While replacing a GFCI I find it has 2 circuits running into it. New GFCI trips


During a house sale, inspector pointed out the GFCI at the front of my garage was failing his tester. The trip light was always on but it still fed power.

Skip to the end if this is too wordy, but I wanted to cover everything I have verified so far.

While replacing it myself, I am flipping off breakers to find the one for it (key for later on) as I don't have all labeled on the panel yet. The new GFCI constantly trips. I remove the load wires and the GFCI is now good. The load runs to an outside outlet down the same stud gap which I course want protected as well. I fiddle with the outside receptacle and replace it as it was old and rusty. Nope, GFCI still trips. The outside receptacle has two lines and I can't tell which runs to the GFCI and which runs further down (or so I thought it was down) so I unhook one and try it. The GFCI and outlet now work. So what did I unhook?

Checking around the house, I find several kitchen/dining/deck lights not working. Not...

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does some have a diagram that shows how to wire a 220->110v transformer at the main circuit breaker.. i have a wire ready with 220 and a another ready to receive 110v .. the 220v ready wire has has the neutral wire tied down to ground (somebody else left this ready for me to finish) [...]

We have a patio outlet that is connected to an interior, 15amp outlet. I want to move the patio outlet about 15 linear feet away from its current location to use for a 1650 watt electric patio grill (Charbroil- small, sold in Walmart/Home Depot). The circuit is wired with 14/2 cable. We never use the [...]

200 amp breaker box in a mobile home. Power just suddenly goes out on all but two breakers/circuits. Each functional circuit is on opposite sides of the panel left side is one breaker down the right one is one up from the last. functional on left circuit goes up to ceiling, so does non functional. [...] ...

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Your understanding of outdoor circuits is wrong. A fan or light or something on the side of a house is not necessarily an outdoor circuit. It would depend on where the wires ran. Further, it is not correct that all outdoor circuits have to be GFCI protected. Outdoor receptacles must be GFCI protected, as do wires that run underground less than a certain depth, but to say that outdoor circuits just be GFCI protected is an incorrect statement.

Unless your bathroom fan specifically calls for GFCI protection, it too does not need to be GFCI protected.

Replace the GFCI breaker with a regular breaker. Install a GFCI receptacle in the bathroom, with no downstream protection.

As for what someone might say when you sell the place, don’t worry about that. If necessary you can always install a GFCI receptacle in the garage when you sell the place.

If the refrigerator blocks the duplex receptacle then leave it alone. If the refrigerator does not block the...

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The National Electrical Code requires GFCI protection of receptacles located outdoors and in bathrooms, garages, and spa areas. This GFCI circuit breaker provides protection against overloads, short circuits, and ground faults. It detects very low levels of electrical current leaks (ground faults), and acts quickly to shut off power, preventing serious shock.

Most GFCI protectors have a spring-loaded breaker button. When the GFCI senses a problem, the breaker button is “tripped.” The breaker button needs to be manually reset in order for the power to be re-established to the outlet. The breaker button will trip again if the electrical problem still persists. Continuously tripping breakers indicate that there is an electrical problem. Call an electrician if the GFCI continues to indicate there is a problem.

Basic Troubleshooting

There is an electrical malfunction in whatever is plugged into the outlet.

Remove all electrical devices from the GFCI outlet....

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A GFCI is a ground fault circuit interrupter. A ground fault circuit interrupter is an inexpensive electrical device that, if installed in household branch circuits, could prevent over two-thirds of the approximately 300 electrocutions still occurring each year in and around the home. Installation of the device could also prevent thousands of burn and electric shock injuries each year.

Figure 1 - GFCI receptacle and GFCI circuit breaker

The GFCI is designed to protect people from severe or fatal electric shocks Because a GFCI detects ground faults, it can also prevent some electrical fires and reduce the severity of others by interrupting the flow of electric current.

Figure 2 - Man with one hand in sink and other on electrical device

The Problem:

Have you ever experienced an electric shock? If you did, the shock probably happened because your hand or some other part of your body contacted a source of electrical current and your body provided a...

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Using And Troubleshooting a GFCI

A properly wired home is a safer home. An important part of your electrical safety is the proper installation and use of GFIs... ground fault circuit interrupters.

Now required by code in most states, think of the GFI as an electrical lifesaver... gathering dust on the wall until the moment of your greatest need! Click on any topic below or scroll down for all topics.

What is a GFI?

How does a GFI work?

Are there different types of GFIs?

How do you test a GFI?

