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Joseph, Electrician
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 4772
Experience:  Licensed Master Electrician
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why does my GFCI keep tripping...I changed it last night.

Customer Question

why does my GFCI keep tripping...I changed it last night. I have a small 6ft chest freezer, lawn sprinkler transformer and tranformer for low voltage walkway lighting. I unplugged all items and it keeps tripping. Should I replace it with another one? And should I be concerned with overheating the wires if I straight wire temporaily, until I can get the new one?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Joseph replied 9 years ago.
Ok when you say you changed your GFCI last night, are you saying you already replaced it with a new one?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Joseph's Post: yes...replaced with "like same/one" from Lowes
Expert:  Joseph replied 9 years ago.
Ok - first let me put to bed the misconception most people have when it comes to GFCI's. They are not or do not act as breakers.... their sole purpose is to protect you from electrical shock due to an imbalance in the curcuit that may travel back through the grounding wire. This will trip the outlet if the neutral and ground wires come into contact. So if you replaced it with a new one and it keeps tripping - then that tells me that one of the other outlets down stream from the outlet, meaning wired onto the load side of the GFCI has this neutral and ground touching ... or you may have more equipment pluged into another outlet fed by this GFCI that is causing this tripping.

Now a few things for you to check. Make sure that your wiring (Line) which is your 120v source is connected to the line side of the GFCI. Black on the gold terminal, White on the silver terminal, and ground to the green terminal. If your wiring is correct, then leave the load wires disconnected from the GFCI. If your outlet does not trip out.... then this means that one of the other outlets fed by the GFCI is actually causing the problem. To check these outlets, you will need to pull out each of those outlets and make sure the ground wire is not touching the silver terminals of the outlets.

Now once you do all that, if you still need further help - please dont hesitate to ask.

***I am a Verified state "Licensed" electrical contractor, not an internet researcher - I will work hard to give you the exact answers you seek and work you through any problem you may have***

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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thanks Joseph, one other thing I forgot to mention...the house is apprx 7 years old and has never had this problem before. I'm looking at it now...let me remove the load and see what happens ok?
Expert:  Joseph replied 9 years ago.
No problem. I look forward to hearing about the outcome.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
looks like I may have a bad oulet down the line..Thanks
Expert:  Joseph replied 9 years ago.
Your welcome.... If you need any further guidance dont hesitate to ask. Have a great night.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thank You & have a great evening also