I am having an issue with a GFI Outlet in my bathroom. I tested GFI
with my Plug Tester(Made by GB, it has the button to test the GFI
Functionality) - it shows an Open Ground and does not trip the breaker
when I press the button on the tester. The wire coming into this wall
box(made of plastic) is Std 14/2 Romex: Hot /Neutral/Ground connected
to the GFI.
The main service is 100A, uses standard QP Breakers.
I replaced the GFI hoping that would fix the issue but no luck. I
have no way of knowing where the wire goes after it leaves the box,
and what other lights/outlets it feeds. There is only 1 wire coming
into the box.
What sort of troubleshooting steps would you suggest given the
information above? I have an inspection next week and I know the
inspector will check it.
Thanks in Advance,
Then all you gotta do if you want to make it right is add a little
sticker to the faceplate that says "No Equipment Ground". (when you buy
a GFCI it comes with a few stickers)
Or you can just leave it alone and stop worrying.
On Oct 1, 11:18 am, email@example.com wrote:
Yup. I am wondering if your ground connection has been lost somewhere
and that would explain why you are not getting the GFCI to trip with
your little tester (it probably allows a little current to leak to
ground, and without a ground connection, that won't work.)
If you read ~120V from hot to ground, I'm not sure what the problem
is, but it might possibly be a bad connection internally in the GFCI
receptacle itself. I did note that you said you replaced it but that
is the only thing that makes sense.
If you read ~0V from hot to ground (might actually read above 0V with
a DVM due to induced voltage, but it should go away if you use a test
light,) which is actually what I expect will happen, then your
"ground" wire is not actually grounded. Then you need to start
opening up all the boxes in that circuit and find out where the
connection has been broken.
If you are not 100% (and I do mean 100%) comfortable with working on
stuff hot, you should turn off the breaker for that circuit before
pulling the GFCI out of the wall, making sure that it is hanging in
such a position that neither the bare ends or screws of the black nor
white wires are touching the box or ground, then turn the breaker back
on to make your tests. Definitely shut it off again before stuffing
it back in the box.
Right. But an plugin GFCI tester won't trip an GFCI outlet _either_
if there's no ground. It has no place to put the current imbalance
its testing with.
As long as the pushbutton on the GFCI outlet works, the outlet
is fine, regardless of what the plugin GFCI tester says.
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
If the GFCI was added because the circuit has no ground, then "fixing"
it would require adding a ground even though a GFCI is code-compliant
when used to replace an existing ungrounded outlet.
In this case I think the inspector may be full of it.
So "fix" it by sticking on the little label which comes with every new
GFCI outlet reading "Ground Not Connected" or words like that.
If you really want to test it, get a 100k 1/2 watt carbon resistor and
use some jumper wires to connect it between one of the hot (narrow)
slots on the outlet and a faucet handle.
You could try the same thing with the neutral (wide) slot if the gfci
has neutral to ground leakage detection. (Not all do.)
On Mon, 01 Oct 2007 10:30:45 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
1. Be sure that romex is grounded at the breaker box.
2. Be sure if there are any other circuits (outlets, etc) in that
circuit, that the ground is continuous. This means opening each box)
3. Be sure the GFI is connected correctly.
4. If this dont fix it, replace the GFI.
Actually, I'd do steps #1 and #3 (above). If they are correct, I'd
replace the GFI before I started ripping all the other wiring apart.
Also, if you place a test meter between the hot wire (usually black)
and the bare ground wire, it should measure 120V. If not, the ground
is open somewhere. I suspect a bad GFI. I had this exact same
problem occur. If you spend $10 for a new GFI and it sont solve the
problem, you'll always find another use for the new one. I'd rather
spend the $10 than spend hours ripping apart wiring.
On Oct 1, 8:30 am, email@example.com wrote:
Okay, so we don't yet know if you are dealing with a bad ground yet or
not, and your concern is that you don't know where else this thing
goes, so you have two choices...
1) Kill the breaker, test the outlets around the house, the dead ones
are on that same circuit, this may be a good place to start looking
for a faulty ground.
2) rent (or buy) a circuit tracer (two pieces, one is a emitter and
one is a listener), plug the emitter into the outlet in question and
start hitting the outlets around the house with the listener, the ones
that chirp are the ones in series with the one you have the problem
ALSO -- if there is only piece of romex coming into the box, you can
safely assume it is either the end of the run or the only plug on the
breaker (highly unlikely). so take your tester and plug it into each
outlet in the chain (determined from the tests above) and as soon as
you get to the one that isn't in fault, you have found the place where
the ground is disrupted.
On Oct 1, 4:52 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Depends on the age of the house. If it's an older house that has been
renovated, it might be the only device on that circuit, because back
in the day there was no requirement for the bath to be on its own
circuit (so a new homerun would have had to have been pulled to
provide the required separate circuit.) OR if it is still shared with
the upstairs, it may have been branched off an existing box, but the
old wiring was ungrounded, which means fun and games pulling wire for
If it's only 20-30 years old, it might be shared with some outside
receptacles, although in that case I would expect to see a GFCI
breaker or a GFCI recep at the first device on the circuit.
I'm not really up on my current code, so I'm not sure if it allows the
circuit to be shared with outside receps. or not.
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