Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


12:10PM | 10/21/02
Member Since: 10/20/02
1 lifetime posts
There is no GFI in my kitchen so I am installing a new one. My house is from the 40's but has circuit breakers. The old kitchen outlet has a hot and neutral from the circuit breaker and a hot a neutral to the refrigerator outlet. The ground is the greenfield. If I only hook up the hot and neutral from the circuit breaker the outlet tests and works fine. As soon as I hook up the hot and neutral to the refrigerator I get a hot/ground reverse indicator and the GFI blows. Additionally, if I put the regular outlet back in the whole system works fine and all outlets test correct. I forgot to mention that the GFI blows only when I switch on a separate unrelated breaker. Also, when I don't hook up the hot and neutral to the refrigerator the separate unrelated breaker does not work whatsoever!!! Any ideas? Could I have a hot somewhere in my system that is making contact with ground? If so wouldn't this trip a breaker?

Tom O

01:29PM | 10/21/02
Member Since: 09/17/02
476 lifetime posts
I'm not sure if I can help with all your problems, but I think I have the answer to one of them.

You say you're getting a reverse polarity indication, I assume this is at the refrigerator receptacle. If that is the case, take a close look at the terminals on the LOAD side of the GFI. Make sure you are connecting the correct wires to each terminal. Do not go by the color of the screws, look for the word "white" or "neutral."

Frequently, the load neutral is on the opposite side of the case as the line neutral & the same thing applies to the hot wires. This would result in a reverse polarity at the next receptacle if both of your white wires are on the same side of the GFI.

Hope I haven't confused you too much.

As for your other problem, how many wires are there at the refrigerator outlet and how many wires are at the GFI?


[This message has been edited by Tom O (edited October 21, 2002).]


08:59AM | 10/22/02
Member Since: 10/15/02
359 lifetime posts
sounds like you may have a shared neutral somewhere. Some bozo did that in my house with the basement lights using the kitchen neutral instead of running a neutral for that circuit. It could be that the refridgerator outlet has the neutral that the other breaker is trying to use, and if so that is the cause of both the breaker not working and the GFCI tripping.


08:16AM | 10/23/02
Member Since: 10/22/02
2 lifetime posts
I went through the exact same thing just last night. Here is your problem. Your outlet is split between two circuits, one circuit feeds the top, the other feeds the bottom. A GFI outlet cannot split between the two sides because you cannot interupt two circuits with one device. Solution, designate your new GFI to operate on one circuit. Chances are, you have another outlet near that one that is also split. Use that other one, with GFI to interupt the other circuit. Good luck.

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