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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default GFI fails after turning off circuit power

    This is my own house, thankfully. Kind of strange and I thought I'd see anyone has seen this happen.

    I had to shut off power to replace some outlets and a GFI failed. By failed I mean there was no more power through it. It died in an on or "non-tripped" position but the wire going in was the last hot thing. Nothing at the receptacle openings or downstream. Something that shouldn't matter but I'll mention anyhow is that the circuit the GFI is on is actually a common trip with the circuit I was working on (not shared neutral - just common trip). So, the only thing done on the GFI circuit was literally turning the breaker off then on.

    I don't have another GFI handy but I nutted the wires together and the circuit is live again and I tested the faulty GFI on another circuit and it's bad.

    This mainly gets my attention because just a couple weeks ago I had a buyer call and complain about a dead GFI outlet and it was the exact same thing... wiring to the GFI was fine but the outlet and downstream items were dead..... and I know I tested it at the inspection and it was live. And the power to the house had been off between the time I was there and the buyers moved in.

    So, has lighting struck twice or is there some reason a GFI is more likely to fail after the power on the circuit is turned off?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Charlotte NC Licensed in NC and SC
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: GFI fails after turning off circuit power

    It probably has a power on self test that runs internally. When some certain component fails, you don't see it until you cycle the power. If you hear it click when you turn it on and the handle does not move then you could have just a bad trip mechanism or a ground fault and a bad trip mechanism.

    Bruce King, B.A. King Home Inspections, LLC
    www.BAKingHomeInspections.com
    Certified Master Inspector, Independent Inspectorwww.IndependentInspectors.org

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: GFI fails after turning off circuit power

    Probably the same reason they sometimes won't go back on after testing them - its just the time they decided to go bad.


  4. #4
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
    Roger Frazee Guest

    Default Re: GFI fails after turning off circuit power

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    This is my own house, thankfully. Kind of strange and I thought I'd see anyone has seen this happen.

    I had to shut off power to replace some outlets and a GFI failed. By failed I mean there was no more power through it. It died in an on or "non-tripped" position but the wire going in was the last hot thing. Nothing at the receptacle openings or downstream. Something that shouldn't matter but I'll mention anyhow is that the circuit the GFI is on is actually a common trip with the circuit I was working on (not shared neutral - just common trip). So, the only thing done on the GFI circuit was literally turning the breaker off then on.

    I don't have another GFI handy but I nutted the wires together and the circuit is live again and I tested the faulty GFI on another circuit and it's bad.

    This mainly gets my attention because just a couple weeks ago I had a buyer call and complain about a dead GFI outlet and it was the exact same thing... wiring to the GFI was fine but the outlet and downstream items were dead..... and I know I tested it at the inspection and it was live. And the power to the house had been off between the time I was there and the buyers moved in.

    So, has lighting struck twice or is there some reason a GFI is more likely to fail after the power on the circuit is turned off?
    You did try to reset it correct?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: GFI fails after turning off circuit power

    Is the GFCI possibly mis-wired line and load?

    Not sure why it would even have been on the first time, but the newer GFCI will not reset if mis-wired line and load.

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

  6. #6
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood Guest

    Default Re: GFI fails after turning off circuit power

    They are not very reliable. It probably failed and a replacement is needed. Pretty simple deal.


  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Oregon
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    Default Re: GFI fails after turning off circuit power

    Yes, tried the reset (you didn't really ask that did you )
    Yes, wired correctly
    Yes, very simple to fix

    Installed it about 6 months ago and best I can remember this is the first time I've turned off power on the circuit.

    I think I'll chalk it up to the CCC principle.... cheap chinese crap.


  8. #8
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
    Roger Frazee Guest

    Default Re: GFI fails after turning off circuit power

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Yes, tried the reset (you didn't really ask that did you )
    Yes, wired correctly
    Yes, very simple to fix

    Installed it about 6 months ago and best I can remember this is the first time I've turned off power on the circuit.

    I think I'll chalk it up to the CCC principle.... cheap chinese crap.

    Yes I did and I got the reaction I was hoping for ....

    Was this a Leviton gfci ?? Red reset button and black test button


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
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    Default Re: GFI fails after turning off circuit power

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Frazee View Post
    Yes I did and I got the reaction I was hoping for ....

    Was this a Leviton gfci ?? Red reset button and black test button
    Yep... Leviton


  10. #10
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
    Roger Frazee Guest

    Default Re: GFI fails after turning off circuit power

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Yep... Leviton
    I don't remember the years but Leviton had a ton of bad product (gfci's) out on the market. I had a case lot once and they would trip out with a light tap of a screwdriver on the face plate and never reset again once tripped. Some sort of defect in the contact locking mechanism.


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