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

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-12-2010, 12:29 AM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Recessed light tripping GFCI


I have a bit of an issue with a ceiling-recessed light at the bottom of my stairs. If I put a bulb in it, even with the switch off, it trips the GFCI in the bathroom on the same circuit. The house is fairly old construction with very little if any grounding - there is no ground wire on this fixture, though I assume the same goes for the two lights at the top of the stairs which don't have a problem (these are on the same circuit, knocked out when the GFCI trips).

Any idea what my best troubleshooting options would be? I opened up the fixture today and peeked around, didn't see any obvious problems other than the lack of grounding, but I don't think I'm quite ready to rewire the entire house just to get one light working. Does the fact that just inserting a bulb trips it give any useful clues? Would it be worth picking up a new fixture just to see if it works? Thanks for any help you can provide.

Sayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2010, 07:08 AM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Wilmington, DE
Posts: 3,118
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Recessed light tripping GFCI


Sounds to me like a neutral touching metal chassis. Is it a new construction fixture or remodel?? Recheck all wiring around the fixture.

Just Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2010, 08:37 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 6,970
Rewards Points: 2,036
Default

Recessed light tripping GFCI


Did the light ever work? Are you sure the switch is "off"?

In an "older" home the light might have taken hot from one circuit and used the neutral of a different circuit. This is improper and will trip a GFCI when the light is turned on.

If the switch is really off, and screwing in a bulb trips a GFCI, then you have bare wires rubbing together in or near the fixture.
__________________
Forget super sized fries. The Washington Redskins could promote healthy eating with First Lady Obama by choosing a (red skinned) turnip for a mascot.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2010, 12:57 PM   #4
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Recessed light tripping GFCI


@Just Bill - I'm pretty sure it's a remodel fixture. Nothing looked like it was touching but there's one point where the neutral goes into a little box that clips onto the side of the canister. Could be something wrong inside that which is why I was leaning toward just trying a new fixture.

@AllanJ - It's a three-way switch so maybe my definition of 'off' isn't the same as it would be with just a single switch. The light at the top of the stairs is off when I put the bulb in the lower fixture. However, my voltage detector wasn't going off with the switch in the 'off' position, so I'm fairly certain there was no power to the circuit at the time.

I'd read the different hot/neutral thing elsewhere and thought that would make perfect sense with some of the less-than-optimal work I've seen in this house... I'll have to take a closer look at the fixture and any wiring I can get access to when I get another chance. Thanks for the pointers guys.
Sayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
gfci, grounding, lighting


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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
LCD TV tripping GFCI breakers throughout house penleydr Electrical 28 06-19-2011 07:39 AM
Recessed Light Question harleysilo Electrical 8 01-27-2009 07:58 AM
Recessed Light on Curved Ceiling? mfleming Electrical 2 10-31-2008 07:53 PM
Adding one recessed light to exsisting switch... JayBird Electrical 1 04-03-2008 08:32 PM
GFCI receptacle gets tripped by hallway light proofer Electrical 10 03-17-2008 08:29 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.