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Rick
Rick, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 467
Experience:  10 yrs as a electrician. Have my own company.
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105 volts on the line into my Gfci breaker why?

This answer was rated:

105 volts on the line into my Gfci breaker why?

Sparky :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm here to answer any of your electrical questions.

Sparky :

This is with the breaker turned off?

Customer:

The outside breaker is turned on. The GFCI will not reset, i installed a new one. it will not reset either.

Sparky :

When you are trying to reset it, are you turning it to the full off position first?

Customer:

The breaker outside the house, i turn it full off and full on. I check to make sure it is not part way.

Sparky :

Has any of the wiring in the house been messed with? Any new plugs, or switches replaced or added? When did this problem start?

Customer:

This home is 8 years old. No wiring modifications have been done inside or outside.

Customer:

no switches or outlets or GFCI outlets have been replaced either.

Sparky :

When did the problem start?

Customer:

about 3 days ago. My wife noticed that the wine cooler, located in the laundry room was turned off. I knew it was the GFCI outside in the garage. it has 3 outlets connected to this GFCI. a wine cooler, a small refrigerator in the garage and the water softener. Of those the water softener has been on this circuit since the house was delivered. The wine cooler was installed in 2011. the small refrigerator was install about 4 months ago. the GFCI is rated at 20 AMPs. the circuit breaker on the outdoor panel is also rated at 20 AMPS.

Customer:

strange, huh?

Sparky :

Well the first thing we need to do is figure out where this wiring is getting power from. You should not have a GFI on a circuit that already has a GFI breaker on it unless it is only connected on to the line side of the GFI. To find out where the power is coming from take one lead of your tester put it on the ground bar, take the other lead and put it on the wire coming out of your gfi breaker. Start turning off each breaker 1 at a time until you do not have power at the breaker wire. This is going to take some time and it's just going to be the process of elimination.

Customer:

My wires at the breaker box outside the house have labels, i have completed this exercise earlier today. it was a while, in hot and now humid Arizona!

Sparky :

Yeah, I know the feeling I'm in Palm Springs, CA

Customer:

ok, i have been at this since yesterday. I can say that across the "line" wires going into the GFCI i get 105 volts. when i check either "line" wire to ground i get 125 volts

Sparky :

Well to find out where the power is coming from you need to test it the way I described. One of the breakers is going to stop power going to that wire. Then somewhere on that circuit there is going to be a connection between the 2 circuits.

Customer:

oh, so your thinking it could be branched to two breakers on the panel outside the house?

Sparky :

That would be the only explanation that I can think of, and that I have ran into.

Sparky :

It's getting back fed from somewhere.

Customer:

wow! i would have never considered that in a new home. I used to be an apprentice electrician many years ago. How do i get back to you when i am done?

Sparky :

Just log into your account, go to your questions list click on this one and respond. I will get a email and respond back. You can rate now, or later, up to you. I will be here when you're ready to continue. After you determine which breaker is feeding that wire you're going to have to start taking that circuit apart at different places to determine where exactly the fault is.

Customer:

i am back. voltage went to .81 volts and back to 105 volts. no other breakers when turned off, had any impact on voltage.

Sparky :

What kind of tester are you using?

Customer:

why a drop of voltage from 125 to 105. Good question, a DVM with a 200 ACV scale.

Sparky :

I think that is why you are getting what you're getting try turning off any other breaker and get a rading and you'll probably get the same thing. Ghost voltage. But nothing is really there. Try disconnecting anything and everything on that circuit and try to reset your breaker then.

Customer:

oyeah. The wires are running prallel for long distances. Yes, inductance into that line. that would mean those "line" wires are open. well i am going back out there to perform this test. I am shutting everything off. i will respond in a while. wish me luck

Sparky :

Good luck

Customer:

i am back! that circuit is wide open no ghosts! Well i will have to check the home warranty and or the home warranty i purchased in June. Thanks a bunch, man! Have a great Saturday and the rest of your weekend.

Sparky :

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX

Rick and 2 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Just wanted to say thank you Pablo for the excellent rating. It is greatly appreciated. If you have any more electrical questions, please let me know. Here is my profile page. Thanks again.

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