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Posted: 6/21/2003 6:57:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/24/2003 5:57:08 PM EDT by Tailgate]
I'm trying to advoid calling an electrician simply because I prefer to rule out all of the issues I can resolve myself first. But of course, I do believe in letting professionals deal with the bad problems. That being said... My wife was bathing our kids in the jacuzzi tub with the motor on. It stopped without warning. This tub is connected to a GFCI switch outlet in the bathroom. Now, the GFCI switch WAS tripped...but wouldn't reset. Now all of the outlets tied to this GFCI switch don't work. I reset the breaker and the only other GFCI switch in the house for good measure. Now, I have replaced the following: -GFCI switch -Master power switch to the jacuzzi (next to the GFCI) -All but two of the other power outlets attached to the GFCI (2 that are never used for anything) I can't get even the new GFCI switch to reset...it stays in its Tripped state. There IS power going to the GFCI from the breaker (LINE IN) at ~124, but the LOAD side out of the GFCI does not have any power according to my multi-tester. Any ideas what in the heck is wrong? [toilet] The only thing I can think of at this point is to dismantle my bathtub and disconnect the wires to the jacuzzi motor. Obviously, I'd like to avoid that unless necessary.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 7:10:06 AM EDT
IF nothing else is on that circuit, I'd disconnect the load from the GFI. most likely something in the tub section... if you can disconnnect one thing at a time until you isolate the fault.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 7:15:56 AM EDT
GFI circut faults can be a pain to track down. As mentioned earlier, disconnect each load on the circut, one at a time.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 7:18:49 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 7:21:41 AM EDT
So you're saying just disconnect the plugs and leave the wires open and test to see if the GFCI will reset? Thanks for help...I may have a number of follow-up questions.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 7:37:09 AM EDT
IF everything down from the GFI is the hottub... depending on how it's set up.. if there is a distribution box on the tub where the feed from the gfi comes in, there may be a GFI there as well (as mentioned by Paul) check that.. otherwise, dissconnect the loads at this distribution box/bus until the gfi will reset. and as always, kill power coming in before messing with plugs/wires. [:)]
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 7:58:05 AM EDT
OK...I have disconnected ALMOST every plug associated with this GFI one-by one (again, some are never in use, so I don't know why they would cause the problem). I STILL CAN NOT RESET the GFI switch. To answer the tub question, the GFI is connected to a ON/OFF switch next to it. This ON/OFF switch is the master power to the tub. To turn the tub on, you depress the button built into the tub while your bathing. Therefore, I don't think there is another GFI...UNLESS, there could be one INSIDE the tub. Is that possible? If so, I guess I'll be tearing up my bathroom to get to it...
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 8:14:53 AM EDT
MORE STRANGENESS... OK, I disconnected the LOAD line and only have the LINE IN line connected from the breaker. I still can not reset the GFCI switch. The power measures at 122. Any ideas?
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 8:21:14 AM EDT
Making many assumptions here... Point: A GFCI may be placed upstream of many other outlets, thereby making those other outlets GFCI protected. Suggestion: 1. Go to distro panel and turn off the breaker for that circuit (GFCI-hottub). 2. Remove all "load" side wires from the problematic GFCI. Remove these wires from the box, or wire nut or tape them to avoid problems later. 3. While you have it out of the box, inspect the GFCI for burns, broken wires, etc. 4. Reinstall GFCI. 5. Turn breaker back on. Attempt to reset GFCI. If it won't reset, the GFCI is probably bad. I'd replace it. 6. If it will reset, there is a problem downstream, and each wire and device must be checked. 7. You can buy a device which will check a GFCI. I'm looking at one now, made by GB. Bought at Lowe's or Home Depot (bad memory) and cost about $9. But the GFCI must be able to reset before this will test it. It provides a simulated ground fault for the outlet, and if the GFCI is good, it will trip. If it won't trip, replace the GFCI (providing the tester is working- check on another GFCI). Be very very careful (as you appear to be) when goofing around with 110v and hot tubs. 110v is very dangerous. Unlike higher voltages which will blow you off the voltage, 110 will hook you up and you can't get away. My lawyer told me to say something about liability, but I told him it was a guy on AR15, so he said "Oh, those guys are careful!" Good luck. Let me know if you have any more ??'s.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 8:22:59 AM EDT
some switches have buttons that you actually need to push below the level of the surface of the plug. try pushing it with a pointed, but not sharp object. a pensil for example. make sure the ground is connected as well. it won't work without it.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 9:21:56 AM EDT
I'm not an electrcian, but if you can't find the problem, I would definitely consult a real electrician because with the lives of your family sometimes it is well-worth the extra bucks to be sure everything is working correctly.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 10:32:55 AM EDT
Thanks all to helped and provided advice (here AND via IM). Make a long story short, the GFI still won't reset even when I've disconnected the LOAD wires. I doubt this new GFCI is bad. THEN, while I wasn't working on it our A/C went out (aka it got REAL HOT in the house...Houston let's you know quickly when A/C is wrong). Thankfully, I turned off ALL the breakers and then turned them back on and it fixed THAT problem (Thank you Jesus). So, I'm going to call in a professional. He'll probably laugh and fix it in no time flat. Me? I've burned through 6 hours of my time. Thanks again.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 11:00:05 AM EDT
Tailgate, Sorry I didn't finish answering the last IM- GF called and got bumped off computer. That thing about 124v between line blk wire and load wht wire is weird- too much to figure out over internet. Yep, best bet is to call an electrician. Especially with what else has happened while I was on the phone. If you were closer, I could help. I work for bullets!![:D] Anyway, good luck. And just for info sake, if you get a chance let me know what the problem is.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 5:56:31 PM EDT
You're not going to believe what the culprit was! I had diagnosed and done everything perfectly right. HOWEVER, the new GFCI switch was BAD! [50] I replaced it this evening with a new one and everything works just fine. Sheesh. [>(] Thanks everyone for your input.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 7:22:45 PM EDT
I hate when that happens.. and luckily, it doesn't happen to often! glad you got that resolved! [beer]
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 7:28:29 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 3:41:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2003 3:43:02 PM EDT by Tailgate]
Originally Posted By David_Hineline: Let's see two GFI switches and both with the same symptoms. Then you put in the third and it fixes. I hope for your electrical safety the third switch is not the faulty one bypassing the safety feature.
View Quote
I appreciate your concern for my safety...but everything's OK. Just for some background information for your re-assurance, the original GFCI was about 14 years old and over the last few years tripped many times due to bad weather and a slightly exposed outdoor outlet. I'd been too lazy to fix that outdoor outlet problem, but did during this ordeal. Therefore, it's not a surprise (or SHOCK, he he) that it got burned up over the years. The new switch was not put together properly. The newest switch (that DOES work) is the same brand/make/model and it's buttons push in completely differently than the faulty one. We'll just chalk this one up to bad Quality Control at Leviton.
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 1:15:21 PM EDT
Tailgate, Thanks for posting the results. Glad it worked out, but just be sure that a bad switch is the problem. What, bad QC at Leviton? Never!![;D]
Link Posted: 6/26/2003 1:38:56 PM EDT
I buy delapitated houes and rehab them for a living. I have had GFI's go bad many times in various houses, gone to the store and bought a new one and it was bad also. Something to keep in mind[;)]
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