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Posted: 3/27/2012 11:32:46 AM EDT

GFCI in bathroom is hot and working properly but none of the other outlets on the circuit have any voltage.

GFCI is in master bath and feeds two other baths.

I first thought I had a bad outlet somewhere but they all seem to have continuity between the pole and plug.

House is about 8 years old and as far as I know all wiring was done properly, nothing looks third-world rigged anyway.

Crossed from DIY for GD help.

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_139/1304987_Help_me_diagnose_a_GFCI_problem_.html
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 11:42:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2012 11:45:21 AM EDT by Scorp_DX]
Have you pulled the GFCI out and looked at it? Load side still hooked up?

ETA, Check for power on the load side. If none replace the GFCI outlet. If it's hot then check in lines into the next one and so on...
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 11:46:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Scorp_DX:
Have you pulled the GFCI out and looked at it? Load side still hooked up?

Yes, load and line are hooked up properly. I even went as far as replacing the GFCI with brand new receptacle just to rule out any possible problems. Both the old and new worked just fine.

Link Posted: 3/27/2012 11:49:31 AM EDT
How is the wiring on the second outlet in the series?
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 11:54:14 AM EDT
Shut the power off and then check for continuity between GFCI and next receptacle. Though rare, could be a broken wire.
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 11:55:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Harvster:
How is the wiring on the second outlet in the series?

I'm not really sure what order they were wired in, but all of the wires appear to be normal.
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 11:56:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2012 11:58:36 AM EDT by killahurtz]
Let me guess, the load side from first GFCI runs to another GFCI that is bad or tripped? Are you sure the load side of the first goes to what you assume is the second? Also, are you 100% sure you are not dealing with more than one circuit? Should be one for each bath, they should be independent.


ETA:
Make sure you trip the breaker when checking continuity between them and only on the hot side.
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 11:57:36 AM EDT
My other thought. Unhook the GFCI and check for power on what you believe to be the line side wires. Make sure it's in fact the line and that the line/load are not backwards.
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 11:58:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By killahurtz:
Let me guess, the load side from first GFCI runs to another GFCI that is bad or tripped? Are you sure the load side of the first goes to what you assume is the second? Also, are you 100% sure you are not dealing with more than one circuit? Should be one for each bath, they should be independent

It's quite common for all the bathrooms to run off of one GFCI. Saves money for the builder.
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 11:58:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SuperJanitor:
Shut the power off and then check for continuity between GFCI and next receptacle. Though rare, could be a broken wire.

That's going to be challenging if the break is on the far bathroom, it's upstairs and on the other side of the house. Might be time to call a profeshunal.
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 12:00:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

Originally Posted By SuperJanitor:
Shut the power off and then check for continuity between GFCI and next receptacle. Though rare, could be a broken wire.

That's going to be challenging if the break is on the far bathroom, it's upstairs and on the other side of the house. Might be time to call a profeshunal.

If that is the case they should really be on 2 different circuits.... if the baths were back to back, i could see sharing 1 GFCI, maybe.
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 12:00:41 PM EDT
Was there an event that caused this or just stopped working one day?
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 12:00:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

Originally Posted By SuperJanitor:
Shut the power off and then check for continuity between GFCI and next receptacle. Though rare, could be a broken wire.

That's going to be challenging if the break is on the far bathroom, it's upstairs and on the other side of the house. Might be time to call a profeshunal.


I've used drop cords in situations like that. Plug drop cord in to offending receptacle and take the other end to the source.
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 12:03:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Scorp_DX:
My other thought. Unhook the GFCI and check for power on what you believe to be the line side wires. Make sure it's in fact the line and that the line/load are not backwards.

No juice on the load side when it's disconnected.
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 12:05:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Harvster:
Was there an event that caused this or just stopped working one day?

Yes maybe. Noticed the problem after a storm passed last week. There was a short <30 second power outage. No signs of a power surge though.
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 12:06:46 PM EDT
What about when connected?
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 12:07:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SuperJanitor:
Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

Originally Posted By SuperJanitor:
Shut the power off and then check for continuity between GFCI and next receptacle. Though rare, could be a broken wire.

That's going to be challenging if the break is on the far bathroom, it's upstairs and on the other side of the house. Might be time to call a profeshunal.


I've used drop cords in situations like that. Plug drop cord in to offending receptacle and take the other end to the source.

Yeah that's what I figured would have to be done but it is easily a 100 foot run by the time I snake it through the house.
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 12:07:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2012 12:10:14 PM EDT by SuperJanitor]
Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

Originally Posted By Harvster:
Was there an event that caused this or just stopped working one day?

