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How to Repair a GFI Problem


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Locate and Repair a GFI Outlet or Circuit Problem: The Most Common Problems with GFCI Outlets and How to Fix Them.


Guide to GFI Outlet Problems and How to Fix Them

Electrical Question: I have a problem with GFI installation.

  • The GFI was installed by new electricians.
  • A problem occurs when I turn on an appliance the GFI trips off.
  • I checked the wiring of the GFI and it seems that hot and neutral wires were wired correct.
  • What would you recommend to help me find the problem?

Thank you in advance.
Best wishes,
Don

This home electrical repairs question came from: Don, from Tampa, FL.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical troubleshooting question Don.

How to Locate and Repair a GFI Outlet or Circuit Problem

Application: Testing GFCI Outlet and Circuit Wiring.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools a Voltage Tester or Plug-In Circuit Analyzer.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools, the extent of the electrical repairs, the number of outlets that are affected and access to each location.
Precaution: Identify the GFCI outlet circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.

The Most Common Problems with GFCI Outlets and How to Fix Them

  • GFI Outlet Problems
    A GFI circuit problem can be caused by several things including the devices or appliances that are connected to the GFI circuit.
  • Check what is Plugged Into the Outlet
    Start by checking the appliance that is connected when the GFI trips off because there may be a problem with the internal wiring for the appliance.
  • Isolating the Problem
    If the GFI does not trip off when other things are connected then the GFI circuit wiring may be correct.
  • Check the Wiring of the GFI Outlet
    • The Incoming circuit wiring is attached to the LINE side.
    • The Outgoing circuit wiring is connected to the LOAD side.
  • Segments of the GFI Circuit
    Test each item separately in order to isolate the problem, then check the suspected device for wiring problems or abnormalities.

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2 Responses to “How to Repair a GFI Problem”
  1. bill mueller says:

    My GFI works fine except my intercom radio hums when on, but does not hum when I trip the GFI, the radio is on it’s own separate circuit, what is the problem?

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Bill,
      The hum may be coming from something that is plugged into or connected to the Load side of the GFI circuit. If this is a stand alone GFI then the GFI may be older or need replacing.
      I hope this helps,
      Dave


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