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Thread: Sporadic Power to GFI

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Royal Oak, Michigan

    Default Sporadic Power to GFI

    I have a GFI that has only sporadic power going to it. The breaker seems fine, but all the outlets downstream from this one GFI have no power.

    I removed the GFI and all the wires going to it to test the live wire pair for power. It showed power for a few seconds and then lost power again. The breakers were all reset and seem fine and no breaker has ever been tripped.

    What could account for this sporadic power?

  2. #2
    In the Trades SacCity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Sacramento, CA


    Sounds like a loose wire,
    Works a few moments until the heat causes the wire in the junction to expand and break contact.
    I am assuming that if wait a few moments to half an hour that the power comes back on...

    First isloate the wire run, turn off all breakers except for that one and then test all outlets and lights to see if there are devices installed before the GFIC
    Hopefully there will be a loose wire in a outlet box.

    On occasion the boxes can be in the attic or under the home. Code says that the junction boxes are to be accessable but that does not always happen.
    Sac City Plumbing

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Long Island, NY


    And hopefully you do find the cause quickly, because if it is as saccity said, a loose connection, it can overheat and be quite dangerous. Especially so if your house was built in the 70's and wired with aluminum cables that have not been replaced with copper or properly "pigtailed" . Don't mean to scare you, but you should find and fix the problem.

    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

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