Help For A Senior Homeowner. - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
Advertisement


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

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

Like Tree7Likes
  • 2 Post By jmon
  • 1 Post By Bud9051
  • 1 Post By ameliasaws
  • 1 Post By rjniles
  • 1 Post By seharper
  • 1 Post By RAL238
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Display Modes
Old 05-01-2020, 08:33 AM   #1
Newbie
 
ameliasaws's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 14
Rewards Points: 28
Thumbs down

Help for a senior homeowner.


I'm a cabinet maker by trade but as I was helping a little old lady with her cabinet doors being warped, she asked me a question that I'm not sure of:
When it rains, her "ground fault indicator" trips but then can be reset after the rain. I ran the question on Google and it seems to be a common problem.
Can someone direct me on how to track this down without having to hire an electrician for her?
She told me that she hired an electrician and although he charged her for a call, the next time it rained, the problem was not solved and now he won't return her calls. Please help if you can.

Amelia
ameliasaws is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-01-2020, 08:40 AM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Central Kentucky
Posts: 4,376
Rewards Points: 8,671
Default

Re: Help for a senior homeowner.


Older gfic units tend to not be as reliable in damp locations. Some are for interior use only. If it is a habitual problem I would replace the unit.
__________________
Colbyt
Retired drapery and home furnishings installer.
Fact: World-wide 96.5% of Covid-19 victims fully recover
Colbyt is online now   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-01-2020, 08:55 AM   #3
Newbie
 
ameliasaws's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 14
Rewards Points: 28
Default

Re: Help for a senior homeowner.


The GFI is in one of her bathrooms and controls 3 outside outlets which appear to be pretty well protected from water. The gfi will reset after the rain is over for about an hour.

Thanks
ameliasaws is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-01-2020, 09:04 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4,943
Rewards Points: 3,452
Default

Re: Help for a senior homeowner.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ameliasaws View Post
The GFI is in one of her bathrooms and controls 3 outside outlets which appear to be pretty well protected from water. The gfi will reset after the rain is over for about an hour.

Thanks

When you say it only happens after a rain, imo, this tells me water/moisture is getting into one or more of those outside outlets somewhere causing the gfci to trip. The seals can fail sometimes. Rule that out, then as suggested, replace the bathroom gfci. They can get old and wear out to.
Colbyt and lenaitch like this.

Last edited by jmon; 05-01-2020 at 09:10 AM.
jmon is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to jmon For This Useful Post:
ameliasaws (05-01-2020)
Old 05-01-2020, 11:07 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Maine
Posts: 10,095
Rewards Points: 2,820
Default

Re: Help for a senior homeowner.


Did she say what the electrician did? Did he replace anything.

With 3 outlets it should be easy to drop off two leaving just one. Then wait to see if the problem returns.

Bud
Nealtw likes this.
__________________
I volunteer my help and opinions, but you are responsible for what YOU choose to do with that information.
Bud9051 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Bud9051 For This Useful Post:
ameliasaws (05-06-2020)
Old 05-01-2020, 11:17 AM   #6
Newbie
 
ameliasaws's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 14
Rewards Points: 28
Default

Re: Help for a senior homeowner.


Bud, by drop off two, I presume you mean to disconnect 2 and solve by process of elimination? She told me that he replaced the GFI in her bathroom.
Nealtw likes this.
ameliasaws is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2020, 11:31 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Maine
Posts: 10,095
Rewards Points: 2,820
Default

Re: Help for a senior homeowner.


Yes, process of elimination. I would guess they are wired one to the other to the other. The last one, if it is the end, will have only one feed coming in. The other two will have an in and out, may be wired from the receptacle or wirenut in box. The electrical pros will know best.

Inspecting the boxes after a rain might show moisture. If a basement you can also inspect the rim joist below the boxes if basement ceiling has access. Moisture may show up in other places.

Bud
__________________
I volunteer my help and opinions, but you are responsible for what YOU choose to do with that information.
Bud9051 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Bud9051 For This Useful Post:
ameliasaws (05-06-2020)
Old 05-01-2020, 11:36 AM   #8
A "Handy Husband"
 
rjniles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South Carolina Low Country
Posts: 11,192
Rewards Points: 888
Default

Re: Help for a senior homeowner.


Pull the outside receptacles and see which one is getting wet.
user_12345a likes this.
__________________
My electrical answers are based on 2017 NEC, you may have local amendments.

Location: Coastal South Carolina
rjniles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2020, 01:24 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: central Ohio
Posts: 103
Rewards Points: 206
Default

Re: Help for a senior homeowner.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
Pull the outside receptacles and see which one is getting wet.
That's the best answer. Turn off the breaker, remove outlet covers, pull receptacles, inspect for moisture. Upgrade the covers if that would help.
udraft is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to udraft For This Useful Post:
ameliasaws (05-06-2020)
Old 05-01-2020, 05:09 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 778
Rewards Points: 1,558
Default

Re: Help for a senior homeowner.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ameliasaws View Post
I'm a cabinet maker by trade... When it rains, her "ground fault indicator" trips but then can be reset after the rain. I ran the question on Google and it seems to be a common problem.
Ground faults are when current leaks from the active wires to safety ground, to earth, through a human, etc.

