New GFCI Won't Work - 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 Tree2Likes
  • 1 Post By timbo59
  • 1 Post By Jim Port
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes
Old 04-11-2019, 04:28 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 164
Rewards Points: 157
Default

New GFCI won't work


Remodeling our second bathroom and am putting the finishing touches by replacing the old outlet and light switch. As per usual, given our house is wired with aluminum, I'm pigtailing copper wire on to the bare aluminum ends,applying the anti-corrosive liquid within the wire nuts as I'm supposed to, then wiring the copper ends to the new GFCI unit I want to install. Only problem is that when I wire it up nothing happens. I initially plugged in my drill, the little green light was showing on the outlet - but no juice. I plugged in my little tester to see what pattern of lights would show - no lights at all - according to the unit that means I have an open black. I've checked the wire nuts three times to make sure there are no loose connections (some jackass left the feed wires just a couple of inches long so I have to reach into the receptacle to connect the wires) and everything seems fine. I've made sure the black and white wires are in their correct spots - hot wire to gold, white to silver. My hand tester tells me the black wire is active when I flick the breaker back on. I read in the paperwork that the unit won't work if it isn't grounded, and I checked that. I just don't know what I'm missing - I've done dozens of GFCIs in the past without a hitch, though it's been at least a year since I last did one. I keep thinking I must be missing something obvious but I don't know what it is. I even put in a spare GFCI thinking I might have a defective unit, but it made no difference. I started this job 4 - 5 hours ago as one of many task for the day, instead I've been at it all afternoon trying to figure out what's wrong.
timbo59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-11-2019, 04:33 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 290
Rewards Points: 58
Default


Make sure the wires are on the line screws, not load. If you have power leaving to another device, they go to the load.
Wiredindallas is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-11-2019, 05:13 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 164
Rewards Points: 157
Default

Re: New GFCI won't work


I haven't even taken the tape off the load part - so they are on the line screws.
timbo59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-11-2019, 05:18 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: New York State
Posts: 500
Rewards Points: 994
Default

Re: New GFCI won't work


Quote:
Originally Posted by timbo59 View Post
As per usual, given our house is wired with aluminum, I'm pigtailing copper wire on to the bare aluminum ends,applying the anti-corrosive liquid within the wire nuts as I'm supposed to,

You didn't say what type of wire nuts you're using, but the proper way to do this is to use connectors that are rated for AL_CU. Regular wire nuts shouldn't be used.



https://www.homedepot.com/p/AlumiCon...5015/204958912



I don't think that has anything to do with your GFCI problem, but just wanted to make sure you're doing things right.
RAL238 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 05:37 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 164
Rewards Points: 157
Default

Re: New GFCI won't work


Okay, the plot thickens. In frustration and to try and isolate the issue, I put the old outlet back on and plugged in my tester - no problems! The tester say's it's fine, so there's no issue with my wiring. So have I just been unlucky with two dud GFCI units, or is there still something I'm missing?

As for the bit about the wire nuts, I'm just going by every electrician here in Florida we've used. They've always just used regular wire nuts and loaded them with the anti-corrosive liquid. I've seen those connectors before.

Last edited by timbo59; 04-11-2019 at 05:40 PM.
timbo59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 05:41 PM   #6
Usually Confused
 
lenaitch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Central Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,767
Rewards Points: 1,764
Default

Re: New GFCI won't work


Confirm with the GFCI's instructions what the indicator light(s) mean. They are all different and it seems counter-intuitive but green might not mean 'on'. Did you press Reset after it was wired up and the breaker closed?
__________________
_________________________________________
Who Dares Wins
lenaitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 05:52 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: New York State
Posts: 500
Rewards Points: 994
Default

Re: New GFCI won't work


Quote:
Originally Posted by timbo59 View Post
As for the bit about the wire nuts, I'm just going by every electrician here in Florida we've used. They've always just used regular wire nuts and loaded them with the anti-corrosive liquid. I've seen those connectors before.

I believe using wire nuts that are not rated AL-CU in your situation is a code violation.



The anti-corrosive paste solves part of the problem with aluminum wiring, but it doesn't solve the fact that copper and aluminum expand and contract differently as the temperature changes. That will cause the connection to loosen over time, creating a fire hazard.



For your own safety, you should replace the wire nuts with AL-CU rated connectors.



Some background:



https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/516.pdf
RAL238 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2019, 07:02 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 164
Rewards Points: 157
Default

Re: New GFCI won't work


Okay, went and got a replacement unit and it works fine. Don't know how I ended up with two duds though. I know there's any number of scams people pull at the big box stores like HD - maybe someone bought a few units to replace old or faulty ones, put the bad ones inside, and returned them. It's annoying though - I presumed they were fine (what would be the odds of two duds?) and spent an entire afternoon trying to troubleshoot an issue in my wiring or elsewhere. Oh well, live and learn.
lenaitch likes this.
timbo59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2019, 05:13 AM   #9
Licensed electrician
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 12,315
Rewards Points: 3,592
Default


A GFI does not need a grounding conductor to function. The paperwork is wrong.
jeffmattero76 likes this.
__________________
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
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 tripping main panel breaker phogvision Electrical 19 11-08-2017 05:23 PM
Need help understanding this receptacle wiring, and converting to GFCI Rav Electrical 11 01-20-2016 03:39 PM
Can you test a non GFCI plug with a GFCI tester? DIYguy2000 Electrical 3 01-16-2012 06:49 AM
GFCI troubleshooting XwpisONOMA Electrical 20 11-13-2011 05:19 PM
GFCI between porch receptacles Thurman Electrical 4 08-19-2009 12:40 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts