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Old 07-02-2009, 07:43 PM   #1
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GFI's wont work on 4 different curcuits


I have 3 exterior GFI's on a curcuit in line one after another (1-exterior of house, 1 on a patio cover column, 1 in the side of a fixed planter). All three seem to lock and wont reset for anywhere from 1 to 4 days at a time. They mysteriously just come back on.
All three are locked/wont reset.

Master Bath GFI is out as well as all regular outlets after that. Currently locked/wont reset.

Guest Bath, currently not working, and is locked/wont reset.

All three areas are on different circuits but the breakers are not tripped. Power surge? Bad GFI's? Suggestions?

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Old 07-02-2009, 07:47 PM   #2
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GFI's wont work on 4 different curcuits


Don't know what "locked" is.

Does it trip when you try to reset or does ir do nothing.

The rest button will rest but the test button won't trip it if there is no power.

Some of the GFCI's may be fedd from an upstrem GFCI. You may have one problem, you may have multiples.

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Old 07-02-2009, 07:53 PM   #3
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GFI's wont work on 4 different curcuits


Three bad GFCIs one after the other from different batches seems very unlikely.

Maybe they won't reset because they are all sensing valid leakage current; neutrals tied to grounds or some other reason.

When the fault is present you could disconnect the cable on the Load side of the GFI and check for no continuity between the hot and ground leads. If you disconnect the neutral and ground at the panel for this circuit there should also be no continuity between the cable neutral and ground leads.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 07-02-2009 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:38 PM   #4
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GFI's wont work on 4 different curcuits


Quote:
Originally Posted by AVBINC View Post
Guest Bath, currently not working, and is locked/wont reset.....
Start with replacing the Guest Bath GFCI because it sounds like the simplest circuit. First make sure the Reset button is pushed in. Get a Popsicle stick with a point or something similar that is insulated and push hard on the Reset button. If no success, here is what I would do:
(You will need a Tester. If you don't have a Tester, get an Electrician)

  1. Get a new replacement GFCI (just one)
  2. Turn off the breaker
  3. Remove the cover and pull the GFCI away from the wall
  4. Turn on the Breaker
  5. With a tester check that there is AC voltage on the GFCI LINE Terminals
A>If there is AC:
  1. Turn off the Breaker
  2. Note whether the GFCI has wires connected to the LOAD Terminals
  3. Replace the GFCI
  4. Turn on the Breaker
  5. Report results
B>If there is no AC (from step A>)
  1. Call an Electrician
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Last edited by PaliBob; 07-02-2009 at 08:42 PM. Reason: sp
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:39 PM   #5
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GFI's wont work on 4 different curcuits


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Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
Don't know what "locked" is.

Does it trip when you try to reset or does ir do nothing.

The rest button will rest but the test button won't trip it if there is no power.

Some of the GFCI's may be fedd from an upstrem GFCI. You may have one problem, you may have multiples.
It does nothing when I press reset on any of the GFCI outlets.

I believe that all plugs/switches before any of the GFCI outlets are working properly. I have not seen any issues. Plus I tested the non-working GFCI's and the tester beeps real quick then goes silent. It doesnt stay on like if there is constant power.
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Old 07-03-2009, 04:55 AM   #6
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GFI's wont work on 4 different curcuits


The reason why a GFCI wont reset usually is because there is no power. Check your breakers to make sure they are all on and working. If they are than your going to have to pull out your outlets and check the wires. One might be off. From the sounds if it they jumped from outlet to outlet.
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Old 07-03-2009, 05:45 AM   #7
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GFI's wont work on 4 different curcuits


You need to reset the first gfci in the line first, then to the next and so on.
Try using a screwdriver to reset it. I've run into some that you just couldn't push in far enough to reset with your finger.
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:13 PM   #8
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GFI's wont work on 4 different curcuits


You have gfci's on 3 different circuits (on different single pole breakers) that that won't reset??

Your tester is indicating no power (not beeping continuously) on all 3 circuits?

