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GFI question Sign In/Join 
On our screen porch we have a GFI near the house. Then there are 2 more interior outlets and 1 exterior outlet. I assume they feed off the GFI.

The GFI outlet works but none of the others do. They were working last spring.

Before we call an electrician we were going to check all the outlets for loose wires after we turn off the circuit breaker. Does this seem reasonable to you? Should we do something else?
Posts: 6728 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would start at the GFCI outlet. First make sure it tests OK by pushing the test button while it has power. If it doesn't trip, the GFCI has gone bad and needs replaced. This may or may not be your problem. If it tests OK, now kill the power at the breaker and remove it from the wall. Turn the power back on and check the load side with a VOM or a voltage tester to make sure you have power. If you do, make sure the wires are tight in the connectors and if there are wirenuts that they are OK. Do this with the power OFF. If you have power at the load side and everything seems OK the problem is downstream.

Before going to all this trouble are you sure that the downstream outlets are in fact downstream from this GFCI outlet? Could they be connected to another GFCI outlet?

I once had a couple of outlets I was checking out at our church that were dead. I was looking all over the place for the cause. It turns out on both circuits there was a GFCI either outside of the rooms or in another room that had tripped. The one circuit the power came from the panel to the farthest outlet and then fed outlets closer to panel. The outlets in question were not in a wet zone or a basement so I don't think they needed to have a GFCI on them.

General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Posts: 6858 | Location: Cary, North Carolina | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What Sparky says first.

The GFCI outlets are problematic in themselves since they are so large physically that the wires twist loose as you push the GFCI into the box. They really need an oversize box to mount in.
Posts: 12155 | Location: Ft Collins, CO USA | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the replies. I am pretty sure the outlets are downstream. Unlike other houses I've been in, this electrical layout seems to make sense.( That is if you don't count the 2 switches that we don't know what they go to Smile )

Never thought to check the GFI first. When we get a couple of warm days we will check this out. I'll let you know.

Thanks again.
Posts: 6728 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just thought I would give you an update as it has finally warmed here.

The first thing I did was plug in a shop light and test the plug. It failed. So we need to replace the GFCI. My husband is having second thoughts (and though I would tackle it I know it would make him feel inept so I won't ) so we will call an electrician.

We have sold the house so we will wait to see if the inspection finds any problems before we call an electrician so we only have to pay for one trip.

Thanks for your help. Oh, we did check the other GFCI in the house and they tested fine. That was a relief.
Posts: 6728 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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