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jersey-joe 05-29-2008 06:10 AM

GFI Issue?
I have a circuit that has 3 outlets that work fine. Then there is a GFI Outlet which also works fine. There are four outlets and two small wall sconce lights that do not work. Using a plug tester (the little thing that plugs into a socket that has three lights) the 4 outlets say they are connected normal. As soon as there is a load applied, the indicators change to say that the HOT and GROUND are reversed. Nothing works when plugged in to these outlets. Additionally, if either (or both) wall sconce light(s) are turned on, the outlet changes from normal to HOT & GROUND REVERSED.

It worked fine the other day. I was out all day the next day and there was an electrical storm while I was gone. That evening the above situation existed.

I can't figure it out. Any ideas?

glennjanie 05-29-2008 03:20 PM

Welcome Jersey-Joe:
I'm betting the common wire was used on a switch. A switch is supposed to only break the HOT wire; use the white wire only in the case of a switch leg and then it is supposed to be painted or tapped black indicating a HOT wire.
I would check the switch first and go from there.

JoeD 05-30-2008 06:08 PM

Hot ground reversed is the indication of an open neutral. The white wire at one of the devices is loose. If you know the order they are wired the problem is in the last working device or the first not working device.
A very common cause of this problem is the use of the push in back stab connections. Put the wires under the screws if they are currently in little holes in the back.

triple D 05-31-2008 10:39 AM

Try this
Replace your gfi. Pay very close attn. to the way the wires hook up, and turn off power before even removing plug!!! That should fix er.

speedy petey 06-01-2008 10:33 AM

JoeD is right on this one. This is NOT a switched neutral, if it were it would work fine when the switch was turned on. This is an open (or compromised) neutral somewhere. The load is exposing it.

jersey-joe 06-02-2008 06:53 AM

thanks all. i am going back to the RV today. I will check the existing outlets first for a compromised neutral. I have a new GFCI outlet that I bought to replace the existing one if the neutrals checkout OK.

triple D 06-03-2008 12:21 AM

Hey Joe
Please let us know what you find. Thanks....

jersey-joe 06-03-2008 04:56 PM

thanks to all who provided input.

I replaced the GFCI outlet and the same condition persisted. I pulled the outlets and switch out one by one and checked the connections. Found a loose neutral on, of course, the last outlet of the string.

triple D 06-04-2008 12:06 AM

Right on....
Did you mean the last outlet? like the one with only one wire? Or the first one with two wires? I only ask cause your situation would have only existed on that last plug if it was the end of the line. Anyway, good work Joe.....

jersey-joe 06-04-2008 10:45 AM

the load side of the GFCI outlet went to a junction box. From the junction box one wire went to 1 outlet and another wire went to 3 outlets and the 2 wall sconces. The loose neutral was the first of the 3 outlets in a string. Just so happened it was the LAST outlet I checked.

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