GFCI Troubleshooting Help Needed

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by richrc1131, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. richrc1131

    richrc1131 New Member

    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    Central Connecticut
    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. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    You mean they trip?
  3. richrc1131

    richrc1131 New Member

    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    Central Connecticut
    Gfci

    Yes they trip immediately
  4. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    I would imagine you had called him back, if not, I would.
  5. richrc1131

    richrc1131 New Member

    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    Central Connecticut
    Believe it or not, they've gone out of business since then and I can't get a hold of anyone.
  6. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Messages:
    422
    Has the leak been fixed?

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

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,831
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    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.
  8. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    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: Apr 24, 2009
  9. richrc1131

    richrc1131 New Member

    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    Central Connecticut
    The leak was fixed right away.
  10. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Messages:
    422
    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. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    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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