Electrical Problem with GFCI Outlet in Kitchen
Fixing a Problem with a GFCI Outlet: What would cause a problem with outlets in the kitchen that would sporadically shut down and minutes later power would resume?© By: Dave Rongey
Problem with a GFCI Outlet
Electrical Problem: What would cause problems with outlets in the kitchen that would sporadically shut down and minutes later power would resume?
- A friend of mine called me, said he was having problems with 2 outlets in kitchen that would sporadically shut down and minutes later power would resume, one was supplying fridge the other supplied counter outlet ( coffee maker) I noticed GFCI near sink and asked if it protected the 2 outlets, he replied that though it was same circuit it did not feed the 2, he mentioned that he replaced the fridge outlet hoping to correct problem, I checked his work, all was fine and noticed this outlet was on the end of a run.
- I asked if he heard any buzzing noise like arcing of wires. No was the answer. Told him if I had wired the kitchen that the GFCI would be the starting point and we should look there, as soon as I put my screwdriver to the cover I could hear the arcing, shut power off, removed outlet and this is what I found. The damaged side is the neutral side, wires were not loose, no short on line or load, was wired properly and had been installed many yrs ago ( I am told).
- Also power continued to feed 4 outlets in living room and 1 overhead light. Am I looking at an overload on circuit or bad GFCI. Could it be that simple or am I possibly looking at something more complicated? Any help advice would be appreciated.
This electrical wiring question came from Kevin, a General Contractor in New York.
Kevin, Thank You for Visiting Ask-the-Electrician!
Thanks for your electrical wiring project Kevin.
Electric Circuit Problem with a GFCI Outlet
Application: Electrical Problem with a GFCI Outlet in the Kitchen.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced. This electrical wiring project is best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor or a Certified Electrician.
Electrical Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester, and appropriate Safety Gear.
Estimated Time: Depends on the personal level experience, ability to work with tools, install electrical circuit wiring, and the available access to the project area.
Electrical Safety: Identify the electrical power source to the GFCI Outlet, turn it OFF and Tag with a Note before working with the electrical wiring.
Electrical Wiring Parts and Materials: Electrical parts and materials for the GFCI Outlet should be approved for the specific project and compliant with local and national electrical codes.
Electrical Codes and Inspections: Installing or changing home electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes as adopted in your location. A permit and inspections may also be required.
Neutral Wire Problem with a GFCI Outlet in the Kitchen
This electrical wiring project is about an Electrical Problem with a GFCI Outlet that is located in a Kitchen.
Overloaded Neutral Causes Burnt Electrical Wiring
- Kevin, from the information you have provided, the neutral wires of this circuit have been burnt due to a fault at the GFCI outlet.
- This condition may be caused in part due to cooking appliances that use a high amount of electricity, and high energy consuming devices such as a space heater or a vacuum cleaner used in the dining room area.
- Thanks Dave for quick response and confirm my suspicions. Quick question, if you don’t mind, should I be looking at replacing breaker seeing it never tripped, on a 20 amp breaker, though I never personally looked at panel, I have to take my friend’s word that it’s 20 amp, should I install AFCI breaker for added protection? Codes do not require them here – except for new construction. I would gladly purchase and install at no cost simply for my own peace of mind. Thanks again for info and quick response, Kevin.
- Hi Kevin, great questions!
Most likely the circuit breaker is fine but it should be checked to make sure. Replacing it with an AFCI or AFCI/GFCI combo would be a good idea if you wish. Keep in mind that an AFCI will only work on a 2-wire circuit (with ground), but will not work with a multi-wire circuit because of the shared neutral.
- You should seriously consider separating the feed that goes to the living room and install a new feed for that area or connect with other outlets in that area. Also, the frig should not be on that circuit either, typically a frig is on its own dedicated circuit.
- The wiring in the panel should also be checked because the neutral wire of this circuit may also be burnt there as well.
- NOTE: The burnt or damaged portions of the electrical wiring should be repaired or replaced as needed.
See More about Electrical Wiring for a GFCI Outlet
Electrical Wire for the Home
Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.
Kitchen Electrical Wiring
Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Kitchen Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.
Wiring Electrical Outlets for the Home
Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.
The following may also be helpful for you:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
More articles about Electrical Wiring, GFCI Outlets and Home Electrical Wiring:
|« Previous||Next »|