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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    5

    Default GFCI Tripping At Breaker Box

    I just purchased a condo with 1 & 1/2 bathrooms. The master bathroom has a GFCI outlet the when you press the test button it will not shut off however, when you try to trip it it trips at the breaker box downstairs. The 1/2 bath has a regular outlet that also goes out. It appears they are on the same line but the breaker box has a regular breaker. Is this normal? How could the GFCI trip the breaker and not the individual outlet? Please let me know if I should have an electrician look at this. Also the breaker box does not have a main breaker shut-off. Should I be concerned with this also? I like having a main that I can shut the whole house down if I am not sure what breaker to shut when doing electrical work. Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,836

    Default Re: GFCI Tripping At Breaker Box

    Sounds like the GFCI is bad.

    Sounds like you have a sub panel. Personally I would want one with a main shutoff.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: GFCI Tripping At Breaker Box

    So what you are saying is that when a GFCI goes bad, rather than not trip at the outlet and cause a shock it will trip the breaker is is wired to? Is that what it is meant to do?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    693

    Default Re: GFCI Tripping At Breaker Box

    [QUOTE=cadillacdad@verizon.net;63406] The master bathroom has a GFCI outlet the when you press the test button it will not shut off however, when you try to trip it it trips at the breaker box downstairs. The 1/2 bath has a regular outlet that also goes out. It appears QUOTE]

    How are you trying to trip it?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: GFCI Tripping At Breaker Box

    If the GFI receptacle wont trip when you push the Test button, have it replaced. There will be a main disconnect for your panel where the service equipment is located for the building.
    "Lead by Example"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    jersey
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: GFCI Tripping At Breaker Box

    Quote Originally Posted by cadillacdad@verizon.net View Post
    I just purchased a condo with 1 & 1/2 bathrooms. The master bathroom has a GFCI outlet the when you press the test button it will not shut off however, when you try to trip it it trips at the breaker box downstairs.
    I'm getting a real bad vibe from that. If your shoving something in it to "trip" it, STOP!! At no point does a diagnostic ever involve creating a direct short on a live circuit, and I should point out the dangers of ARC FLASH here, but i'll let you google it.

    edited to add:

    It sounds like the breaker was doing its job. If I were to venture a guess I bet the line and load were reversed on the gfi. (or just the nuetrals swapped and not the hots) nuetrals tied together and jumped out, something like that. Generally misinstalled to begin with. My SECOND guess is bad gfi.
    Last edited by Lloyd; 10-04-2009 at 01:10 PM. Reason: afterthought
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: GFCI Tripping At Breaker Box

    Sorry for the confusion, I was explaining it wrong. The test button on the GFCI in the main bathroom was pushed in. The outlet shut off as it should. When I tried to reset it, it would not reset. I then went to the downstairs 1/2 bath and found that outlet was off as well. I went to the breaker panel box and discovered that the breaker in the box tripped when the GFCI was put in test mode. When the breaker in the panel box was reset, both outlets had power. I want to know why the GFCI would trip the breaker in the panel box as well as the outlet. Do not know if there is a screw-up in the wiring. Thanks for the help.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: GFCI Tripping At Breaker Box

    If the GFI receptacle trips the (non GFI)circuit breaker when you push the "Test" button, you should replace the GFI receptacle.
    "Lead by Example"

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