GFCI trips

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by jwoita, Sep 5, 2009.

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  1. Sep 5, 2009 #1

    jwoita

    jwoita

    jwoita

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    I'm trying to replace some regular outlets in a kitchen with GFCI's. The old outlets are combo switch/receptacle outlets, so the new ones are of the same type. The "left" one has the switch for the light over the sink and also is the feed the "right" receptacle. The "right" one is also the feed to the garbage disposal and dishwasher. With nothing being connected to the "right" outlet at all, when I connect the "hot" wire to the new GFCI on the left, the receptacle trips immediately. The house is an older one because only half of the house has ground wires and those are on the neutral bar. I've been doing electrical work for 23 years and have never come across this problem. Does anybody have any ideas> Thanks.
     
  2. Sep 5, 2009 #2

    kok328

    kok328

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    Garbage disposal and dishwasher should each have their own circuit (old house I know, just thought I'd mention it).
    Maybe a bad GFI, it wouldn't be the first one I've seen. If you try to hook it up some where else does it still trip?
    Also, if the left feeds the right then you don't need a GFI on the right assuming you wire it up that way (again, just thought I'd mention it but, you mentioned outlet(s)).
     
  3. Sep 5, 2009 #3

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

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    Welcome Jwoita:
    With the right receptacle powering the disposal and dish washer; it sounds like either the disposal or the dish washer does not have a proper mechanical ground. Thus, the ground fault detects this absence of a ground and kicks the GFCI out.
    Glenn
     
  4. Sep 5, 2009 #4

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    I am having a hard time visualizing this. Do you mean combo devices? Or two devices in one box?
    Any chance you can take some pics?



    Not at all.
    It is very common and not a problem to have the disp and DW on one 20A circuit. This would be a typical new install for me and most other electricians.
    Separate circuits would work too, but are just not mandatory.



    A GFI does NOT detect the "absence of a ground", nor does it require one to work properly.
     
  5. Sep 5, 2009 #5

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

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    Excuse me, My bad. I just thought it sounded good.
    Glenn
     
  6. Sep 6, 2009 #6

    jwoita

    jwoita

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    Hello. I'm sorry for not being on lately. Life is kinda busy around here lately (an many of you well know!). Anyway, it'd be great to have the DW & GD on seperate circuilt, and really they should, but it would take a major rewiring of the house and the guy bought this house about a year and a half ago and is trying to "flip" it. He spaced off the GFCI's (because the final inspection was this past Friday), so the time frame is his fault. I'm trying to help him.

    Let me try to see if I can explain this a little different. In the kitchen we have a sink with a window in front of it. About 2 feet to the left of the sink there's a switch/single receptacle combo. The switch feeds the light above the sink. About 2 feet to the right of the sink there's a switch/single receptacle device as well. The power for that one comes off the left box. The switch for the right device is for the disposal. And that's the feed for the DW. With having nothing connected to the right device, I hook up the ground wire, then the neutral wire. I have to pigtail the "hot" wire to the switch and to the "line" side of the GFCI. As soon as I touch the hot feed wire to the pigtail of the device, the GFCI trips. I took off the ground wire just to see what would happen and I get the same result. I had a simular situation a number of years ago, and when I took the ground wire off, the circuit held. I don't know if this because there's no separate ground bar or because the neutral is bonded to the box (which I thought is should be). My experience is mainly commercial/industrial, so that's why I'm kinda stumped on this. Thanks for the posts so far. I really appreciate your time if helping me figure this out. Any other thoughts and ideas would be greatly welcomed!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  7. Sep 7, 2009 #7

    kok328

    kok328

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    Well, I"m purely industrial but, heck this isn't rocket science.
    We will have to eliminate the possiblity of a bad GFI by hooking it up somewhere else.
    If that proves to be Ok, then I have to assume that the ground and neutral are tied together at the appliance(s). To dispell this theory, leave off the ground wire when hooking up the outlet and then see what gives.
     
  8. Sep 7, 2009 #8

    jwoita

    jwoita

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    I have to agree that it's not "rocket science". I guess that's why I don't quite understand this. The owner has to put a GFCI in the bathroom as well and when we do that one, we get the same results. So that puts that idea out. And as I stated in the previous post, "I took off the ground wire just to see what would happen and I get the same result." I'm almost resorting to the idea of just putting in a GFCI breaker, but I'm concerned that I'll get the same results. Thanks for the post. I'll keep on looking and trying other things. If you think of anything else, let me know. Many thanks!!!!
     
  9. Sep 8, 2009 #9

    kok328

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    Check to see if the neutral and hot wires have been reversed.
    I used to work with on guy who didn't know or didn't care which wire was which.
    I got zapped a few times working on his circuits.
    I had another guy from Iraq that used what ever color was handy.
    His last circuit contained blue for hot, red for neutral and black for ground.
     
  10. Sep 27, 2009 #10

    jwoita

    jwoita

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    Well, I finally got over there. I heard from somewhere that if you don't turn off the breaker first, there might be "too much potential" and cause the GFCI to trip when you connect the wires. I turned off the breaker and connected the device first. The GFCI held and as far as I know, it's still working fine. Thanks for all your help. I greatly appreciate it!
     

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