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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    4

    Unhappy GFCI Breakers Help!

    I was required to replace three regular breakers in my subpanel for a shed to GFCI breakers and now nothing works. What am I doing wrong. I put the white wires in the bus bar dedicated to neutral wires, the black wires were attached to the breakers, the ground wires to the ground bus bar. I have never worked with GFCI breakers, they have an additional white wire attached to them. I placed that white wire into the same bus bar for the white wires coming into the panel. Could this be the problem? If not, please help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    oregon
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    1

    Default Re: GFCI Breakers Help!

    You need to pull the white wires from the feeds going out to the shed and put them into the breaker. there should be a screw on the breaker that is identified by a white dot. Also one question, is your shed detached from your house? If it is then you are not meeting code requirements. You would need to set a panel for anything more then one circuit to an out building. and if there is only one it needs to got through a disconnect first, at the building.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    The Great White North
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    Default Re: GFCI Breakers Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by builtingalt View Post
    I was required to replace three regular breakers in my subpanel for a shed to GFCI breakers and now nothing works. What am I doing wrong. I put the white wires in the bus bar dedicated to neutral wires, the black wires were attached to the breakers, the ground wires to the ground bus bar. I have never worked with GFCI breakers, they have an additional white wire attached to them. I placed that white wire into the same bus bar for the white wires coming into the panel. Could this be the problem? If not, please help.

    The purpose of any GFCI device .... receptacle or breaker .... is to sense an imbalance between the current supplied to that circuit to that current being returned.
    If there is any imbalance between the 2 ...... the device will assume there is a fault and trip .... disconnecting power to that circuit.
    Inside these devices there is a sophisticated circuit to perform this function.

    The circuit inside these devices is an active one and requires both the hot and neutral wires connected to the GFCI .... because it needs to directly sense the current between the supply and return .... the device needs the 2 lines attached to perform it's function.

    The problem with the way you connected the wiring .... by only attaching the hot wire to the breaker and by having the circuit's neutral wire attached to the common neutral bus .... the GFCI breaker would be seeing a constant imbalance from all the other neutrals at the common bus and always remain tripped.

    * IMPORTANT * .... for safety it's a good practice to shut off the MAIN breaker while working inside the panel.

    By the way .... specialized breakers like this are the only time a neutral wire gets attached to a breaker.

    So ... to answer your question ...


    The GFCI breaker should have markings indicating which wire is attached to which terminal.

    With the GFCI breaker in the OFF position .....

    The hot wire feeding the circuit is attached to the connector that's identified as " Line Load " ( marked black )

    The neutral wire for that circuit is attached to the " Load Neutral " ( marked white ).

    The white coiled wire ( pig tail ) is attached to the neutral common bus.

    Put the cover back on the panel ..... turn on the MAIN breaker .... then turn on the GFCI and test your circuits.


    Hopefully this makes sense and helps.

    Good luck and be careful.
    Last edited by canuk; 02-07-2009 at 08:38 AM.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    4

    Default Re: GFCI Breakers Help!

    I think I understand! I should attach the white nuetral wires (coming from plugs, switches, lights) into the breaker. I have three GFCI breakers, which will have both black and white wires going into the breaker AND then the white (pig tailed coiled) wire coming from the breaker will go into the nuetral bus bar THESE white wires will be the only wires into the nuetral bus bar. Am I intrepreting your advice correctly?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    4

    Smile Re: GFCI Breakers Help!

    Also, the shed is detached from the house. It is powered from the main coming from the house with a subpanel. I have a permit and have followed all of the inspectors corrections. My panel is to code, my only problem is understanding the GFCI breakers. Once I conquer them I will pass my Final inspection and be finshed with this project.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
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    Default Re: GFCI Breakers Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by builtingalt View Post
    I think I understand! I should attach the white nuetral wires (coming from plugs, switches, lights) into the breaker. I have three GFCI breakers, which will have both black and white wires going into the breaker AND then the white (pig tailed coiled) wire coming from the breaker will go into the nuetral bus bar THESE white wires will be the only wires into the nuetral bus bar. Am I intrepreting your advice correctly?
    Yep .... you got it.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    4

    Talking Re: GFCI Breakers Help!

    Thank you so much!!!! I am forever indebted to you. Thank you again. :d

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
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    Default Re: GFCI Breakers Help!

    You're welcome ..... hopefully it all works out.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

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