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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was recently doing some outside wood work and had a chop saw connected to an extension cord to an outdoor outlet (GFCI). I noticed that the saw was sluggish but I was able to complete the job without issue.

Later that day, the indoor lights and outlets on the same circuit as the outdoor plug stopped working. I found the breaker was tripped and when I reset it, it immediately tripped again.

I turned off all switches and removed all devices plugged in to that circuit and the breaker still immediately tripped. I inspected the outside outlet to see if there was a short there and found a screw penetrating the box that could have been touching the wiring so I pulled the outlet out away from the box and tried the breaker again with the same result.

The GFCI itself never trips, just the breaker in the box. Can anyone give me a direction to troubleshoot and narrow down where the failure lies?
 

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Red Seal Electrician
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1,033 Posts
Remove the GFCI and see if the breaker will reset. If it does, your GFCI is pooched.

GFCI's tend not to like repeated-use inductive loads... like fridges/freezers, pumps, or hungry power tools.
 

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It could be unrelated to the GFCI. It could be a connection at one of the receptacles or switches, which has "failed open" due to the unusual amount of current on the wire.

The #1 cause of this is backstab connections. And the neutral is just as likely to be the one that failed.
 
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