Simple Q - wiring GFI

Well, having wired several of these in the past, I am embarrassed to say that I don't know why my current setup won't work.
I have a 20 amp circuit shared by several switched lights and a couple of outlets. The load on this circuit is minimal. I recently added a new outlet to this circuit, just upstream of a switched light. So the circuit goes to the outlet, then to the light switch.
When I originally added the outlet, I used a standard outlet, and everything worked great. This past weekend I decided that the outlet should have been a GFI (damp basement, etc), and pulled the existing outlet and replaced it with a new 15A GFI. I wired the supply wires to Line, and the wires-to-the-light-switch to Load. (black wires to gold screws, white wires to silver). The GFI lit up (the green indcator glowed), and I had juice on both of the GFI plugs. The GFI test/reset buttons appeared to work correctly. However, I had no juice going to my light switch. The hot wire on the GFI Load connector appeared to have juice on my pencil style tester, but the switch did not turn on the lights.
So I figured I must have messed up the light switch while playing around. Hard to imagine, but I replaced it anyways, also with a new one. Still no luck. I ended up pulling the GFI and putting the original outlet back, and everything works fine again.
Any clues as to why my "downstream" switch won't work when the GFI is in place?
BrkrBox -----------> Outlet -------------> Switch -----------> Lights
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Mamba wrote:

Almost impossible for me to believe that the GFI outlet itself was defective, but it sure looks like that's the most likely answer.
Any chance of your springing for another GFI outlet and trying again?
Too bad you didn't have a conventional analog multimeter with two leads on it that you could have used to see if there was voltage between the black and white wires on the Load side of the GFI. Those pencil style testers can mislead you real good.
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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re :Any chance of your springing for another GFI outlet and trying again?
Oughta be able to just exchange it for a new one. Not many places, especially the borgs, argue about returning anything these days. If it scans, they'll take it back.
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Is there a jumper between the screws on both the hot and neutral side. There also should be another hot connector that is downstream hot can be wired to if you want GFI protection downstream as well.

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Not on a GFCI receptacle.

That's what he means when he talks about wiring to the Load connectors on the GFCI.
I agree with Jeff Wisnia: sounds like the OP has a defective GFCI.
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Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Sounds like a bad unit. Just be sure you didn't transpose the line and load neutrals

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If this is the type that has the 'reset' on it, you will have to push it in ALL the way before the circuit will work. I've got one that is wired in a similar fashion, when the outlet downstream can cause the GFI to flip, I gotta got to the bathroom and reset the button on the GFI.
Also, check to make sure the light switch is ON, as bathroom outlets are wired to the light switch.
If there is power, does yours have a green LED on it? Is it lit?
samurai.
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wrote:

Yes, it has a reset on it, and I did do the test and reset a couple of times. It also has the green LED which indeed lights up as well.
I had actually purchased a 3-pack of the GFIs and probably should have swapped in another one as a test. Another thing I did not do was to press the Test button and see if I still read juice on the Load hot wire. I presume that power should have been shut down along with the plugs themselves.
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suppose you wire two gfci's in series, trying to get less chance of failure.
What result?
Fire?
No protection at all, since they cancel? (joke)
Thanks,
David
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You can't wire them in series, but you can wire one off of the load side of another. They'll work fine

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The original installer *should* have labelled the downstream outlets protected by the GFI with a label that says as much. Then you'd know (a) not to install a GFI at this location, and (b) if the outlet is off, you need to search for a GFI somewhere else.
But not labelling them seems typical. My house has one GFI on the outside wall that feeds (and protects) two other outdoor outlets, both unlabelled. There's a GFI in the tiny ensuite bathroom off the bedroom that also protects outlets in the main bathroom and the downstairs bathroom, again without labels.
    Dave
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