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Discussion Starter #1
The house I recently bought had a regular receptacle--no cover or anything--just outside the front door. I wanted to replace it with a GFCI and a proper cover. Here is what I've encountered so far:

1) I tested the existing outlet with a receptacle tester. Only the red light came on (both receptacles gave the same result). I took this as a suggestion that the neutral was open and the polarity was reversed.

2) I flipped the breaker and removed the outlet, which was a cracked and rusty mess. The previous installer had used the back wire push-in connections, but the black and white wires were each on the correct side and appeared intact. The ground wire was present and intact. This is apparently the last outlet in the circuit--nothing else is loaded on it.

3) I installed the GFCI in accordance with the instructions and flipped on the breaker. The GFCI will not reset (not really a surprise) and my multimeter tells me I have about 7 volts coming through.

Any insights? I just want to make the thing safe. I don't even need the outlet there, to be honest.
 

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DIY'r
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Is that 7V at the receptacle socket, or at the wires/terminals?

If you were testing at the socket:

*Carefully* check hot to neutral and then hot to ground on the actual wires. You should get ~120V for each.

Also double-check that you have the wiring connected to the "line" side of the GFCI, not the "load".
 

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Sparkaholic
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The receptacle may be controlled by a switch inside. The new GFCI receptacles will not reset if there is no power present. If you have tested the wiring feeding the outlet and you only have 7-volts between hot and neutral or hot and ground you probably don't have any power going there.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Is that 7V at the receptacle socket, or at the wires/terminals?

Also double-check that you have the wiring connected to the "line" side of the GFCI, not the "load".
Thanks. I was referring to the wires--7 V from hot to neutral. I didn't check hot to ground, but should have. I'm 99% sure I connected the GFCI to the proper "line" side (the sticker they put on them is helpful that way, and I looked when I did it), but I'll double-check.
 

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DIY'r
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Heh, sparks1up makes a good point about the switch.

If your receptacle tester was telling you that you have an open neutral, you should still see ~120V hot-ground. The tester won't light up at all unless you had a hot conductor, and I don't think it would light up on 7V either (I'm assuming this is one of those cheap 3-light testers).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If there's a switch that's controlling this blasted thing, I can't find it, though that's no surprise given the way the switches in this house are connected. But that does seem plausible given that I *did* get a proper hot at one point. I'll have to do some more testing with the multimeter (though right now there's a thunderstorm on the way, so I think I'll wait.)
 
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