Yes maybe. Noticed the problem after a storm passed last week. There was a short <30 second power outage. No signs of a power surge though.


Me thinks you've got an open somewhere then.

Several years ago my grandma's neighbors lost power on a whole side of their home. The old man said a lightning bolt burnt a wire in two.
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 12:08:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By albologna:
What about when connected?

Juice at line and load on the GFCI zero volts every other plug.
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 12:10:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

Originally Posted By SuperJanitor:
Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

Originally Posted By SuperJanitor:
Shut the power off and then check for continuity between GFCI and next receptacle. Though rare, could be a broken wire.

That's going to be challenging if the break is on the far bathroom, it's upstairs and on the other side of the house. Might be time to call a profeshunal.


I've used drop cords in situations like that. Plug drop cord in to offending receptacle and take the other end to the source.

Yeah that's what I figured would have to be done but it is easily a 100 foot run by the time I snake it through the house.

Unhook both ends. Use a battery and some cables at one end. Check the other.
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 12:13:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

Originally Posted By albologna:
What about when connected?

Juice at line and load on the GFCI zero volts every other plug.

Then there is something in-between, if your main GFCI is really servicing both baths at separate ends of the house.

Are you really sure that is the case?
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 12:15:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By killahurtz:

Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

Originally Posted By albologna:
What about when connected?

Juice at line and load on the GFCI zero volts every other plug.

Then there is something in-between, if your main GFCI is really servicing both baths at separate ends of the house.

Are you really sure that is the case?

Not 100% sure but all three baths stopped working the same night.
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 12:17:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

Originally Posted By killahurtz:

Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

Originally Posted By albologna:
What about when connected?

Juice at line and load on the GFCI zero volts every other plug.

Then there is something in-between, if your main GFCI is really servicing both baths at separate ends of the house.

Are you really sure that is the case?

Not 100% sure but all three baths stopped working the same night.


Do you have possibly a kitchen GFCI that protects the bad receptacles?
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 12:23:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2012 12:25:38 PM EDT by killahurtz]

Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

Originally Posted By killahurtz:

Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

Originally Posted By albologna:
What about when connected?

Juice at line and load on the GFCI zero volts every other plug.

Then there is something in-between, if your main GFCI is really servicing both baths at separate ends of the house.

Are you really sure that is the case?

Not 100% sure but all three baths stopped working the same night.
If a surge caused 1 to trip it could have caused others at the same time even if they are on different circuits.

Do you have an attached garage? Sometimes you will see a GFCI in the garage that then feeds a bath, people often forget to look out there.

My $$ is that you have a separate circuit with a tripped GFCI somewhere, you just don't know it.

ETA: Also look under sinks, or closets, I have seen some well hidden GFCI's before.

Link Posted: 3/27/2012 12:23:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SuperJanitor:

Do you have possibly a kitchen GFCI that protects the bad receptacles?


Or possibly an outdoor one nearby?
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 12:36:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By killahurtz:

Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

Originally Posted By killahurtz:

Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

Originally Posted By albologna:
What about when connected?

Juice at line and load on the GFCI zero volts every other plug.

Then there is something in-between, if your main GFCI is really servicing both baths at separate ends of the house.

Are you really sure that is the case?

Not 100% sure but all three baths stopped working the same night.
If a surge caused 1 to trip it could have caused others at the same time even if they are on different circuits.

Do you have an attached garage? Sometimes you will see a GFCI in the garage that then feeds a bath, people often forget to look out there.

My $$ is that you have a separate circuit with a tripped GFCI somewhere, you just don't know it.

ETA: Also look under sinks, or closets, I have seen some well hidden GFCI's before.


Bingo we have a winner.
Thank you all for the help.

Just checked the garage and the GFCI was tripped. Everything is back up and running.


Follow up for those in the know, is it kosher (code) to have a second GCFI in the garage on the same circuit as the baths?


Link Posted: 3/27/2012 12:40:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

Originally Posted By killahurtz:

Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

Originally Posted By killahurtz:

Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

Originally Posted By albologna:
What about when connected?

Juice at line and load on the GFCI zero volts every other plug.

Then there is something in-between, if your main GFCI is really servicing both baths at separate ends of the house.

Are you really sure that is the case?

Not 100% sure but all three baths stopped working the same night.
If a surge caused 1 to trip it could have caused others at the same time even if they are on different circuits.

Do you have an attached garage? Sometimes you will see a GFCI in the garage that then feeds a bath, people often forget to look out there.

My $$ is that you have a separate circuit with a tripped GFCI somewhere, you just don't know it.

