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Old 05-27-2013, 12:13 PM   #1
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new GFCI outlet won't work


I have a GFCI outlet in my bathroom that tripped when my wife was using a clothes steamer. It would not "un-trip" afterwards. So I bought and installed a new GFCI outlet, but it still won't work.

Every other outlet/switch in my house still works. The outlet in question does not feed out into any other outlets, it just receives. I installed the outlet the same way the old one was installed (which worked for years and years just fine). I have made sure the wires are tightly secured into the outlet, and I have tried pressing the test and reset buttons multiple times.

What could be my problem? Could it be the wires themselves, even though everything else works fine?

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Old 05-27-2013, 12:18 PM   #2
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new GFCI outlet won't work


In the near past, Have you removed, replaced or reconfigured any electrical devices prior to the GFCI tripping and not resetting?

Is the insulation nicked off any of the wires when you pushed it back in its box?

Pull the GFCI out of the box and try resetting it.

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Old 05-27-2013, 12:22 PM   #3
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new GFCI outlet won't work


Cycle the power off, then on at the breaker and then try to reset it.
I have also run across GFCI receptacles that are very hard to reset after pushing the test button.

Is this in a metal box or plastic?
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Old 05-27-2013, 12:22 PM   #4
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new GFCI outlet won't work


Did you cut the breaker back on, needs power to reset.
Checked to make sure there's incoming power?
100% sure you have the incoming power on the load side of the outlet not the line side? Should be marking on the back side if the outlet to tell you which is which.
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Old 05-27-2013, 12:24 PM   #5
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Yes I am sure the wires are connected right...tried flipping the power on and off as well. Getting nothing at the outlet though - and again, everything else works perfect. I'm at a total loss here.
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Old 05-27-2013, 12:28 PM   #6
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new GFCI outlet won't work


Did you test the wires to see if you have power to the outlet?
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Old 05-27-2013, 12:32 PM   #7
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No I didn't test the wires. Could it be the wires even if every other outlet and switch still work fine though?
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Old 05-27-2013, 12:46 PM   #8
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Quite possible----in older homes (1970s) the bath/kitchen and outside outlets were all wired together to save costs----frequently, when a bath outlet is not working, the wires are dead and need to be traced to another GFCI outlet or to a gfci breaker.

Test it--sure beats trying to get an outlet to work that has no power.
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption
Did you cut the breaker back on, needs power to reset.
Checked to make sure there's incoming power?
100% sure you have the incoming power on the load side of the outlet not the line side? Should be marking on the back side if the outlet to tell you which is which.
Joe I think you meant be 100% sure you have incoming power on the LINE terminals not the LOAD.
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:28 PM   #10
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new GFCI outlet won't work


I agree with OH'MIKE. Could be another GFCI on the same circuit (often in the garage)that has tripped and you really don't need the GFCI in the bathroom as you have protection elsewhere.
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:36 PM   #11
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I'm always surprised by how few homeowners have a simple electrical tester .

If you need to buy a tester--get a two wire tester ,not a noncontact tester.

I like Wiggy style testers---a Multi-meter will work well also---but are a bit fragile for heavy field use----

In order to test a circuit you want to touch ground and then the power with the second probe---
If it is live--then repeat the test using the neutral and power---If it does not register,you will know that the neutral is out----

That can't be done with a non-contact tester----so don't get one of those----
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Old 05-27-2013, 05:13 PM   #12
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Is there a ground wire present? A typical GFI won't trip if there's no ground.

Also, is the black wire on the side with the darker colored screws? And is the black actually hot? A lot of modern GFIs won't reset if the polarity is reversed.

One quick test to see if there's another GFI ahead of this one is to check continuity between neutral and ground. If it's open, most likely there's another GFI in the circuit, as a tripped GFI opens both the hot and neutral.

Rob
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micromind
Is there a ground wire present? A typical GFI won't trip if there's no ground.

Rob
Sorry Rob-o no ground wire needed for a gfci to work. They operate via differential transformer. Any imbalance between hot and neutral over 5mA will trip unit. Ground or no ground.
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Old 05-27-2013, 11:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousB View Post
Sorry Rob-o no ground wire needed for a gfci to work. They operate via differential transformer. Any imbalance between hot and neutral over 5mA will trip unit. Ground or no ground.
I didn't state 'work', I stated 'trip'. I should have been more concise; a GFI will trip on a fault if there's no ground present, but it will not trip by pushing the test button if there's no ground.

Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 05-27-2013, 11:31 PM   #15
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new GFCI outlet won't work


Quote:
Originally Posted by micromind View Post

I didn't state 'work', I stated 'trip'. I should have been more concise; a GFI will trip on a fault if there's no ground present, but it will not trip by pushing the test button if there's no ground.

Sorry for the confusion.
Incorrect. A GFI will work properly without a ground. It will not protect equipment without a ground, hence the label that comes with it indicating such.

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