Identifying GFCI Circuit Problems
Mike in Wyoming asks; How can I find out what is tripping a GFCI Breaker? Problems that Cause GFCI Circuits to Trip, Clearing the GFCI Circuit of Possible Problem Devices.
Electrical Question: How can I find out what is tripping a GFCI Breaker?
- We have a green house with an older hot tub. All of the power in this room is connected to a 50 amp GFI circuit breaker.
- There is no power going to that room and the breaker was tripped.
- I cannot reset the breaker because there are two GFCI receptacle plugs that I tried to reset but it looks like there must be an electric load on them before resetting.
- I cannot get a load to them because the breaker needs a current to also reset.
Any help with my vicious circle would be awesome.
This electrical wiring question came from: Mike, a Handyman from Casper, Wyoming.
Additional Comments: A lot of useful info thanks.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Mike.
How to Identify GFCI Circuit Problems
Application: Troubleshooting GFCI Circuit Problem.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best if wired by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the number of GFI outlets that will be added.
Precaution: Identify the GFCI outlet circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional GFCI Outlet Wiring should be done according to local and national electrical GFCI Codes with a permit and be inspected.
Problems That Cause GFCI Circuits to Trip
Please Note: It is mentioned in this question that GFCI Outlets in the room are connected directly to the hot tub 50 amp GFCI circuit breaker, however the GFCI outlets should be connected to a separate circuit breaker which is sized appropriately to the size of the circuit wiring.
- Tripping GFCI Circuit
If the main GFI circuit breaker is tripping then the wiring and devices connected need to be inspected for a possible short or problem with the wiring or a device.
- Clearing the GFCI Circuit of Possible Problem Devices
Anything connected to the circuit should be removed one at a time to try to identify the source of the problem. Make a note of any devices that are causing the GFCI to trip off. Faulty devices will need to be inspected and evaluated to identify wiring or equipment problems.
- Problems with the GFCI Circuit Wiring
If the problem has not been isolated to a specific device then the room and hot tub circuits should be tested and to discover the fault. Circuit inspections and repairs are best performed by a licensed electrical contractor.
More about GFCI Circuits and Electrical Wiring
- House Wiring Circuits and Circuit Breakers
- Troubleshooting Electrical Wiring
- Using Electrical Testers
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