The GFI receptacle in my downstairs bathroom doesn't seem to work. I
can't get the Test button to move. I opened up the box, and
I put my circuit tester up to the black and white wires, and there's
Then, I put one leg of the tester on the hot (black) side, and the
other side right to the box. Lo and behold, there's power.
I can't believe that I've lost my ground, but can't seem to understand
why the tester doesn't indicate power when I put it across the white
and black wires.
My guess is that the GFI receptacle is probably fine.
Helpful input is, as always, gratefully appreciated.
The white wire is "neutral", the bare wire (which is connected to the metal
box) is the ground.
Since the bulb lights when connected to the box and black, you have a good
hot lead and a good ground lead. It's the neutral (white) wire that is
Does this white wire go to a wirenut inside the box, or to a switch/etc?
Make sure the connection there is good. If it's still not working you need
to find out what other fixtures/outlets are connected to the circuit and
check the white wires at those points. It sounds very much like the white
wire has come loose someplace.
You aren't listening... CHECK THE OTHER BOXES ON THE SAME CIRCUIT!
Hook your car to a trailer, but DON'T tighten the hitch. Now drive away. The
trailer just sits there, but the car drives away fine. The problem was at
the CAR, where the trailer was CONNECTED.
The neutral is the white wire. Electrical circuits require two wires to
function. In the usual 120V application the power runs through the black
(or red) and white wires. The green or plane copper wire is a ground. The
ground and the neutral are connected back at the breaker box and should not
be connected anywhere else.
In your case the white wire is no longer connected from the GFI to the
breaker box. You need to find out where. You have been given a couple of
BTW your situation is exactly why the neutral and ground should not be
connected anywhere other than at the breaker box because with an open
neutral (a disconnected white wire) the ground wire would be carrying
current and that means anything grounded by that ground would also be hot
and capable of producing a shock.
OK, based on the help I got here, I checked out my circuit.
Here's what I have:
The GFI is switched.
When the light comes on it's supposed to be live.
I checked the wiring for the light, and here's what I found:
There are three wires coming out of the wall at the light.
The black is connected to black for the light.
The white is connected to white for the light.
There's a double Brown wire is connected to both the black and white,
(one leg to each).
At the GFI, there are only a black and white, (actually, there's a
ground at both locations, too).
When I disconnect the brown from either the white or the black at the
light, the GFI works but the light doesn't.
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.