I have a GFI in my bathroom that seems to trip more often than it used to, especially when I use the hair dryer. Do GFI's wear out?

I have seen portable GFIs that you can plug into any outlet. Do they work as well as the ones installed in my house?

Does a GFI need to be grounded to work properly? I want to put one in my bathroom, but my outlet is ungrounded.

Are there any...

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HOME SitemapInfo and Troubleshooting

There are often special looking electrical receptacles in bathrooms or kitchens that have "Test" and "Reset" buttons -- often black and red -- on them. Video. These are ground-fault circuit interrupters -- GFCIs or GFIs. Their purpose is to protect people from electrocution. They do not prevent shock altogether, only deadly shock. And they do not prevent overloads on the circuit. That is the job of a circuit breaker at the main panel. See my GFCI article. (What is the little light on some GFIs?)

Why Can't I Reset? Is GFCI Bad or Is There a Ground-Fault?
GFI Outlet Diagram -- Hooking Up
Is an Unknown GFCI the Cause of an Outage?
Finding a Tripped GFCI Receptacle
Confusing Terms: GFCI, GFI, Load, etc.

Bad GFCI or a Ground-Fault? -- Troubleshooting

Is a GFI tripping for a ground-fault? If you are pretty sure you need to troubleshoot a ground-fault itself, you may want to go to

Tripped GFI -- Why?


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Protecting persons from ground faults

The NEC requires that Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) be installed in many different rooms and locations in both public and private buildings. They are now required in bathrooms, kitchens, appliance rooms or spaces, and garages.

In addition, they are required in basements, near swimming pools, hot tubs, or fountains, and in outdoor receptacles. While these requirements are most commonly met with GFCI dual receptacles, they can also be met with GFCI branch circuit breakers.

GFCI circuit breakers and receptacles protect persons from ground faults.

These are typically caused by “hot” conductors with inadequate insulation coming in contact with an ungrounded metal object such as an appliance cabinet. If the metal surface is not electrically grounded, a ground faultwill be created.

Any person touching that metal object while standing on a conducting surface (for example, a wet floor) could get a fatal electrical...

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So, you have two-prong outlet receptacles and want three-prong outlets. I will try to address common questions regarding two-prong outlets, and what can be done about it. If you have specific questions not covered(or needs clarifying) regarding the subject of two-prong outlets, please read this entire post before posting a new thread. This thread will be monitored indefinitely. Please understand that this post is very limited and the unique situations homes have are limitless.As an electrician, I will always advise you get a professional look at your wiring and discuss your options. You may accidentally make your situation worse. PROCEED WITH CAUTION

Code followed: NFPA 70 NEC 2011 and 23rd (2015) edition of the CEC (CSA C22.1)

Updated 03/08/17 Added CEC

Part 1: Common Questions

Are my existing two-prong outlets dangerous?

Assuming the wiring and outlet itself are okay, most likely not. There are a couple of issues that surround two prong...

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Your GFI outlet has five different connectors, and it's important to know which is used for what.

The ground screw is connected to the ground wires coming and going to the box.

There are two sets of connectors for hot (black) and neutral (white) wires. One set, labeled LINE, is used for power coming in to the box, and the other, labeled LOAD, for outlets that will be "downstream" of the GFCI, and be protected by it. Make sure you know which is which- the old outlet will be labeled, as will the new.

If you can't see the markings on the old outlet, turn the power on briefly, and use your non-contact tester to find the hot wire- that's the one bringing power into the box. You'll connect that wire, and its white companion, to the LINE connectors. (And then turn the power off again.)

This GFCI outlet has both push-in and screw terminal connectors; some old timers (and some new-timers) will only use the screw terminals, but actually, the push-in connectors are...

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GFI Breaker Won't Reset

Over the past few years we have had to reset our "GFI" electrical circuit every so often. Particularly when an outdoor electrical socket was left open. The circuit has tripped again but when I press it it wont push down and reset. Any advice?

To reset a GFI breaker, (or any breaker that has tripped) you need to first move the breaker all the way to "off" first. Then move it to "On".

Assuming you did that, and there is nothing plugged into any of the GFI protected outlets, the GFI breaker probably has to be replaced. Unlike the ordinary breakers, it seems the GFI type doesn't last forever. Especially each time it trips, it often trips easier and easier, until it no longer will reset.

Unfortunately you will probably have to replace it. A new one should cost in the $30 neighborhood. (plus labor if you have an electrician install it)

GFCI Outlet - Checked Archives and FAQ - No Test/Reset Button

I own a spanking...

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