ETA: Also look under sinks, or closets, I have seen some well hidden GFCI's before.


Bingo we have a winner.
Thank you all for the help.

Just checked the garage and the GFCI was tripped. Everything is back up and running.


Follow up for those in the know, is it kosher (code) to have a second GCFI in the garage on the same circuit as the baths?




Won't hurt anything, but redundant. Are you sure all 3 baths and the garage GFCI are on the same breaker? Test it out.
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 12:47:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By killahurtz:

Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

Originally Posted By killahurtz:

Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

Originally Posted By killahurtz:

Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:

Originally Posted By albologna:
What about when connected?

Juice at line and load on the GFCI zero volts every other plug.

Then there is something in-between, if your main GFCI is really servicing both baths at separate ends of the house.

Are you really sure that is the case?

Not 100% sure but all three baths stopped working the same night.
If a surge caused 1 to trip it could have caused others at the same time even if they are on different circuits.

Do you have an attached garage? Sometimes you will see a GFCI in the garage that then feeds a bath, people often forget to look out there.

My $$ is that you have a separate circuit with a tripped GFCI somewhere, you just don't know it.

ETA: Also look under sinks, or closets, I have seen some well hidden GFCI's before.


Bingo we have a winner.
Thank you all for the help.

Just checked the garage and the GFCI was tripped. Everything is back up and running.


Follow up for those in the know, is it kosher (code) to have a second GCFI in the garage on the same circuit as the baths?




Won't hurt anything, but redundant. Are you sure all 3 baths and the garage GFCI are on the same breaker? Test it out.


No not sure but the circuits would have to be connected somehow for both GFCIs to be able to shut down the same outlets wouldn't they?
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 12:50:23 PM EDT
Thread like this are why this site is so good!
Thanks guys for helping me learn a bit more everyday and reminding me to start simply and go from there.
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 1:03:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:


No not sure but the circuits would have to be connected somehow for both GFCIs to be able to shut down the same outlets wouldn't they?

Likely all on the same circuit. I had a house that had one GFCI in the master bath that ran to two other baths, then to the basement and then out to the garage then to the outdoor deck.
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 2:20:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Harvster:

Originally Posted By Justin-Kase:


No not sure but the circuits would have to be connected somehow for both GFCIs to be able to shut down the same outlets wouldn't they?

Likely all on the same circuit. I had a house that had one GFCI in the master bath that ran to two other baths, then to the basement and then out to the garage then to the outdoor deck.

That's nuts. But nothing shocks me

I would never wire anything like that. Fuck, breakers are cheap and having control over a specific room is very nice when you have to service something. Guess a lot of it depends on local codes as well.

I haven't done this kind of work in a while, but when I did it was very interesting to see some of what people, or builders, rigged up.
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 2:31:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 3:38:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tango7:
I've seen sparks steal a feed from lots of places, but a GFCI in a garage feeding a bathroom? That's .

Quite common. IDK why, but it is. Seen it a lot in late 90's houses.

Most know they need a GFCI circuit, main panel is typically in attached garage, doesn't really matter where the GFCI is, feed the rest from the load side and call it done. Maybe its a guaranteed call back for sparky for when it trips the first time because nobody would think to look there
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 3:43:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Tango7:
I've seen sparks steal a feed from lots of places, but a GFCI in a garage feeding a bathroom? That's .


At my brother-in-law's house the GFCI in the garage feeds the unfinished basement. It tripped once and shut down the receptacles that served the freezers in the basement. $1000 or so of food spoiled.
Link Posted: 3/27/2012 3:48:35 PM EDT
I know this sounds stupid, have you tried to reset the GFCI?

You would be suprised........





Link Posted: 3/27/2012 3:48:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By redoubt:
Originally Posted By Tango7:
I've seen sparks steal a feed from lots of places, but a GFCI in a garage feeding a bathroom? That's .


At my brother-in-law's house the GFCI in the garage feeds the unfinished basement. It tripped once and shut down the receptacles that served the freezers in the basement. $1000 or so of food spoiled.
Freezer should not be on a GFCI, nor anything like it. A good ground is all you need.

Link Posted: 3/27/2012 3:52:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2012 3:53:28 PM EDT by JosephTurrisi]
Originally Posted By redoubt:
Originally Posted By Tango7:
I've seen sparks steal a feed from lots of places, but a GFCI in a garage feeding a bathroom? That's .


