View Poll Results: Do GFIC outlets provide protection

Voters
3. This poll is closed
  • Yes, they are worth their weight in AU.

    3 100.00%
  • Yes, but only in sever circumstances like a flood

    0 0%
  • Not much, but they meet code requirements

    0 0%
  • No, but they are in the codes

    0 0%
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Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Palo Alto, CA
    Posts
    2

    Exclamation GFIC tripped and house safety

    I have a circuit of electrical outlets in my kitchen that has a GFIC that will not reset. Is my house safe as long as the GFIC is tripped? I understand that I can check the outlets, but don't have time right now to check all, breaker box not well labeled, so not sure if turning off all breakers labeled "kitch" will include the currently dead string. (Additional detail: 50's house with remodel in 90's. Outlets currently not working were part of the remodel. Other indicators exist that the contractor took short cuts)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,190

    Default Re: GFIC tripped and house safety

    Until you get into diagnostics, it's hard to say what the problem is.

    First, find the breaker that controls the circuit, it may be tripped but not look like it. Secondly, you will want to be able to shut off the circuit before working on it for safety reasons. It may "only" be 110v, but it can still kill ya!

    Considering that it's an entire bank of outlets, it's likely that the source outlet is having the problem so that those downstream of it don't have power. If the lead outlet is a GFI that won't reset, then you need to check the connections on the GFI that they're tight and in place. Make sure all the connections are under screws and not just stabbed into the back of the outlet. If all looks fine and the GFI still won't reset, then make sure everything else on that circuit is unplugged and try again. If it's still no go, make sure that it's the only GFI on the circuit and replace it if it is, as they do go bad after a while.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: GFIC tripped and house safety

    If its tripped, id say your pretty well safe.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Palo Alto, CA
    Posts
    2

    Wink Re: GFIC tripped and house safety

    Mostly resolved. First I removed the load from the GFCI and found that it did not trip. Decided that meant the GFCI was ok. The I replaced the load and it tripped, so the problem still existed. I then disconnected the last outlet in the series. Lets see this, this made my 5th trip to the breaker box, actually only 30 paces and two steps one way, but who is counting. The GFCI still tripped, so on to disconnecting the next outlet, and the next, at which point I found that the grounds had not been continued from this outlet which is the outlet for the refrigerator. To skip to the end of the saga, the refrigerator outlet had "gone bad" only one side of the outlet worked but that wasn't the real problem. I have removed the last of the outlets from the daisy chain and for 5 days not I have not had a trip. One interesting thing is that the refrigerator was on the GFCI daisy chain. An electrician friend suggested that wasn't such a great idea since if the GFCI tripped, and I was away, who knew how long the refrigerator would be without power!.. So the solution has been to pig tail the GFCI outlet, add another GFCI (on the other side of the sink), pig tail it and have the refrigerator and subsequent outlet off the GFCI protection. Also I now have the last outlet blank plated and completely disconnected from the daisy chain until I feel like opening up the dry wall to see if a rat or a carpenter nicked the wire. It is ended, and I no longer have an extension code drug across the kitchen to keep the refrigerator powered, and I no longer have the handy "lets vacuum the guest room" outlet available, but the house is safe, I spent $17 for another GFCI and saved $200. Guess my next class will be in dry walling! Thanks to those that commented, made me feel more comfortable in ploughing ahead.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: GFIC tripped and house safety

    Sounds to me the remodel work done in the 90's is questionable. The fridge should be on it's own circuit without GFCI protection --- the compressor can cause nuisance tripping of the GFI.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    738

    Default Re: GFIC tripped and house safety

    I agree the refrigerator (or a freezer) shouldn't be on a GFCI but it has to be, in an un-finished basement, per 2011 Code.

    I raised an objection in a 2011 "Analysis of Changes" seminar and was told that new refrigerators and freezers have such low leakage they won't trip a GFCI

    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, http://thesemi-retiredelectrician.com

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