GFCI will not reset.

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Skaweee, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. Skaweee

    Skaweee New Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    I was vacuuming the car with my shop vac when it went dead. Checked the breaker and it's not tripped. The GFCI for this circuit is tripped, but will not reset. There was an old fridge plugged into the same circuit, so I unplugged it and the shop vac both, but to no avail. The GFCI still will not reset. To my knowledge there is nothing else plugged into this circuit.

    I purchased and installed an new GFCI, but it will not reset either. :mad: Checked the wiring for the new GFCI installation and it appears to be correct. What gives (or gave in this case)? :confused:
  2. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Aug 23, 2005
    I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)
    Columbus, OH
    Is there anything connected to the load side of the GFCI (perhaps a downstream protected receptacle)? If so, disconnect that and see if it will reset. If it will, then there is a problem with whatever is on the load side.

    I've never see a functional GFCI refuse to reset unless it wasn't powered--that is the line side of the GFCI wasn't connected, or CB tripped or something.

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  4. Bill Arden

    Bill Arden Computer Programmer

    Sep 30, 2006
    computer programmer
    MN, USA
    I am going to assume that you turned off the breaker and back on again since you replaced the outlet. Some times breakers can get stuck in a tripped state.

    Do you have a voltmeter or a two wire light you can use to see if you have voltage going to the GFCI outlet?

    Also does the button click in with the breaker turned off?
    if so and it popes back out when you turn the breaker back on then something in the outlet string after the GFCI is bad.
  5. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire
    The following test is based on the fact that the neutral is supposed to be isolated from ground EXCEPT at the main disconnect service panel.

    Turn off the circuit breaker, disconnect the circuit neutral at the panel, and then measure the resistance between the hot and ground, and between the neutral and ground, with whatever other equipment that is on the circuit switched ON.

    The test will tell you if either the circuit or any equipment on the circuit has any leakage to ground. You should have at least 1,000,000 Ohms resistance, and ideally it should show an open circuit on the highest scale of your ohm-meter.

    If you find low resistance to the ground wire or the ground terminal of a grounded receptacle, then you have a leakage path that will trip a GFCI.

    You can try to locate the fault by turning off each piece of equipment to see it that solves the problem. If that doesn't fix it, then unplug the equipment one at a time and check to see if that causes an open circuit to ground. If it is still not an open circuit to ground with all equipment unplugged, then you have a neutral or hot lead (probably a neutral) that is grounded and you need to search to find that ground fault.

    If there is an open circuit with everything unplugged, then reconnect the neutral and turn on the breaker, and try again to reset the GFCI receptacle. If it still trips, then try replacing the GFCI receptacle.
  6. noclue

    noclue New Member

    May 5, 2005
    gfci won't reset, dead line wires, lights on breaker still work

    I have something very similar happening. I was using a hair dryer when my gfci tripped. It wouldn't reset, so I replaced the gfci, but the new one also doesn't work and won't reset. I have unhooked everything and tested the line wires coming into the receptacle and they appear to be dead. The odd thing is that the breaker seems to be fine as the lights connected to this breaker still work. Any ideas?
  7. rgsgww

    rgsgww New Member

    Jul 5, 2008
    I think a bad connection has burned up, what you need to do is turn off power to that circuit and check each box starting from your panel. Hopefully there isn't a box in the crawl space or attic, or even in the walls.
  8. rgsgww

    rgsgww New Member

    Jul 5, 2008
    Please start a new thread.

    I also think that a bad connection burned up.

    But you should check for any other gfis on that circuit. Maybe you have a gfi breaker?
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