Open Neutral On Gfci Recepticale????? - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-18-2009, 08:21 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 41
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Open neutral on gfci recepticale?????


I was adding an outlet to a 20 amp basement circuit today and was absolutely shocked [no pun intended] at what I found when I pulled the box open. I found the gfci recepticale [middle of run ] wired with two blacks and a ground, but also two uncapped and unconnected white wires in the box.

There was no indication that they were ever connected to anything, and no loose wire nut hanging around.....

I have had a freezer plugged into this outlet for years.....how could it have worked and what was the danger here......everything downstream worked...amazing!

Advertisement

Oxymoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2009, 08:32 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Open neutral on gfci recepticale?????


Where was the ground wire connected ?

Advertisement

Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2009, 08:34 PM   #3
nap
You talking to me?
 
nap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: sw mi
Posts: 5,407
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Open neutral on gfci recepticale?????


were the white wires pointing outward like they might have been in the clamps they are supposed to be in but were loose enough to allow them to come out when you removed the receptacle?
nap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2009, 08:42 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 41
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Open neutral on gfci recepticale?????


The ground wire was properly connected, the whites showed no evidence of being connected to anything...no twisted or looped. When everything was disconnected and the breaker on, only one black was hot....nothing else hot.

So, I'm really confused. I removed the gfci and have replaced it witrh a standard recepticle which tests fine with my continuity tester...as does the outlet I added and every other outlet on this circuit......
Oxymoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2009, 08:45 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Open neutral on gfci recepticale?????


Usually GFCI the wires are Not twisted or looped
They stick straight into the back & then the screw is tightened down to hold them in place

Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2009, 08:49 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 41
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Open neutral on gfci recepticale?????


I just looked at the gfci outlet I removed. The pass through gfci screws [top silver and copper] were still labled and unused. They had one black looped on the bottom screw, and one stabbed in the back. The silver screw was loose and I am thinking that they may have had both whites stabbed into the back....it was the type where they tighten under a plate when you tighten the screw....I guess they could have been connected and were just so loose they came out when I took the outlet out of the box?

Guess it makes me want to check the rest of the house.....the house is 6 years old and was wired by a reputable electrician....but we have no residential eloectrical inspections here so I guess I am a bit concerned.
Oxymoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2009, 08:51 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 41
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Open neutral on gfci recepticale?????


So if the wires were just loose I get it....but if they were completely unconnected, what could have happened here?
Oxymoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2009, 09:03 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Open neutral on gfci recepticale?????


I can't see how it would have worked with just hot power unless the GFCI fried in some way due to the wires being loose

That may be it since you state the GFCI will not work now
Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2009, 09:10 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 41
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Open neutral on gfci recepticale?????


Actually it was working fine...but I decided to leave it out in favor of a regular outlet for the moment....I guess it makes sense that the wires were perhaps just loose....but it sure looked like they were completely unconnected....they were a couple inches apart when I pulled the outlet from the box...

Thanks for all the feedback AGAIN!
Oxymoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2009, 10:13 PM   #10
nap
You talking to me?
 
nap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: sw mi
Posts: 5,407
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Open neutral on gfci recepticale?????


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oxymoron View Post
Actually it was working fine...but I decided to leave it out in favor of a regular outlet for the moment....I guess it makes sense that the wires were perhaps just loose....but it sure looked like they were completely unconnected....they were a couple inches apart when I pulled the outlet from the box...

Thanks for all the feedback AGAIN!
solid wire does have some spring in it and it will not generally stay exactly where you put it. That is why I asked if the wires were pointing outward. That is what I would expect to see if the wires were in the terminal but just not tightened well and the came out as you pulled the recep out.

I would suggest that was your problem. If not for that, you are the first person to be able to run an appliance on just a single connection to the electricity. If that is true, you are required to share the millions of dollars you will realize from such a finding with all those that assisted on this thread.
nap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2009, 12:32 AM   #11
Electrical Contractor
 
kbsparky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Delmarva
Posts: 3,368
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Open neutral on gfci recepticale?????


Many of the cheaper GFCI receptacles don't clamp on the wires very well, when using solid conductors which are inserted in those back-wire holes.

I have had similar experiences many times when removing devices for circuit testing --- even those I installed myself.

Both wires inserted in adjacent holes on the same terminal tells me that this was set up as a "stand alone" unit without providing any "downstream" protection.

Advertisement

__________________
-KB

Life is uncertain -- eat dessert first!!
kbsparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
gfci in main feeding sub panel problem scott2332 Electrical 12 02-26-2009 12:17 AM
Gfci Circuit howard.wheaton Electrical 10 01-29-2009 06:14 PM
Help if it's not too late!! Cyndi Electrical 255 10-10-2008 10:18 PM
Hot Tub GFCI Grounding Question kearnak1420 Electrical 3 04-30-2008 06:48 PM
gfci problem - 120v between ground and neutral dave0419 Electrical 1 08-18-2007 01:01 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts