A flaky branch circuit

I went out to my screened- in porch to have lunch. This is in sw fl and we finally got some really decent weather.
The problem: First problem was the ceiling fan w/remote wouldn't come on. Another fan plugged into a wall socket was also dead. There is one GFI that feeds one outside outlet and one inside and that ceiling fan.
I plugged a 3-light tester into the GFI. the lights report an open neutral. With the downstream hot line off the GFI the tester reports all good.
I removed anything in the downstream outlets and the GFI say OK. If I take a little neon bug light and go from hot in to neut or ground get good light in both tests. Put the downstream line back on and the bug light does some thing strange. If I go from incoming H to N it is bright. From downstream hot to neutral the bug light is dim and the 3 light tester shows a dim light that was not lit before.
The only things connected are the two downstream receptacles and the ceiling fan.
Is this situation pointing to the GFI? I thought it only disconnected the hot side. My other choice is to go after the remote in the ceiling fan but that is a pita compared to swapping out the GFI. No spares on hand so it means a trip to the store.
What do you say?
Charlie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

For a problem that just appeared with no other actions going on around the house I would suspect the GFI or the fan remote. Twenty minutes tops to switch out the GFI. These things just go flakey when the die without warning. I must have gotten a bad batch about 5 years ago as I had to replace three in the same house at almost the same time. I have others that are 15 years old and going strong.
You could also remove the GFI and carefully jumper the connections then use an outlet test on the downstream part.
Checking all the physical connections might be a good plan.
--
Colbyt
Please come visit http://www.househomerepair.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

+ Take the GFI out of the circuit and wire the downstream directly, then test.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Trip and reset the GFCI several times. It may just start working. The relay opens both sides and the neutral side may not be making. Where in SW Fl?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm in Sarasota County between Venice and North Port.
If the GFI is intermittent like that it will be replaced anyway.
Charlie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Good idea but at least you will know you are fixing the problem.
I am about 60 miles south of you, Naples Ft Myers
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.