I would see if you have power at the circuit breakers....if you don't I would suggest you may losing one hot leg of your service.
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:32 PM   #9
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GFI's wont work on 4 different curcuits


Quote:
Originally Posted by AVBINC View Post
I have 3 exterior GFI's on a curcuit in line one after another (1-exterior of house, 1 on a patio cover column, 1 in the side of a fixed planter). All three seem to lock and wont reset for anywhere from 1 to 4 days at a time. They mysteriously just come back on.
All three are locked/wont reset.

Master Bath GFI is out as well as all regular outlets after that. Currently locked/wont reset.

Guest Bath, currently not working, and is locked/wont reset.

All three areas are on different circuits but the breakers are not tripped. Power surge? Bad GFI's? Suggestions?
GFCI's are not to be cascaded! Its only necessary to have one GFCI per circuit. All other receptacles cascaded from the first GFCI must be standard receptacles.

If its desired to have a GFCI at each location, make sure that the down stream wiring is not connected to the upstream GFCI.

Last edited by Wildie; 07-03-2009 at 12:36 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:21 PM   #10
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GFI's wont work on 4 different curcuits


Quote:
Originally Posted by AVBINC View Post
.... tester beeps .......
Good, now we know that you have an audible voltage sniffer. You didn't say anything before about that.
NOW
  • Check each C/B wire at the breaker
  • Pull the GFCI in the Guest Bath and check the Black or colored wire at 'Line'
If you show Power (steady Beeping) at both locations you most likely have some bad GFCI's.
Start by replacing the Guest Bath GfCI and let us know.

Don't be confused by false beeps. A steady beeping shows the tester is in range of the AC field.


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Old 07-03-2009, 04:10 PM   #11
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GFI's wont work on 4 different curcuits


Never use an inductive tester inside a wiring enclosure like an electrical panel, you have absolutely no way to know if the wire your focusing on is live or not. Use an inductive tester for "is power at the receptacle or is this cord live etc. It is only reliable and safe if you can isolate the wire or cable your testing. I rarely ever use mine. I keep it on the truck to do quick spur of the moment power checks in the right situations.

If your gfci is tripped and your sticking it into a live slot on the receptacle it may or may not register power being present. Only way to be sure is a contact tester with the gfci pulled out of the box a tad.
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Old 07-03-2009, 05:05 PM   #12
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GFI's wont work on 4 different curcuits


multiple[quote=AVBINC;296458]I have 3 exterior GFI's on a curcuit in line one after another (1-exterior of house, 1 on a patio cover column, 1 in the side of a fixed planter). All three seem to lock and wont reset for anywhere from 1 to 4 days at a time. They mysteriously just come back on.
All three are locked/wont reset.

Master Bath GFI is out as well as all regular outlets after that. Currently locked/wont reset.

Guest Bath, currently not working, and is locked/wont reset.

All three areas are on different circuits but the breakers are not tripped. Power surge? Bad GFI's? Suggestions?[/I have 3 EXTERIOR GFI's!quote]!
The key word here is EXTERIOR! All the [protected] receptacles (even on multiple circuits) that are picking up moisture will trip the circuit. Thus, the receptacle in your bathroom is probably down stream of a GFCI recept.Use your best skills! Can't bring up the "Drinking" Icon. So let's imagine it; Don't Drink and Drive!!!

Last edited by spark plug; 07-03-2009 at 05:11 PM. Reason: No barrier bet. Original Quote and my post
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Old 07-03-2009, 05:23 PM   #13
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GFI's wont work on 4 different curcuits


This is an Addendum to post #12. There could be another possible reason for failure of the (multiple) GFCI circuits! A power surge. Possibly, through momentary loss of the SERVICE Neutral, or the NEUTRAL in the panel box. It happened to me, while working in a panel box. The moment the NEUTRAL was accidentally detached, 2 GFCI receptacles sizzled and were destroyed!!! Knowing the potential danger caused my heart to skip several beats!!!Don't Drink and Drive!!!

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