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Old 07-18-2009, 09:00 PM   #1
 
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Problem with GFI plug


I have replaced a GFI plug. It is about four feet from my fuse box and everytime I hook up the ground wire on the line from the fuse box to the plug it trips. Does this mean there is a short in the ground wire between the plug and fuse box? I have tried three different plugs and same problem each time.
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Old 07-19-2009, 02:02 AM   #2
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The ground wire should have no effect on the gfci.

You need to explain more and make sure you use the proper terminology.

The ground wire is bare or green and atteched to the metal frame of the recep.
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Old 07-19-2009, 02:13 AM   #3
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Puzzled by GFCI outlet trip


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Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
The ground wire should have no effect on the gfci.

You need to explain more and make sure you use the proper terminology.

The ground wire is bare or green and atteched to the metal frame of the recep.
...Unless there is a Grounded NEUTRAL on that circuit. But then again, he would have the same result when hooking up the Real NEUTRAL wire. (confused) Don't Drink and Drive!!!
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:20 PM   #4
 
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Sorry, I'm not an electrican so I don't know all the correct terminology. When I hook the hot and neutral to the plug without the ground wire it works fine, when I hook the ground up and flip the breaker back on it will trip the GFI after about 2 seconds. Remove the ground wire and it will work fine again. This is the ground wire on the wire that runs from the breaker to the GFI plug, hooking up the wire that runs from there to the bathroom plug has no effect on it. Hope this makes sense to you.
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:30 PM   #5
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You have some improper wiring going on between the panel and the GFCI.

A properly connected ground will not in any way affect the GFCI.

Somebody must have done something stupid somewhere.


If you want someone to think the circuit thru we need to know details.

OK.......Again with the guessing games

At the jbox in question:

Cable comes from panel directly to GFCI ?

Another cable goes out to bathroom receptacles?


.
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:50 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
You have some improper wiring going on between the panel and the GFCI.

A properly connected ground will not in any way affect the GFCI.

Somebody must have done something stupid somewhere.


If you want someone to think the circuit thru we need to know details.

OK.......Again with the guessing games

At the jbox in question:

Cable comes from panel directly to GFCI ?
Another cable goes out to bathroom receptacles?


.
yes the cable comes from panel directly to GFCI
yes another cable goes out to bathroom receptacles, one in each bathroom
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:50 PM   #7
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We had a problem like this when we were doing a bathroom remodel. Turns out there were 3 rooms on the same circuit including the bathroom. There was a cross somewhere. Didn't feel like finding it so we ran all brand new feeds to each room and put them on there own seperate circuit. The way it is supposed to be. Based off of what i got from what he is saying is that the wire goes from the panel to the gfci. then from there to a bathroom receptical. Something is messed up somewhere. I wonder if he tied the grounds together? How are you wiring the gfci? Are you going line in and line out? so that when the gfci trips everything else stays on? Or line in and load out so that when it trips nothing past the gfci will work?
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:51 PM   #8
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I don't see how it can be between the breaker and the gfci receptacle since the gfci cannot 'see' that current on that part of the branch circuit. But I agree more details would help.

My questions...

Are you trying to gfci protect your bathroom receptacle/s that were never protected?

If so do you have the cable/wire that goes to the bathrooms connected to the load terminals of the gfci?

Is this gfci in a metal electrical box ?
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:20 PM   #9
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I forgot one question....do you have something plugged in and turned on at one of the bathroom receptacles or any lights on the same branch circuit turned on in those bathrooms when you turn that breaker back on?
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:45 PM   #10
 
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I forgot one question....do you have something plugged in and turned on at one of the bathroom receptacles or any lights on the same branch circuit turned on in those bathrooms when you turn that breaker back on?
No, nothing
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Old 07-19-2009, 11:12 PM   #11
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Is the gfci in a metal box?
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Old 07-19-2009, 11:21 PM   #12
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Is the ground wire from the bathroom/s connected when you connect the ground wire from the breaker panel?

Answer the last two questions and I'll tell you what I think your problem is.....
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Old 07-20-2009, 01:00 AM   #13
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It's late so I'm just going to tell you what I think is going on based on your description.

First you say you are replacing a gfci. That tells me that you thought you had a bad gfci but the new one has not corrected the problem. You also say that the gfci works fine until you connect the bare ground wire in the cable coming from the breaker panel about four feet away.

Only possibility that could cause the gfci to trip is current is leaking to ground on the load side (bathroom cable). When you connect that ground you are completing the circuit for the fault and the gfci is detecting the current loss to ground and trips out. This is because the bathroom cable is connected to the load terminals of the gfci and it senses all current flow irregularities on that cable to the bathrooms.

You also say that there are no lights or other loads operating on the load side of the gfci. So the only way there is any current flow that the gfci can see is if you have a fault to ground with the hot wire some where on the cable going to the bathrooms.

If the box the gfci is in is metal you could have a fault to the metal so be careful. Usually this is a result of a metal clamp being tightened too much on the cable to the bathroom piercing the insulation of the cable and hot wire and just barely making contact with the metal of the box completing a circuit over the ground that allows only a very small amount of current to flow on the hot wire and the gfci trips because it is detecting zero current flow in the neutral of the cable to the bathroom.

That's one possibility.

The second is the fault exists on a hot to ground somewhere else on the branch circuit. To test this disconnect the ground on the bathroom cable and keep it from touching anything especially the metal of the box if it's metal. Connect the ground from the breaker panel as you have been doing along with all the hots and neutrals to the gfci. Turn the power on. If the gfci trips then you know the fault exists at the box the gfci is in. If it holds then you know that unwanted current is on the ground in the cable to the bathrooms and you will have to investigate all switch boxes and receptacle boxes and fixture boxes to find the fault.

Another thing to consider is if any one has been driving any nails or screws into the walls piercing that bathroom cable.
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Old 07-20-2009, 07:33 AM   #14
 
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Stubbie, thanks for the help, I'll try these things this weekend and see if I can track it down.
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Old 07-20-2009, 10:28 AM   #15
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Puzzled as to why GFCI recept. trips whn. gnd. hk. up


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Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
I forgot one question....do you have something plugged in and turned on at one of the bathroom receptacles or any lights on the same branch circuit turned on in those bathrooms when you turn that breaker back on?
...But then the GFCI Would trip when the NEUTRAL is hooked up, which would make sense. But jbf... claims that when Neutral is hooked up nothin' happens. Only when the GROUND wire is hooked up is when the Recept. trips out. There's some information missing here or Terminology not properly applied. I'm willing to bet that there's a GROUNDED NEUTRAL somewhere! (No matter What)Don't drink and Drive!!!
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