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Thread: GFCI Outlet

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: GFCI Outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterDe View Post
    Can a GFCI circuit breaker (in the breaker panel) be wired to a GFCI outlet. I have this setup, could this be the reason the circuit breaker keeps tripping. I always thought you could have one or the other, but not both on the same line.

    The home builder installed it this way. The line only feeds 3 outlet in the kitchen...2 regular outlets and 1 GFCI.
    1. The combo circuit breaker may be tripping for a reason other than a ground fault and have nothing to do with the combo GFCI receptacle itself downstream.

    2. Unless the gfci receptacle was manufactured to the newest standard revisions it may not fully lockout if there is a wiring error.

    3. You have not indicated if you are able to reset the circuit breaker without it immediately retripping.

    4. Are you sure the breaker is a combo GFCI and not a combo Arc-Fault Circuit Interupter circuit breaker (AFCI)? This (AFCI Breaker) is a more common set-up
    (AFCI breaker with GFCI receptacle providing downstream GFCI protection) in recent construction protecting non countertop areas of kitchens such as breakfast nooks, dining areas, pantry areas, built in desks, etc. that are not part of the main countertop/sink/kitchen required small appliance circuit receptacle areas.

    5. If you have any non-polarized plug devices (such as a toaster) plugged in anywhere in this circuit remove them. If their being plugged in or used causes the circuit breaker to trip suspect both the appliance itself and the location of the receptacle to be suspect.

    There are a number possiblities of what may be wrong. Consider that there may be a ground fault situation, occuring or a direct short, arc, loose neutral connections, backstabbed devices (kitchen countertop circuits should be 20 amp and therefore cannot be backstabbed limited to 14 awg not 12 awg minimum for 20 amp circuit) or excessive draw on the circuit causing the breaker to trip.

    Everytime a circuit breaker is tripped it shortens the "life" of the circuit breaker.

    Opening a live panel is not for the inexperienced/untrained. Contact an electrician and have the panel, bus, contacts, taps, bonding inspected as well as the circuit including all three receptacles.

    Edited to add:

    Unknown how long you have been experiencing the circuit breaker tripping issues.

    I note in one of your prior posts, http://advice.thisoldhouse.com/showthread.php?t=11829 , that you made mention of your Maytag Side-by-Side Refrigerator with a Model number which begins with MS. If your serial number ends with AA, AC, AE, AG, AJ, AL, AN, AP, AR, AT, AV, AX, CA, CC, CE, CG, CJ, CL, ZB, ZD, ZF, ZH, ZK, ZM, ZQ, ZS, ZU, ZW, ZY, ZZ; it was recalled due to a serious electrical hazard in March 2009, see: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09145.html ,
    the recall was expanded in August 2009 to include Serial Numbers ending in CN, CP, YY and YZ; see: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09322.html

    If this appliance is powered by this circuit this may be part of the problem; also you may also have disturbed a case ground/bond during the project door removal - handle replacement activities you discussed last March.

    I also noted you discussed removal of a wall in the basement in another post string, if the troubled circuit's path was in an area of your work you may have damaged it.
    Last edited by Gray Watson; 11-05-2009 at 01:48 PM.
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