GFCI Test not working... only while in the box

tjadenNovember 21, 2009


I have a GFCI outlet on a kitchen wall. It has power and the Reset button is pressed in. The problem is when you press the Test button, it doesn't shut off the outlet. I tried pulling the GFCI out of the box and while it is pulled out of the box, the Test button works fine. However, as soon as I put it back in... it doesn't work.

The box that it's going in is metal with a ground screw that is connected to the GFCI ground. The only other thing that seems unique is there are two nails driven through the inside of the box, presumably to anchor the box to the stud. I've just never seen one mounted with the nails going through the middle of the box. Is it possible that these nails are causing the GFCI to not work?



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It is rare for a GFCI to fail, but you might actually have a bad one.

If it has power (a lamp or something plugged into it works), and the incoming power is wired to the LINE terminals, and the TEST button does not shut if off, then I think it is bad.

The wiggling involved in putting it back in the box could be making something connect and disconnnect inside, or interfering mechanically with the button.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2009 at 1:23AM
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Ron Natalie

Yeah, billhart has the test I want to see. When it apparently isn't tripping, is it actually delivering power to the receptacle? It may be already tripped. If so, I'd put my money on a ground-to-neutral fault from something touching in the box.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2009 at 8:07AM
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