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Thread: GFCI Troubleshooting Help Needed

  1. #1
    DIY Member richrc1131's Avatar
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    Default GFCI Troubleshooting Help Needed

    A leak in the 2nd floor bathroom made its way down the inside of a wall to the GFCI of the 1/2 bath downstairs.

    I have since replaced the GFCI and wired it according to the package provided diagram.

    An electrician replaced the GFCI in the 2nd floor bathroom and it worked for a while. He examined the GFCI in the 1/2 bath and said that it was wired correctly but I should have placed the receptacle upside down (Don't know what that's about).

    Neither of those GFCI's work now.

    My guess is that something on the circuit has an electrical issue. I am having a hard time figuring out which item it is. Obviously some outlets stopped working but other than that, everything else seems ok.

    Can anyone suggest a good troubleshooting method that can help me discover the culprit?

  2. #2
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richrc1131 View Post
    Neither of those GFCI's work now.
    You mean they trip?

  3. #3
    DIY Member richrc1131's Avatar
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    Default Gfci

    Yes they trip immediately

  4. #4

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    I would imagine you had called him back, if not, I would.

  5. #5
    DIY Member richrc1131's Avatar
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    Believe it or not, they've gone out of business since then and I can't get a hold of anyone.

  6. #6

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    Has the leak been fixed?

    Perhaps there is again water in both and they need to be replaced again?

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default Gfci

    If they are single units with nothing plugged into them then the GFCI's are bad. If they feed additional outlets, then something plugged into them or the wiring between them is bad. Installing the outlet inverted is to ensure that if something thin slides between the wall and the plug, that it will contact the ground prong first and then the hot feed, either tripping the GFCI or the circuit breaker.

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    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richrc1131 View Post
    Yes they trip immediately
    So, from this curve
    http://acmelightingsystems.com/GFCItechnical.htm
    you can figure out what your leakage current is. 20 mA takes a max. of one second. Yours sounds pretty large so it should be easier to trace. Do you have an AC milliammeter?
    Last edited by Thatguy; 04-24-2009 at 07:47 AM.

  9. #9
    DIY Member richrc1131's Avatar
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    The leak was fixed right away.

  10. #10

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    You are checking to see if voltage is present to the GFCI's? New GFCI's will not reset if voltage is not present. Check breakers if no power.

    Then A GFCI can be just on its own. Or there can be "downstream wiring" connected to it as well. If there is downstream wiring, I would disconnect that and see if the GFCI then works.

    If not, I would try replacing the GFCI. If replacing the GFCI gets it working again, I would turn the old GFCI every which way to see if any water comes out and the leak is still there. Or take it apart and see if there is water inside (don't use again after taking it apart).

    So either you have power to the GFCI or you don't.

    Either the GFCI downstream wiring is OK or it is not.

    The GFCI is either working OK or it is not. If it is not, then a logical conclusion would be that there is water in it again!

  11. #11
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
    Either the GFCI downstream wiring is OK or it is not.
    That's where the milliammeter comes in. With this and a 1/32A or 1/100A fuse you can make your own megger.

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