Needless to say it'll happen if the wiring gets wet. So that's actually a carpentry/construction problem, not an electrical problem. If you call an electrician, all you'll get is a lecture on what a GFCI is and does.

An added piece of the puzzle is that any given GFCI device is able to supply GFCI protected power to downline points-of-use. So for instance one GFCI breaker protects a whole circuit, or one GFCI recep can protect other receps wired from its LOAD terminals.

If the receptacle was inside the building, I'd call that a very serious problem that the construction trades ought to deal with *tout suite* before mold sets in.


If the recep was outdoors, then normal weather action is wetting the recep or junction box. And that too is a carpentry problem. I myself like to build little cabinets around outdoor receps and panelboards, as I find the "outdoor rated" stuff exaggerates quite a lot.

Oh, one other thing. This actually is electrical. Some chowderheads use "Romex" (indoor electrical cable) outdoors. Don't do that, that causes this.
ameliasaws likes this.

Last edited by seharper; 05-01-2020 at 05:12 PM.
seharper is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to seharper For This Useful Post:
ameliasaws (05-06-2020)
Old 05-06-2020, 12:26 AM   #11
Newbie
 
ameliasaws's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 14
Rewards Points: 28
Default

Re: Help for a senior homeowner.


How would an electrician determine if the Romex was for indoor or outdoor use? Is there a different color? I think you have keyed on the problem since at some time a downline receptacle was put in and the cable is visible from the GFI controlled box.
Amelia.
ameliasaws is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2020, 12:49 AM   #12
Endless Projects
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Jackson WY
Posts: 842
Rewards Points: 1,648
Default

Re: Help for a senior homeowner.


A comparison.

I had my back porch light stop working this winter. I was going to go through a long process of tracking down and repairing it.

I realized this circuit had somehow become controlled by a GFCI next to it. There was an extension cord plugged into this GFCI outlet that the other end had gotten buried in the snow and then shorted as the snow started to melt. Unplugged the extension cord reset the GFCI and lights were back.

Find out which outlet has a leak and fix it or disable it. None of my GFCIs have covers and I have no troubles at all but the climate in Wyoming varies slightly from Florida. As I am installing new outdoor outlets I have discovered the standard of outlet covers have changed.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/TAYMAC-1...B&gclsrc=aw.ds
Photobug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2020, 12:56 AM   #13
Endless Projects
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Jackson WY
Posts: 842
Rewards Points: 1,648
Default

Re: Help for a senior homeowner.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ameliasaws View Post
How would an electrician determine if the Romex was for indoor or outdoor use? Is there a different color? I think you have keyed on the problem since at some time a downline receptacle was put in and the cable is visible from the GFI controlled box.
Amelia.
Outdoor Romex is usually grey and has a different cover layout. Instead of one outer case that can be slit and cut and pulled off. The outdoor wire has the case cover all 3 wires completely and takes more effort to unsheath. It would be hard to tell by looking in the junction box if you can't inspect the sheath well.

If the outlets you are concerned with are on the outer wall normal romex should be fine. The outdoor romex is designed to be buried for underground runs. I am using some for running under my deck in the framing.
Photobug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2020, 01:01 AM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: New York State
Posts: 1,058
Rewards Points: 2,110
Default

Re: Help for a senior homeowner.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ameliasaws View Post
How would an electrician determine if the Romex was for indoor or outdoor use? Is there a different color? I think you have keyed on the problem since at some time a downline receptacle was put in and the cable is visible from the GFI controlled box.
Amelia.

Cables have markings on the outer jacket specifying what type they are. That's the best way to tell what it is, but you may not be able to see the markings if only a short section is visible.



Color can sometimes give you a clue, but isn't a completely reliable way to tell for sure, as there is no standard. Romex often has a white outer jacket for 14 gauge cable, and yellow for #12 . UF (outdoor rated) is often grey or brown. The older the wiring is, the less reliable the color may be as an indicator.
Chris130 likes this.
RAL238 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2020, 08:17 AM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Central Kentucky
Posts: 4,376
Rewards Points: 8,671
Default

Re: Help for a senior homeowner.


An image to explain Photbugs post. UF cable looks like this: https://www.acehardware.com/departme...oor-wire/31536


While regular wire has 3 wires in a single straw like wrapper.


Color is not a guide. The level of insulation is and should be viewable inside each box.
__________________
Colbyt
Retired drapery and home furnishings installer.
Fact: World-wide 96.5% of Covid-19 victims fully recover
Colbyt is online now   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply


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





Top of Page | View New Posts