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Old 06-19-2012, 11:53 AM   #1
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GFI problem


I have a GFI outlet at the head of a circut. there are two outlets down steam from the GFI. That's it just two.
My problem is every time I plug anything, even a nightlight. The GFI trips. I've already replaced the GFI.
Any ideas? I need help ASAP, I have a CO inspection in about 2 hrs.

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Old 06-19-2012, 12:01 PM   #2
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GFI problem


You either have it wired wrong, or its a bad GFI.

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Old 06-19-2012, 12:10 PM   #3
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GFI problem


The problem started this morning when I plugged in my Iphone charger. Up to them it was working fine. I replaced the GFI with a new one and double check the wiring.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:23 PM   #4
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GFI problem


I'm thinking you have a loose connection on the load side of the GFI...probably on the white wires (neutral). Keep in mind that "the load side of the GFI" includes those other two receptacles.

BTW, you really aren't giving much information to go off of.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:35 PM   #5
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GFI problem


there's really not a lot of info. to give. the circuit runs for the breaker box to the GFI then in one out let and ends at the other.

I don't know if this is important. When we had a home inspection, the guy found a reversal on the GFI. WE corrected that. Could that have anything to do with my problem.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:38 PM   #6
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GFI problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard717 View Post
there's really not a lot of info. to give. the circuit runs for the breaker box to the GFI then in one out let and ends at the other.

I don't know if this is important. When we had a home inspection, the guy found a reversal on the GFI. WE corrected that. Could that have anything to do with my problem.
Yes it could.
What was reversed?
Also look for a ground neutral touching in one of the boxes.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:42 PM   #7
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GFI problem


The white and black wires were reversed. Used a GFI tester to verify before and after. HELP!!!! the inspector is due in three hours

Last edited by wizard717; 06-19-2012 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:14 PM   #8
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GFI problem


Where are you plugging something in, the GFCI or one of the downstream receptacles? Try disconnecting the load side wires and see if the GFCI still trips. That would at least isolate the problem area. Where in the house is this circuit (is a GFCI necessary)?
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:42 PM   #9
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GFI problem


I am betting a ground touching a neutral. It does nothing until you put a load on it.
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:51 PM   #10
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I am betting a ground touching a neutral. It does nothing until you put a load on it.
No, it will trip a GFCI (or AFCI) immediately... no load required.
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:58 PM   #11
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That's what I thought too, but I wasn't positive.
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:01 PM   #12
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GFI problem


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Originally Posted by HouseHelper View Post
No, it will trip a GFCI (or AFCI) immediately... no load required.

Not true. GFCIs are differential transformers that sense imbalance in current across hot and neutral conductors. If there is no load there is no current. Therefore they won't trip.
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HouseHelper View Post
No, it will trip a GFCI (or AFCI) immediately... no load required.
The ground and the neutral are at the same potential, so if they touch no current will flow and the GFCI sees no imbalance. When the load is applied, the GFCI senses that not all of the current flowing form the hot side is returning on the neutral (because some is returning on the ground). Ergo it only trips under load.

Try it if you don't believe.
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:56 PM   #14
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GFI problem


Well the CO inspector was here and gone. needless GFI curcuit didn't pass.
So no CO issued.
Not his tested showed the outlets were still hot after the GFI tripped.
I looked at the wiring again and found the hot (Black)from the load side and the neutral from the line side )white connected to the same side of the GFI.
Rewired the outlet, problem fixed. The reason I didn't see this before was the person who wire this house left long lead wires, so there were so twested together it was hard to tell one form the other.

Thank for all the great input and support. Thanks

PS a new inspection is scheduled for next Tuesday day morning.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:48 PM   #15
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GFI problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles

The ground and the neutral are at the same potential, so if they touch no current will flow and the GFCI sees no imbalance. When the load is applied, the GFCI senses that not all of the current flowing form the hot side is returning on the neutral (because some is returning on the ground). Ergo it only trips under load.

Try it if you don't believe.
I have and with neutral and ground touching, the gfci will trip immediately... with no load. I have also cut wires on an afci circuit with switched power off and had the breaker trip, again with no load.

Try it if you don't believe.

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Last edited by HouseHelper; 06-19-2012 at 09:15 PM.
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