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pgallardo 10-16-2006 03:12 PM

My GFI sparked and won't reset
I was installing a backsplash in my kitchen when I removed the light switch and outlet plates to tile around them. While I was doing this I noticed that my GFI outlet wasn't flush and decided to straighten it.
Honestly I really have no idea what I was thinking, but I placed my
screwdriver against the side of the outlet causing it to spark and pop.
After knocking myself in the head for having done that I went to go reset the circuit breaker, but it never popped. So I went back and tried resetting the GFI and again nothing happened. Then I figured maybe I shorted out the GFI and bought a new one to replace it. I installed it exactly the same way the old one had been in there and still nothing
works. My dishwasher, kitchen light, and another outlet are all tied into the same circuit as this GFI and none of these are working either. I was
wondering if anyone might have any ideas.

J187 10-16-2006 03:30 PM

When you said you inspected the breaker, but nothing popped. Did you just take that as meaning it hadn't tripped and went about trying other things, or did you reset the breaker anyway? YOu should have reset the breaker anyway. Sometimes they will look like they didn't pop because the lever stays in place, but the system inside still opened. REseting it is the only way to be sure. ALso, are you certain you've got the right breaker? Just because its labeled kitchen, doesn't mean its the only ktichen or even the right kitchen breaker. Any other GFCIs in the room that are tripped?

KUIPORNG 10-16-2006 03:30 PM

Are you sure your main panel breaker switch not got tripped? sounds like it did... may be you should switch it on/off/on again then try resetting the GFI again... If this doesn't work, somewhere in your circuit is broken and you need to locate it... this is kind of the worse scenario and it shouldn't happen if you have proper breaker and wires.... let's try above first...

J187 10-16-2006 03:31 PM

IF the main breaker shutoff tripped for whatever reason, no power would work.

dougrus 10-16-2006 06:34 PM

To piggybak on what j187 said, the breaker may trip and it is still appears as if it is set...if you wiggle a little it may not feel TIGHT this indicates that it is he said turn it off and then back on...
Also just as a note, in my house, out of 15 or so breakers, only a few were labeled correctly...I have since relabeled them but what a pain...if it comes to that, reset each breaker individually. Try the 20 AMP breakers first as these are probably kitchen or shop curcuits.
By the way...are there any other GFI's on that curcuit?

A.W.Davis 10-16-2006 10:33 PM

I have had coworkers do the same thing in the past and a few scenarios have happened that havent been stated here yet

first scenario
1) the G.F.C I's internal components where damaged from the arc and the GFCI needed to be replaced.

second scenario
2)the surge fried the breaker at the subpanel and we had to swap the affected breaker,I have had breakers I just installed go out so it does happen from time to time.

J187 10-17-2006 12:42 PM

BTW, did you go and flip the breaker again before installing the new GFCI?

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