GFI Breaker Won't Reset
Over the past few years we have had to reset our "GFI" electrical circuit every so often. Particularly when an outdoor electrical socket was left open. The circuit has tripped again but when I press it it wont push down and reset. Any advice?
To reset a GFI breaker, (or any breaker that has tripped) you need to first move the breaker all the way to "off" first. Then move it to "On".
Assuming you did that, and there is nothing plugged into any of the GFI protected outlets, the GFI breaker probably has to be replaced. Unlike the ordinary breakers, it seems the GFI type doesn't last forever. Especially each time it trips, it often trips easier and easier, until it no longer will reset.
Unfortunately you will probably have to replace it. A new one should cost in the $30 neighborhood. (plus labor if you have an electrician install it)
GFCI Outlet - Checked Archives and FAQ - No Test/Reset Button
I own a spanking new home with GFCI outlets in the expected areas. Problem the single wall outlet in the garage has a cover with a sticker indicating it is GFCI. But there's no test/reset button! What gives? This outlet worked fine for me prior to going overseas for four months. Now on my return, there's no current. Oh, and yes, I checked my circuit breaker. Incidentally, I pulled to cover off to find nothing visually amiss. And the door-opener outlet on the ceiling continues to work. Help?
Your plain vanilla dead outlet is evidently wired downstream from some GFCI outlet and thus is "protected" as if it was a CFCI outlet itself. When the real upstream GFCI is tripped, it goes dead and so does any ordinary outlet connected to it downstream UNTIL you find and reset the one "boss" GFCI for the dead outlets). This type of house wiring is normal.
Grounding Outlets in Kitchen of an Older Home w/GFCI's
I am selling my house, which has old knob & tube wiring. The buyer has requested grounded outlets in the kitchen. The problem is - the wiring is knob & tube with no ground wire. The basement below is finished, so I would have a mess getting to the wiring. Is there anything I can do to ground the outlets without tearing up the house completely? Help!
You may have to tear up part of the walls to run a ground wire. I have had them grounded to water pipes before .
There is another way...
You can install GFCI outlets. Although there will be no ground actually attached to the GFCI outlet, the ground fault protection provided is better than a ground. If other outlets can be fed from a GFCI outlet, they do not have to be GFCI as well. The national electric code allows this method of supplying a 3-prong outlet. It is safe and legal.
Check with the buyer to see if it is acceptable.
Rating GFI Circuit Breakers
When rating GFI breakers, what does 10,000 AIR or 65,000 AIR mean?
Amperage Interrupter Rating.
The breaker can handle that number of amps before the breaker itself blows up. It is to protect from high short circuit currents.
I turned the fluorescent fixture in the garage off and the radio on a different receptacle shut off. I figured a breaker tripped. The breaker handles were in the on position so I took the inside panel off, hooked my meter to the neutral buss and went down the breakers until I found one without power. Although the handle wasn't tripped, I turned it off and back on, still no power. The next morning I noticed the GFI receptacle in the bathroom was tripped. I reset it and now I have power in the garage. The fluorescent fixture and radio are now working! This is a new house and I don't know what is going on. Can you explain this to me? How does the GFI receptacle and the breaker work?
Sounds like at least part of your garage is serviced via the GFCI outlet in the bathroom. This is NOT uncommon. Sounds like you also have a standard rather than a GFCI breaker in the panel. What this means is that power will come from the box via the standard breaker to the GFCI in the bath and then to the garage receptacles. Since the GFCI is more sensitive than the standard breaker, it will be common for the GFCI to trip while the breaker in the panel does not. This is how they are designed to work.
Installing GFCI's in Kitchen
I am in the process of selling my home and the buyer's inspector indicated in his report that I needed to install GFCI's in two outlets on each side of the kitchen sink. I already have a GFCI outlet protecting the two outlets in question. Is this a requirement of the 1999 National Electric Code? If I install additional GFI's on an already protected circuit, will I get false trips? Can anyone help?
You should label them as GFI protected. The little labels come with the outlets now. I am sure it you went to the electric supply store they will give you some. Protection through a GFCI protected outlet is as good as a GFCI outlet or a GFCI breaker... the NEC only requires it be wired to have GFCI protection.. it does not require the outlet itself to be GFCI.
Are you are sure about having a GFI protection? If your plugs in the kitchen do not have GFI plugs installed then the GFI protection lies in your circuit breaker for the kitchen. Check that out first. If the circuit is protected then let the new home owner/realtor know this.
Any circuit residing close to a wet area should be GFI protected. This is a recognized electrical code requirement anywhere...but compliance varies.
If the GFI requirement on the building inspection report is part of the conditional sale of your house then you just need to install those plugs to comply (about $10 each). BUT I would seriously doubt that the sale of your house would rise or fall on this issue alone.
If the protected outlets are not labeled as protected, the inspector probably did not know. Check with your local city/county inspections department to see if code requires separate GFCI outlets. I don't think you need them.
GFCI Slightly Warm
Is it normal for a GFCI outlet to become slightly warm (not at all hot)when nothing is plugged into it? This is normal household wiring with no big loads on circuit; 12 gauge copper on a 15 amp breaker.
It isn't normal for the outlet to get warm, especially when nothing is plugged into it. But if you have a rather large load wired further down from it, it would explain it. Your wiring size is in excess of required, so that isn't a problem. Just to be sure, you can check the connections on the breaker,. (make sure the circuit is off at the time, of course) . Heat=resistance. Because GFI's have "load" terminals on them- to feed downstream circuits- the GFI could indeed become "warm" with nothing "plugged in". In other words, although the outlet itself doesn't have a load on it (something plugged in), it could be supplying current to other outlets with a load on them. Coupled with loose/poor connections at the GFI which = resistance, you could have a "warm" outlet. Better check the connections on the GFI.
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