At my brother-in-law's house the GFCI in the garage feeds the unfinished basement. It tripped once and shut down the receptacles that served the freezers in the basement. $1000 or so of food spoiled.


that is why circuits that feeds freezers and friges are not require to be gfci protected
Link Posted: 3/29/2012 2:56:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By JosephTurrisi:
Originally Posted By redoubt:
Originally Posted By Tango7:
I've seen sparks steal a feed from lots of places, but a GFCI in a garage feeding a bathroom? That's .


At my brother-in-law's house the GFCI in the garage feeds the unfinished basement. It tripped once and shut down the receptacles that served the freezers in the basement. $1000 or so of food spoiled.


that is why circuits that feeds freezers and friges are not require to be gfci protected


And they should be on dedicated circuits.
Link Posted: 3/29/2012 3:12:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2012 3:18:31 PM EDT by 82nd_Sapper]
Originally Posted By JosephTurrisi:
Originally Posted By redoubt:
Originally Posted By Tango7:
I've seen sparks steal a feed from lots of places, but a GFCI in a garage feeding a bathroom? That's .


At my brother-in-law's house the GFCI in the garage feeds the unfinished basement. It tripped once and shut down the receptacles that served the freezers in the basement. $1000 or so of food spoiled.


that is why circuits that feeds freezers and friges are not require to be gfci protected


Unless they are in a garage or unfinished basement. I run into that a lot, because many homes have a freezer in the garage. I may or may not know electricians that remove the GFCI in a garage for a freezer and install a single plug receptacle after inspection.

All receptacles in an unfinished basement or garage must be GFCI protected. Recent code change. And I don't like it.



210.8(A)(2) GFCI Protection for Personnel. Exceptions 1 & 2 Deleted.

Receptacle outlets installed in dwelling unit garages, accessory buildings having floors at or below grade level that are used for storage and work areas, and receptacle outlets in unfinished basements must have GFCI protection for personnel. In 2005 two exceptions were permitted, allowing certain receptacles to be installed without GFCI protection. Those exceptions have been deleted. In 2008 all 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in garages, accessory buildings and unfinished basements must be GFCI protected. The only exception is for a receptacle supplying a fire alarm or burglar alarm system in an unfinished basement.

Exception No. 1 in the 2005 NEC® permitted receptacles that were not readily accessible to be installed without GFCI protection. The garage door opener receptacle was not required to be a GFCI protected outlet. Now it must be.

Exception No. 2 in the 2005 NEC® did not require GFCI protection for single receptacles for one appliance or for duplex receptacles for two appliances that were located in dedicated space and not easily moved in normal use. Freezers, refrigerators or other heavy appliances occupying dedicated space in a garage or unfinished basement were not required to have GFCI protection in 2005 under this exception. In 2008 these 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles must be GFCI protected. This is another change that will cause problems. Because these receptacles are typically above 8 feet, we didn’t GFCI protect them before. However, they are required to be GFCI protected now. I’ll bet that this change will cause several people to get locked out of their homes.
Finally some good news, kind of... Wisconsin does allow an exception to allow Non-GFCI outlets for sump or sewerage pumps, Provided there is a GFCI outlet within 3 feet for personnel use.

Link Posted: 3/29/2012 3:13:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2012 3:14:20 PM EDT by Master_of_Orion]
this might not be internal to the house...

I had a problem a while back where half my house was experiencing brown outs. Called up the power company and they had to cut a bunch of branches away from the pole and climb on up there to figure out what was wrong... I never got a report on what actually had gone wrong... but it wasn't anything in the house.
Link Posted: 3/29/2012 3:18:39 PM EDT
Have you checked all your outside receptacles to see if someone added a GFI out there? It sounds to me like you have a second GFI thats wired in series tripped somewhere.
Link Posted: 3/29/2012 3:22:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2012 3:47:24 PM EDT by blackdogremi]
Originally Posted By SuperJanitor:
Shut the power off and then check for continuity between GFCI and next receptacle. Though rare, could be a broken wire.

if you have ever seen "non english speaking" people stripping wire with box cutters you wouldn't think broken wires are rare.

does anyone think they are reading the NEC in spanish?
Link Posted: 3/29/2012 3:43:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By blackdogremi:
Originally Posted By SuperJanitor:
Shut the power off and then check for continuity between GFCI and next receptacle. Though rare, could be a broken wire.

if you have ever seen "non english speaking" people stripping wire with box cutters you wouldn't think broken wires are rare.

I would like to add that contractors who hire these uneducated people should be fined, maybe jailed.

Link Posted: 3/29/2012 3:50:29 PM EDT
Depending on when your house is built. Current code states that circuits that supply bath receptacles will only supply bath receptacls. Sharing a circuit with a garage GFCI receptacel would be a no-go nowadays.
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