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Posted: 4/19/2016 12:29:34 AM EDT
I have a gfi outlet in my downstairs bathroom. Lately the breaker has been tripping and cutting power to my three bathrooms.

Tonight the lights went out, the breakers aren't tripped, and the gfi has power to it. The upstairs sockets have power too, just no lights..

Diagnose my problem please?

Can a gfi have power to it, but not put power out to the lights?

I'm not an electrician, I will call one, I just need to make sure he isn't ripping me off..

If you want more info, let me know and I'll try to answer questions as best I can.

Thanks
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 6:40:13 AM EDT
Might be your GFI has gone bad. You can run power through them. That is how you can have GFI protection on all of your kitchen plugs. The GFI feeds the other plugs. If you have a volt meter you can test for voltage on both sides of it. If there is power to both sides something else is wrong.

Be careful when working with live wires.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 7:54:31 AM EDT
GFCI usually isn't on lighting circuits.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 9:45:14 AM EDT
I think it's picture time. Have you tried hitting the Test and Reset buttons just to make sure the GFCI receptacle isn't tripped? Have you flipped the breakers Off and back On? If you've checked both of those, it's time to does some diagnosing with a multimeter.

First test will be to check the GFCI receptacle to ensure you see 120V on the Line side and the Load side. Turn the breaker off, pull the receptacle out of it's box with the wires still connected, make sure no wires are touching that could short, turn the breaker on, and carefully check the voltage on both Line and Load terminals. You should see 120V on the Line side as it's being fed by the breaker. If you don't see 120V on the Line side, there's a problem before the receptacle. Check for 120V on the Load side. If you don't see 120V on the Load side and the GFCI is not tripped, there's a problem with the receptacle and it needs to be replaced. If you see 120V on both the Line and Load sides, there's a problem beyond the receptacle.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 10:08:56 AM EDT
I think you have 2 breakers that supply your bathrooms. One GFCI breaker supplies the outlets, the other breaker (probably not a GFCI) supplies the lights.

No matter what you have, it's pretty screwed up. You shouldn't have 3 bathrooms on one breaker.

You should carefully check for another breaker that is tripped.

Link Posted: 4/19/2016 11:09:26 AM EDT
You may have two separate problems...  Too many curling irons or blow dryers on the circuit.  ETA- or a defective breaker.

Regarding the lights, assuming the GFCI is working OK as mentioned above, if they're recessed cans with push connectors they often fail over time.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 10:37:03 PM EDT
I feel like an idiot..

Yes three bathrooms on one GFI circuit..


One in the garage was tripped.. Another one in the garage and the one I thought it was was number three..

Five gfi outlets for the garage and the bathroom..



Anyway.. Fixed...
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 9:20:08 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I feel like an idiot..

Yes three bathrooms on one GFI circuit..


One in the garage was tripped.. Another one in the garage and the one I thought it was was number three..

Five gfi outlets for the garage and the bathroom..



Anyway.. Fixed...
View Quote

That should really be separated if you can. 3 bathrooms and a garage on the same breaker? You're asking for trouble.
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 11:03:46 AM EDT
Quoted:
GFCI usually isn't on lighting circuits.
View Quote

True, but if the guy wiring it was a lackey he could have easily put the light circuit on the protected side of the GFCI when it should have been put on the non-protected side.
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 9:31:50 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

That should really be separated if you can. 3 bathrooms and a garage on the same breaker? You're asking for trouble.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
I feel like an idiot..

Yes three bathrooms on one GFI circuit..


One in the garage was tripped.. Another one in the garage and the one I thought it was was number three..

Five gfi outlets for the garage and the bathroom..



Anyway.. Fixed...

That should really be separated if you can. 3 bathrooms and a garage on the same breaker? You're asking for trouble.


GFCIs started off as VERY expensive itmes.
For a few code revisions you could use a single GFCI to supply ALL the required circuits.
Bathrooms and exterior at the time.
NOT kitchens, unfinished basements, etc.

Many houses would have a single circuit (and 15 amp was allowed) feeding one GFCI receptacle that then fed ALL the bathroom outlets.
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