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Thread: GFCI Headache

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Default GFCI Headache

    I'm assisting a friend in adding a solarium using a partially existing room. The room formally housed a hot tub so rather than run new wiring, we decided to use the 50 amp breaker and line that was in place and we added a 6 breaker sub panel. By the way, for the record, I'm not a novice when it comes to residential wiring. Here's my problem. I want to run a string of recepticles off of one GFCI so I ran the #12 wire using a 20 amp breaker to the first box. Simple, right? Wrong. The recepticle is only about 2 feet from the sub-panel and when I put the GFCI in and turn on the power the reset on the GFCI immediately pops and won't reset. From the sub-panel to the recepticle, everything is right. Any ideas? I know the GFCI will trip with a neutral short so is it possible that another recepticle in the house has the common and "hot reversed backfeeding through the box. Help, I'm stumped.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: GFCI Headache

    Quote Originally Posted by Rondud View Post
    we added a 6 breaker sub panel. .
    Is the neutral bus isolated from the ground in the sub panel?

    The neutral in a sub panel must be isolated from ground .... the neutral can only be bonded to ground in one location ... the main panel.


    just a thought.
    Last edited by canuk; 08-15-2008 at 06:08 PM.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  3. #3
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    Default Re: GFCI Headache

    The subpanel is just like a service panel without the main breaker. It has two "hot wires off the 50 amp breaker at the main and one neutral bar.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: GFCI Headache

    Does your sub panel also have a ground bus ?
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  5. #5
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    Default Re: GFCI Headache

    It could just be a bad GCFI. Check the hot terminals, if you have 120 VAC, try changing the GCFI.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #6
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    Default Re: GFCI Headache

    As far as a seperate ground bus goes, I guess I'm not sure what would designate it as a seperate bus. It is set up just like a main breaker box with two feed lnes and a ground bar with a large lug for the ground from the main breaker. Its a Square D if that helps.

    Temporarily, I have put a 20 amp recepticle in and the voltage off each leg is right at 120 volts. I guess it is possible that I could have a bad GFCI but the reset stays in with the power off.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: GFCI Headache

    The GFCI has an electronic trip, so with the power off the trip is disabled.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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