GFCI replacement - odd wiring?

Minuteman78September 23, 2013

I am in the process of replacing virtually every switch and outlet in my house as it is 25 years old, and l already got soaked for over $400 due to an outlet literally falling apart due to age and heat which I couldn't find due to the screwy wiring patterns (One breaker touching literally 5 rooms)

I've got one outlet in the upstairs bonus room in the bath that was a GFCI and I'm replacing it with another GFCI. Problem is when I wired it up, the outlet is dead. Won't Test, won't reset, nothing. I know about the Line and Load, and I made sure I moved the correct pairs over. What I think is weird is that I've got 120 VAC across from the Line Hot to (a) the Line Neutral , (b) the Load Neutral, and (c) the Load Hot. From the Load Hot to either Line Neutral or Load Neutral, I have 0 VAC. Does this sound right? I also can't figure out where the Load goes, as all the other outlets in the bonus room work, even if the GFCI wires are removed. (and before you ask, no I didn't think to test the old outlet before I removed it - this is more of an in-law suite, and is rarely used, so it maybe never worked.)

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It is my understanding that when a GFCI trips, both the hot and the neutral is mechanically interrupted to the load. Your voltages readings seem to indicate that both the Load Hot wire and Load Neutral wire are going to ground/neutral. I'm assuming both wires are shorted to ground somewhere.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 8:39PM
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Ron Natalie

If it always trips even with nothing connected, the problem is usually that the neutral touches some other grounded connection (either the ground for the circuit, some other ground, or the neutral from another circuit).

25 year old receptacles should not be failing. If they're hot, it's almost certainly because they were installed improperly or have been otherwise abused.

I've still got 40 year old receptacles and switches in my house that are fine (and they are the cheapass Ryland homes lowest bidder construction grade backstabbed things). I've only upgraded them in many rooms to decora because I like the appearance better.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 9:52PM
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