will know what to look for. If it is neutral-ground, then check all devices for either bootleg ground connections (hopefully not!), a ground wire touching a neutral terminal, or a neutral terminal touching a metal box. If it is leakage from hot to ground, then check for bad appliances or fixtures, buried cables, and anything else that could leak to ground without being a dead short.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:25 AM   #11
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Ground fault on load side of wires, faulty equipment plugged in on load side, defective GFCI.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:43 AM   #12
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What I mean the CFCI won't reset when I apply the power. Works fine when the lines are disconnected.
You need to be a little more precise describing the problem. Details matter here.

Are you saying the gfci works fine when the line side connections are made, load side connections are disconnected and power is live on the feeder breaker? Working fine means the test and reset button on the gfci work after a few trip reset cycles.

Then are you saying once you connect the load side lines the gfci outlet trips and cannot be reset?

If so you have a fault down stream from the gfci outlet. It can be any of: neutral and ground are wired together downstream ( a neutral fault), a leakage of some device or wire from hot to ground ( leaky refrigerator motor, some type of home appliance or consumer electronics device is leaky to ground, start unplugging things and see if it changes), a hard fault hot to ground or hot to neutral (would probably trip breaker not gfci).

Good luck, need to break the problem into smaller pieces and start ruling things out. Shouldn't be too difficult to narrow down to the offending case.
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:32 PM   #13
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GFCI won't work


Yes, the GFCI is fully functional operating with just the line attached and power on. The GFCI will trip and not reset when the load wires are connected. Thanks for the descriptions of the various types of ground fault. Those descriptions are very helpful. On an ordinary outlet, does it matter where the line and load neutrals are wired as it does on a GFCI?
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:14 PM   #14
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On an ordinary outlet, does it matter where the line and load neutrals are wired as it does on a GFCI?
No. There is no load or line distinction on a regular duplex receptacle.
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:37 PM   #15
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Thanks, that what I assumed.

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