A simple task, I know.
The GFI in my kids' bathroom went bad.
I installed the new one. When it's hanging out of the wall, it works.
When I push it back into the box and press the button, I get sparks
and it trips the breaker in the basement.
The damn ground wire keeps popping off, no matter how hard I torque it
All the other wires stay intact...they're the type that plug straight
into a hole in the GFI, then a screw tightens them in.
What's the trick for getting the ground wire in tight?
There's a little metal plate, but the wire doesn't fit under it...so
I'm just trying to tighten it under the screw head.
Honestly, your efforts sound so clumsy that you might consider hiring
someone to help yu with this. One trick is to bend the wire around
the business end of a screwdriver makin a nice loop in the wire then
you can loop the wire around then nut rather than just stickin it in
I'm a little confused. Your post makes it sound like this has happened
multiple times. First off, the ground popping off would not cause
sparks and or a breaker trip unless the ground wire came in contact
with the hot. A GFCI with no ground would operate just fine.
IIRC, the ground screw is on the opposite side of the GFCI from the
hot leads, so it would not only have to pop off, it would need to find
it's way over to the hot lead in order to spark and trip the breaker.
In fact, if it sparks only after you press the Reset button, then the
ground wire would have to have found it's way to Load side hot lead.
Otherwise, if it was touching the Line hot, it would spark and trip as
soon as you turned the breaker on.
I don't have a GFI in front of me, but every image I can pull up on
Google shows the Load hot diagonally opposite the ground screw. How is
the ground wire finding it's way all the way to the load hot while
pushing the device back in the box?
I think you have something else going on besides a loose ground wire.
Not necessarily, some manufacturers make them more dificult to wire than
others. The new Leviton brand GFCI has a hole for the ground, just like the
hot and neutral, so their pretty easy, also be careful how you arrange the
wires in the box as you push the outlet back in, especially the bare ground.
Double check that the wire nuts are tight with no exposed wire. Then
wrap them with black tape.
That's funny, I just put one of these in and also had the hardest time
getting the ground wire to tighten in that hole. Turned out I just had
to turn the screw really hard to get to to tighten. Now, assuming that
you have the same type that I struggled with, inside the hole and
connected to the screw there is a metal plate. Unscrew the screw to
its end, then slip the wire on top of that metal plate, then tighten
the screw. The screw will pull that plate up until it's tight. You
will know it's tight when the screw doesn't move around, and of course
the wire is held in tight. I tightened mine till I thought the screw
couldn't go any farther, but finally noticed that the screw was still
loose in the hole. I finally turned it really hard and got the screw
to start again.
No always, and the newer GFCIs sure are wide in a box.
I always wrap a strip of black electrical tape (its politically incorrect
these days, but I've always known it as "jap wrap") around the
outside perimeter of the GFCIs, covering both the screws
on the hot terminals and both screws on the neutral terminals.
I make sure there is no, zero, da nada, zippo, bare wire at the rear
holes / terminals on the hot and neutral legs.
I take some green tape and wrap a single turn of the green,
separately around the "Line" black wire and "Line" white wire,
so I don't later have to do a lot of testing / guessing about
which incoming wires in the box are "line" and which are
"load" if, as always seems to happen, I have to replace the GFCI
10 years from now.
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