GFCI wiring question

catherinetNovember 23, 2013

I'll try not to confuse you too much.

We have service to our barn. From there, it goes to my chicken coop service.

There is an outside regular (covered) outlet. Inside there are lights and 3 GFCI outlets. Apparently, from what we saw today, the electricity comes in and one of the wires goes to the GFCI by the service box. Then a wire goes from that outlet to the outside outlet. Those 2 outlets are on one breaker. (The others are on 2 other breakers.)

Both the outside outlet and that inside GFCI outlet quit working. We assumed it was a bad GFCI, so we tried to replace it today.
It still doesn't work. I read online that a bad outlet downstream might cause the problem in the GFCI. So now we're thinking we should replace the outside one and then see if the inside GFCI works. Does that sound good?

At first we were thinking it might be a bad breaker.....but it never tripped. Hmmmm......should it have?

So......any suggestions as to how we might proceed? All the other outlets and lights are working.

It bothered me to think that the outside outlet wasn't a GFCI, but since its connected to the inside GFCI outlet.......it is protected, right?

Another question for you: When we removed the GFCI that we thought was broken, we discovered that it had the wires on different sides of the outlet than the new one. Might different outlet manufacturers place the line and load sides on different sides? That seems like something that would be consistent across the board.

Thanks for your help!

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hexus

some GFI's have line on the top, some are on the bottom, that isn't an issue just make sure you get both the power and neutral coming in on the line and the wires going to the outside outlet on load.
Open the panel and meter from the breaker screw (with the breaker on) to the neutral buss, do you have voltage? If not the breaker is bad and needs replaced.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2013 at 7:31PM
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randy427

I would inspect the backside of the outside receptacle. Accumulated moisture and/or corrosion could be providing a high resistance short circuit which would create a current imbalance to trip the GFCI but not pass enough current to trip the breaker.
Yes, the outside receptacle is GFCI protected if it is connected to the LOAD terminals of an upstream, properly installed, GFCI receptacle.
The GFCIs that I've used have all had the LINE terminals at the top and the LOAD terminals at the bottom (or was it the other way around) but that depends on how the installed receptacle is oriented.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2013 at 7:39PM
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catherinet

Thanks hexus and randy!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 11:11AM
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