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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    7

    Default GCFI instalation problem

    I have a 200 amp gould electrical panel. I am installing a 20 line with NM 12/2 wire in my basement for 9 electric plugs in my workshop. Current city code requires a gfci circuit in basements. I tried first a siemans gfci breaker then a square D breaker. Both trip- the siemans immediately and the square D in about 10 to 15 seconds, even if the circuit wire is disconnected from everything at the first junction box. The polarity on all plugs has been checked and I have checked that there are no grounds in the system (between the white and black wires). The junction boxes and outlets are grounded with the ground wire in the cable which is attached to the ground bus in the main box. When I install a regular (non GFCI) 20 amp breaker in the circuit, everything works fine.
    The main breaker box has a number of circuits, since it supplies all the circuits in the house (furnaces, washer/dryer, etc.) I am stumped, since even when the wire for my new circuit is completely disconnected from everything at the first junction box, the GFCI still trips. There are no other GFCI breakers in the main panel.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,560

    Default Re: GCFI instalation problem

    Do you have both the hot and neutral connected to the GFCI breaker?

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: GCFI instalation problem

    Yes, the hot lead is connected to the load terminal of the gfci and the white neutral is connected to the neutral terminal of the gfci. And the white wire from the gfci breaker is attached to the ground bus bar in the main box.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,371

    Default Re: GCFI instalation problem

    Does the gfci trip when NO wire is connected to it?

    Replace the wire from the GFCI to the first juction box. I'm betting it is shorted somewhere by a tight staple, clamp, or sumthin.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,103

    Default Re: GCFI instalation problem

    Where are you using the "line" side of the GFCI?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: GCFI instalation problem

    What do you mean by where am I using the line side of the gcfi? (I have the black wire on the load terminal and the white wire on the neutral terminal of the gfci. Then, the white wire from the gfci is attached to the ground bus bar in the breaker box). From there, I have the NM wire from the breaker to the first junction box disconnected from everything at the first junction box, but the gfci still trips. And if there was a short between the gfci breaker and the first junction box, why doesn't the circuit trip when I have a regular (non GFCI) breaker installed in the circuit? In addition, an ohmmeter check of the white and black wires between the breaker and the first junction box does not indicate any short.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    623

    Default Re: GCFI instalation problem

    Quote Originally Posted by rpeirce View Post
    Yes, the hot lead is connected to the load terminal of the gfci and the white neutral is connected to the neutral terminal of the gfci. And the white wire from the gfci breaker is attached to the ground bus bar in the main box.
    Actually, the coiled white wire from the GFCI should be attached to the Neutral bus not the ground. It may not matter in the main panel where the neutral and ground bus are electrically the same point. But, in any panel after the first disconnect (or OCP), they are isolated from each other.

    Ditto Houston, about the wire.

    Does the GFCI trip with both the load white and black wires removed?

    When resolved, only the GFCI recommended by the Mfg. should be used.

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: GCFI instalation problem

    I've notice that my panel seems to mix and match ground and neutral some on one bus bar some on the other so whats the difference?
    My advice and opinions come from hands on knowledge...and This Old House Hidden Content

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: GCFI instalation problem

    The gfci does not trip if the two (white and black) wires are removed from the breaker. Also, this is the main breaker box for the house and all the other circuits have both the white circuit wire and the ground wires attached to this same bus bar. I'll try a new NM wire to the first junction box this weekend.
    Thanks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,560

    Default Re: GCFI instalation problem

    The problem may not be hot to neutral short, it could be a high resistant hot to ground short or a non compatible breaker, however the fact it doesn't trip with the wires disconnected would indicate the cable being the problem.

    Jack
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 11-18-2011 at 04:58 PM.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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