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Thread: GFCI Outlet

  1. #1
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    Default GFCI Outlet

    What would be the cause of a GFCI outlet not tripping when tested (with outlet tester) and the down stream outlet tripping ?? Wired wrong??

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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: GFCI Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Morris View Post
    Wired wrong??
    Yes. They installed it with line and load reversed.

    This problem was SO COMMON that newer GFCI will not power up and reset if wired backward.

    Hard to believe to SO MANY people (including electricians) would wire them up backward that the manufacturers had to account for that in their design, but that was a real big problem with the older GFCI devices.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: GFCI Outlet

    As I'm reading your post (and I could be mistaken) the face of the gfci combination receptacle does lose power when tripped with your tester, but the line side receptacles remain powered. If this is also the case when the test button is depressed, then it would seem to me more likely that the device is wired correctly, just not wired to provide line side protection. I.e. pigtailed which is a perfectly legal and safe way to wire the device.

    Another thought is that the device is worn out from too many trip cycles and will not trip period (appears to be an older vintage). It may also be of the vintage of a recall.

    Are those arc marks at the receptacle above the tester? You do want to make sure your tester blades are fully plugged in and not at an angle (such as a TR receptacle would prevent).

    Edited to add:

    Nevermind, I did read your post wrong.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 01-27-2011 at 08:24 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: GFCI Outlet

    Lets start with what you are saying in your post:

    The GFCI receptacle you are testing does not trip, BUT

    THE DOWNSTREAM OUTLET is tripping.

    OK Questions:

    Is that downstream outlet another GFCI Receptacle and trips when you attempt to test the one in your picture?

    If this is the case , most likely you have one GFCI receptacle being GFCI protected by another GFCI receptacle.
    If this is the problem that GFCI receptacle that is tripping is "Upstream" from the on in the picture.
    Is this a problem ? NO

    HG The "marks " you are seeing are reflections of his hand in a bright shiney brass face plate


  5. #5
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    Default Re: GFCI Outlet

    If both face of gfci receptacle and line side receptacles have no power when the TEST button is tripped, but neither the face nor the line side receptacles are "tripped" when you use your "tester"...

    This would suggest to me that you have a 2-conductor circuit - and the GFCI receptacle, and the downstream receptacles should bear labeliing "GFCI Protected, NO EQUIPMENT GROUND" - may have been old 2-blade receptacles replaced.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: GFCI Outlet

    P.S. that tester should be straight in, not at an angle, as though you are inserting in a TR receptacle.


    And K.H., no I am not referring to the bird w/wing design in the brassy face plate , I was referring to the tan/brownish filth or possible arc marks on the face of the receptacle itself, just below the receptacle blade inserts just above the test/reset buttons.


  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Western Montana
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    Default Re: GFCI Outlet

    See the attached GFCI trouble-shooting chart.
    I can't remember the source for the chart on page 1, but believe it came either with a GFCI tester or Ideal Circuit Analyzer, or an installation sheet with a GFCI receptacle. It is older, and does not refer to newer GFCI receptacles that will not power up if reverse-wired, but then most homes I inspect have the older GFCI receptacles anyway. The chart on page 2 is newer.

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