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Old 03-24-2011, 10:13 AM   #1
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GFI Breaker Won't Trip with tester


I recently built a pole barn.
I have 3 Square D QO 20amp GFCI breakers installed with 8 to 10 outlets on each one.

The Breaker will trip with the test button on the breaker. It will not trip if I use a tester in the outlet. The tester shows that the outlets are all wired correctly.
I even tried taking my wiggys and touch from hot to ground. and still no tripping. I was told this will always cause it to trip.

I disconnected one circuit from the breaker and tried the same test in the panel. with the gfi pigtail to the neutral bar and the neutral to the neutral bar and the wiggy from the hot to the neutral bar. That finally tripped it. Obviously the circuit is no good like that to use because it can't handle a load. But it was a sanity check.
All 3 GFI breakers will not trip.

This barn has it's own Meter. I installed 3 ground rods to make sure I have a good ground. I made sure that the green screw to in the neutral bar was in so the panel is grounded.

I have run out of options. I am afraid that it will not pass inspection if the inspector can't walk up and trip it from the outlets. I am also afraid that there is no protection if there is a problem.

I have had a couple electrician friends say not to worry about it if it trips with the test button on the breaker.
I don't want to find out the hard way that it doesn't work.
Is the circuit protected? Will it pass inspection? Does it sound like I have a problem?
Any other ideas to try? I have run out of ideas.
Thanks for any help

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Old 03-24-2011, 10:24 AM   #2
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GFI Breaker Won't Trip with tester


This is the tester that you need for checking a GFCI

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Old 03-24-2011, 10:35 AM   #3
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GFI Breaker Won't Trip with tester


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This is the tester that you need for checking a GFCI
Yeah I already have one of those. That is what I tested it with first. Then I was told to use the Wiggy's to try and trip it because it shows more of a current differential across the neutral and the hot. Which is what the GFI is looking for.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:37 AM   #4
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GFI Breaker Won't Trip with tester


The neutral of the circuit does not terminate on the neutral buss, it terminates on the GFCI circuit breaker.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:39 AM   #5
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GFI Breaker Won't Trip with tester


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The neutral of the circuit does not terminate on the neutral buss, it terminates on the GFCI circuit breaker.
Correct. That is how I have it.
Hot to copper screw. Neutral to Silver screw. White pigtail from breaker to the Neutral buss.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:41 AM   #6
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GFI Breaker Won't Trip with tester


Ok if you have one of those testers did the lights turn on and show you installed it correct? If they did, did you push that button on the tester to set it off? Just asking…
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:42 AM   #7
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GFI Breaker Won't Trip with tester


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Ok if you have one of those testers did the lights turn on and show you installed it correct? If they did, did you push that button on the tester to set it off? Just asking…
Yes, All orange lights showed the wiring was correct on each outlet. Pushing the tester button did nothing.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:44 AM   #8
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GFI Breaker Won't Trip with tester


Also as a sanity check I wired just one single outlet directly to the breaker. Straight out of the breaker box. Still would not trip using any of the listed methods.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:45 AM   #9
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GFI Breaker Won't Trip with tester


Pushing the button on the tester did nothing? That’s supposed to trip the GFCI
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:47 AM   #10
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GFI Breaker Won't Trip with tester


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Pushing the button on the tester did nothing? That’s supposed to trip the GFCI
Yes I know. That is the problem. I have pretty much tried everything I can think of.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:47 AM   #11
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GFI Breaker Won't Trip with tester


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Also as a sanity check I wired just one single outlet directly to the breaker. Straight out of the breaker box. Still would not trip using any of the listed methods.
Could be a faulty GFCI
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:48 AM   #12
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GFI Breaker Won't Trip with tester


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Could be a faulty GFCI
All 3 of them? Brand new out of the box? Anything is possible I guess.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:50 AM   #13
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GFI Breaker Won't Trip with tester


You could also have a lose connection somewhere…
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:03 AM   #14
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GFI Breaker Won't Trip with tester


Something to try is add a single receptacle, about 10 foot from the panel.
Use this receptacle as a test bed by connecting it to each gfci and then us the testers test button. button.
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:11 PM   #15
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Something to try is add a single receptacle, about 10 foot from the panel.
Use this receptacle as a test bed by connecting it to each gfci and then us the testers test button. button.
Yep in post #8 I already tried that. Like I said I am running out of ideas. I have been trying to figure this out for a few weeks now.

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