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Thread: All lit up

  1. #1
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    Default All lit up

    All 3 indicator lights were lit on the testing of this GFCI outlet.
    My little cheat sheet on the tester doesn't cover this condition.
    I didn't take the cover off the outlet to see what inside....just wondering what condition will cause this to light 'em all up like that. Anybody know?
    I did use my wiggy to see if there was a 240 volt condition, but this was not the case.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: All lit up

    Did you test hot-ground, hot-neutral, ground-neutral for voltages?

    That would answer your question.

    Could be neutral-ground reversed, could be a bootleg ground (ground is jumped to neutral), could be a bad tester, could be bad connections ... testing all three for voltage between them would be the next step to take.

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: All lit up

    You can usually figure it out with a wiggy (or any other simple two prong tester), and/or taking off the outlet cover and looking inside (confirm bootleg ground).


  4. #4
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    Default Re: All lit up

    I shoulda' looked harder, but I was running short of time.
    Just a couple quick stabs at it and on to the next situation.
    There were other electrical problems, including a reversed polarity GFCI right next to this one. Probably had something to do with it. So I just reported 'electrical problems - get a pro to fix it'
    They had to get sparky anyway because of the Zinsco panel - 8 breakers no main (and other things inside).
    Curiously, the seller had a new panel installed in the garage. A 50 amp breaker from the Zinsco supplied power to this - feeding a 200 amp breaker inside the new panel. I suspected a non-permitted installation, and told them of the limitations that a 50 amp breaker imposes on a 200 amp panel - 50 amps is all you get. The new panel was underwhelmed. I didn't think 50 amps was enough for the panel with new wiring and appliances. I also didn't think the 200 amp breaker was necessarily a problem, just short of what it could be, if the Zinsco panel was upgraded.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: All lit up

    You are probably on to something with a reverse polarity on the GFCI feeding that outlet.
    I know what you mean about moving on, especially when there are numerous issues that are going to need repairs.


  6. #6
    Mbrooke's Avatar
    Mbrooke Guest

    Default Re: All lit up

    Id guess an energized ground.


  7. #7
    Mbrooke's Avatar
    Mbrooke Guest

    Default Re: All lit up

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Weekly View Post
    I shoulda' looked harder, but I was running short of time.
    Just a couple quick stabs at it and on to the next situation.
    There were other electrical problems, including a reversed polarity GFCI right next to this one. Probably had something to do with it. So I just reported 'electrical problems - get a pro to fix it'
    They had to get sparky anyway because of the Zinsco panel - 8 breakers no main (and other things inside).
    Curiously, the seller had a new panel installed in the garage. A 50 amp breaker from the Zinsco supplied power to this - feeding a 200 amp breaker inside the new panel. I suspected a non-permitted installation, and told them of the limitations that a 50 amp breaker imposes on a 200 amp panel - 50 amps is all you get. The new panel was underwhelmed. I didn't think 50 amps was enough for the panel with new wiring and appliances. I also didn't think the 200 amp breaker was necessarily a problem, just short of what it could be, if the Zinsco panel was upgraded.

    The 50amp breaker may have been enough, however I see many, many other issues.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: All lit up

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbrooke View Post
    The 50amp breaker may have been enough, however I see many, many other issues.
    Sure thing. Because there was no main CB (and its' a Zinsco) - my recommendation was upgrade the main panel. When that is upgraded, the new main panel will likely be something on the order of a 200 amp main CB with appropriate size cable wire to the garage panel.


  9. #9
    Brent Williams's Avatar
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    Default Re: All lit up

    The 200amp breaker is a disconnect only. Not necessarily an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Weekly View Post
    Sure thing. Because there was no main CB (and its' a Zinsco) - my recommendation was upgrade the main panel. When that is upgraded, the new main panel will likely be something on the order of a 200 amp main CB with appropriate size cable wire to the garage panel.
    - - - Updated - - -

    The 200amp breaker is a disconnect only. Not necessarily an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Weekly View Post
    Sure thing. Because there was no main CB (and its' a Zinsco) - my recommendation was upgrade the main panel. When that is upgraded, the new main panel will likely be something on the order of a 200 amp main CB with appropriate size cable wire to the garage panel.



  10. #10
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    Default Re: All lit up

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Williams View Post
    The 200amp breaker is a disconnect only. Not necessarily an issue.
    Correct - in the newer panel inside the garage.
    A new main breaker, however, is required at the (soon to be installed, new) main panel - more than 6 CB's require a main breaker. I expect the new main breaker at the new exterior panel would be similar size to the 'disconnect' at the newer, existing, sub(marine) panel in the garage.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: All lit up

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Weekly View Post
    Correct - in the newer panel inside the garage.
    A new main breaker, however, is required at the (soon to be installed, new) main panel - more than 6 CB's require a main breaker. I expect the new main breaker at the new exterior panel would be similar size to the 'disconnect' at the newer, existing, sub(marine) panel in the garage.
    "A new main breaker, however, is required at the (soon to be installed, new) main panel - more than 6 CB's require a main breaker."

    Chris,

    Drop the term "main" panel and just refer to the panels as "service equipment" panel and all other panels as just plain "panels" - I say this because you are incorrect as stated, but you may be correct as you intended (although I doubt it, but I am not sure, because of you duplicate use of incorrect terminology for different panels).

    I think you are referring to the new panel in the garage, which will have more than 6 breakers, and which does NOT require a main breaker in the panel (but which is a nice safety feature as you can quickly shut the entire panel down that way).

    However, if you are referring to the new "service equipment" panel which needs to be replaced outside and which contains the service disconnect, then (and only then) does that new service equipment need a single main (when more than 6 breaker slots are available - another debatable issue but not directly related to this discussion).

    Remove the word "main" and insert "service equipment" at the appropriate panel ... I suspect you will understand what you are saying, or trying to say, much better.

    "Try it, you'll like it."

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

  12. #12
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    Default Re: All lit up

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    "Try it, you'll like it."
    Correct - in the panel inside the garage (panel B).

    A new main breaker, however, is required at the (soon to be installed)
    service equipment (panel A) - more than 6 CB's require a main breaker (agreed??).
    I expect the new main breaker at the new service equipment (panel A) would be similar size to the 'disconnect' at the existing panel (B) in the garage. Couldn't hurt, and not much difference with 100 amp or 150 amp feeding this as far as sizing goes. Whatever feeds it, is what it is...

    OK, OK, OK, OK the zinsco gets replaced with new service equipment. It will probably be a 200 amp main breaker in the new panel (new service equipment).
    There's nothing wrong with the panel B with a 200 amp 'disconnect'.
    But now, all is right with the situation...when panel A (zinsco) gets replaced.

    Are we happy now?


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