Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


11:39AM | 02/24/05
Member Since: 06/30/04
2 lifetime posts
I have a GFI socket in my bathroom. With nothing plugged into the circuit, it trips immediately after reseting. Is this a worn out GFI socket, or is there something bigger wrong?

Tom O

12:34PM | 02/24/05
Member Since: 09/17/02
476 lifetime posts
I'm presuming that you checked to see that the GFI does not protect anything downstream from itself. If that is the case and you found no problems, go ahead & replace the GFI receptacle.



11:27AM | 02/27/05
Member Since: 01/30/05
360 lifetime posts
a few things, first if its wired backwards, this will happen. Second, if you have a 20 amp GFCI recepticle on a 15 amp circuit or vice versa could be trouble. If you have under gauged wiring between circuit and recepticle same thing. Is this a newer standard (post January 2003) manufacturered GFCI recepticle? If not, could also be indication of an arc-fault somewhere.

I'd invest in a GFCI device that is rated and has lock-out protection with indication of failure. (if wired backwards, the recepticle is still engergized, just stops what goes on "downstream" - not good without lockout).

Sounds like you might have one of the issues addressed above, if the GFCI has failed, there's possibly a reason, e.g. an underlying problem somewhere.


02:34PM | 03/03/05
Member Since: 02/28/05
11 lifetime posts
This sounds like a neighbor I had, her GFI would trip for no reason. Then I found out that her garage was down stream from her GFI. She had an electric garage door opener, and a frezer on the same circuit.

If you don't remember how old your GFI is, it's time to replace it.

Jerry Smith

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08:50AM | 03/08/05
Member Since: 03/13/00
1674 lifetime posts
I had one that kept tripping because of bugs and dirt that got into an outdoor outlet (used for a low-pressure septic system). After cleaning out the outlet, it worked OK for a couple more years.


05:33PM | 04/04/06
Member Since: 04/03/06
3 lifetime posts
Should the GFI in the house be connected to the garage? Isn't that a code violation. Just wondering?


09:51PM | 04/04/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
"Should the GFI in the house be connected to the garage? Isn't that a code violation. Just wondering?"

Under current codes GFCI are required in for kitchen counter receptacles and bathroom receptacles. Neither of those circuits should also supply power to a garage.

But GFCI's are also require within 6 ft of a wet bar, in an unfinished basement, outdoors, and crawlspaces. Any of those circuits could be extended to the garage.

Also, from seein too many, it appears that older codes did not restrict the circuit used in bathrooms and it was very common to find the bathroom GFCI also feeding the garage.


04:19AM | 04/05/06
Member Since: 04/03/06
3 lifetime posts
So, if they are! What is a low cost method to repair them? Keeping in mind code and safety. Just wondering because I need to fix the garage and the refrig.


06:30AM | 04/05/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
In general it is fairly simple to fix.

GFCI's come with two sets of terminals. The LINE where the incoming power is connected.

And LOAD where wires can be connected to run to "downstream" receptacles (or other loads).

If the wires are removed from the load side and then pigtailed to the incoming power then the downstream load is not affected by the GFCI.

NOw, some of those downstream receptacles might need there own GFCI protection. It was common in 70's and 80's and probably into the mid 90's to minimize the number of GFCI's so that one might find that there are a several other places where you need to add GFCI's.

Now garage do require that the 120v receptacles be GFCI protected. However, there are two exceptions. Recetpacles that normaly can't be reached (ie, ceiling mounted receps for door openers) and receptacles used by large equipment that is not normally moved; for example a refigerator or freezer. However, for the common duplex receptacle both 1/2's need to have a large appliance plugged in or it needs to be replaced with a simplex (single set of holes) receptacle.

The other garage receptacles need GFCI protection.


02:02PM | 04/05/06
Member Since: 04/03/06
3 lifetime posts
That was what I was thinking but I wanted to make sure I wasn't breaking any rules. Thanks very much for the clear explanation, I've got minimum experience in this area.

Thanks Again!!


11:52AM | 04/16/09
Member Since: 04/15/09
1 lifetime posts
My house is 30 years old and the same circuit that feeds "all" of the bathrooms also feeds the garage. Amazingly, the only problems occur when someone uses a hair dryer along with the Christmas lights (not too often). Either put the GFI in the breaker panel or go through the effort of finding the first outlet (which I did) and put the GFI there (assuming it's easily accessible). Will open if you accidentally step on a Christmas light. Break up the circuit if not too difficult.

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