Electrical Wiring in the Home/GFCI Outlet


I installed a new GFCI outlet in place of a standard outlet. Wired as directed (line on the top screws; load on the bottom screws; black on copper; white on silver). Turned on breaker and the outlet looked fine: Green status light on outlet came on. However, when I plugged in my outlet tester, it blew out the bulbs on the tester and tripped the GFCI and the breaker in the panel. Wondering what might have happened. When I put the outlet in, I noticed that the outlet box was quite small. Also noticed that when I pushed in my tester, the outlet wiggled and moved back into the wall a little with the pressure. Does it sound likely that when I pushed in the tester, the outlet moved and perhaps one of the wires came close to or even touched bare copper wire? Could that cause something like this?


Most likely the prong of the tester went in further than a plug and contacted both the hot slot and the grounded bar behind it. It is also possible that the GFCI shifted and caused a short.  You may want to get a bigger box, or put electrical tape over the screws.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Bob Sponaugle


Just about any home wiring question. (not appliance repair) I have done all kinds of home wiring for myself, including adding a new breaker box, etc. Please, questions from North America only. Please be specific with details.

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