gfi outlet won't let me reset

yeffJune 7, 2007

After 8 years of living in our new home, one day we found the upstairs bathroom's GFI outlet had popped. It is on a circuit with our master bath and 1/2 bath, so all 3 outlets are dead...the other two are not GFI, just standard outlets. Anyway, the GFI outlet's reset button wouldn't stay in. So, I replaced it with a new one and still same, won't reset. Rummaged in my stash of stuff from a remodeling we did at a previous home and found two standard outlets & replaced both of those. Same. All other outlets in our home are working. Found one kitchen and one outside GFI tripped & reset both. No change. I do notice the circuit in the box is just a standard switch & I seem to recall at our old house, there was some special type of gfi breaker, not just the outlets. Any thoughts? Going on 1 month now without these & I'm losing all my hubby points!

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thyron

check for a ground touching a neutral. new code says that a bathroom plugs need to be on their own circuit but can all be on the same circuit or you can have 1 bathroom with the lights and the plug on a circuit. i dont know how old your house is so i dont know how its wired cause that hasnt been the code forever. so check the outlets and anything else that could possibly be on that circuit for a ground touching a neutral or a hot. dont get shocked though.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 8:54PM
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normel

Look for another GFCI receptacle that is tripped. Look behind furniture, inside cabinets, in the garage, in other bathrooms. Since you found two others tripped, my guess is a surge of some kind (lightning is the usual culprit) tripped several including the one you haven't found yet.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 9:08PM
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rtscoach

"I do notice the circuit in the box is just a standard switch & I seem to recall at our old house, there was some special type of gfi breaker, not just the outlets"

There are GFI receptacles, and GFI breakers. A GFI breaker provides ground fault protection for the entire circuit, as opposed to a single receptacle (and possibly everything downstream from it).

Reset the GFIs in your other bathrooms. Bathroom circuits are frequently shared with another bathroom (legally too!).

OR: Did a breaker trip? If not and you can't find any other GFI that has tripped you might have a bad connection in the receptacle box that finally gave out after running those 1875 watt hairdryers!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 1:26AM
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DavidR

Seems to me that newer GFIs won't reset if there is no power to them. Have you confirmed that the feed to the GFI is live?

If so most likely it is indeed protecting you from a ground fault, which you'll need to identify and cure before proceeding.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 2:23AM
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joed

Try turning the breaker all the way off and then on. New GFCI won't reset if no power to them.
Disconnect the wires from the load side of the GFCI and see if it will reset. If it does then you have a fault on the one of the load receptacles.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 8:19AM
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yeff

Thanks for all the common sense. Will run down these tips this weekend. We do run a lot of hairdryers...3 daughters & a wife! Space heaters in the bathrooms too. PS house was built 8 years ago.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 6:26PM
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stinkytiger

Hi,

It seems to me you have a short to ground somewhere. If you replaced the GFCI and it still won't reset, maybe the original GFCI was O.K., and was tripping because you have a short to ground somewhere.

Maybe this web site is helpful. Has some tips on tryign to find shorts. Please be careful though!!!

http://www.thecircuitdetective.com/

One final remark is if you do not have a Volt Tick perhaps you should get one. Prices range from $US 15 to about $US 25. It is a pen like device that will tell you if a circuit is live or not. Nice thing is it works via an electric field sensor. Hence you can test safely without stripping insulation or touching any bare wires. Saved me a few times!

http://us.fluke.com/usen/products/Fluke+1ACII+VoltAlert.htm?catalog_name=FlukeUnitedStates&Category=ELT(FlukeProducts)

Best, Mike.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 7:36AM
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