Question I heard the sound of a
GFCI overload trip last night. This morning both bathroom GFCI's were tripped. Nothing was plugged in to them.
but I could not reset them. I pulled one out put a voltage tester
on it but no power to outlet at all. Next cked the breaker box and rest all GFCI breakers but still no power to outlets. Could the breaker have shorted out? Any ideas?
11/25:24 1:24 PM
When you look at a normal 120-volt outlet in the United States, there are two vertical slots and then a round hole centered below them. The left slot is slightly larger than the right. The left slot is called "neutral," the right slot is called "hot" and the hole below them is called "ground." If an appliance is working properly, all electricity that the appliance uses will flow from hot to neutral. A GFCI monitors the amount of current flowing from hot to neutral. If there is any imbalance, it trips the circuit. It is able to sense a mismatch as small as 4 or 5 milliamps, and it can react as quickly as one-thirtieth of a second.
So let's say you are outside with your power drill and it is raining. You are standing on the ground, and since the drill is wet there is a path from the hot wire inside the drill through you to ground (see How Power Distribution Grids Work for details on grounding). If electricity flows from hot to ground through you, it could be fatal. The GFCI can sense the current flowing through you because not all of the current is flowing from hot to neutral as it expects -- some of it is flowing through you to ground. As soon as the GFCI senses that, it trips the circuit and cuts off the electricity.
It is very common to put one GFCI in a bathroom and another say outside on the side on a patio, ON THE SAME CIRCUIT
Are these GFCIs on the same circuit? Are you sure? You did say could the breaker have shorted out, yes but not likely, failed open is more likely simple test pull out the breaker and check continuity, breakers do fail,
Are you in an area where power surges lights flickering and that kind of thing going on?
If so I would suspect a power surge and you will have to start at the beginning main checking each circuit as you go, but the problem is likely much more simple,
First if you KNOW which circuit or circuits are assigned to which GFCIs test each breaker,
At least for continuity out of the panel, then measure from hot to neutral at the breaker position, if there is power there, the breaker is measuring closed, and still no power at the outlet check the wires that feed the GFCI at the outlet if there is power there the GFCI is bad, my guess is the two are one circuit, and one or both of the GFCIs is bad opening the circuit up at both outlets
Take it slow and easy make sure you have power to each breaker that feeds the GFCI once you know you have power to the GFCI or should and you measure behind the GFCI and there is power there it is the GFCI at fault, if there is no power at the outlet but power past the breaker, then something opened up between the breaker and the outlet wires that would be bad but is there a switch anywhere ? Sure? Believe me I have had more than one who were sure their wiring was fried and a switch they never used, or was hid and never used out of sight out of mind kind of thing,
Make sure at both ends of the circuits there is power and correct power not some odd voltage if there is an odd voltage look for a neutral problem anything from a loose wire nut to a rusted off ground bar outside,
Ill bet you find you have power past the breaker just use your meter on the load side you do or don't have power, then at the wires and now be careful just separate them and use one clip probe and one touch probe check hot to neutral if power is there the GFCI is bad in this scenario the most likely suspect is one or both of the GFCIs
But check for loose wire nuts get a GOOD flashlight look in the boxes for any signs of black like a carbon track those can come from things like a loose wire nut, causing a high resistance connection then actually heating to a burn look closely but trust me look for the simple problem we all get over excited on stuff like this and even the best will overlook the obvious, need more help you can use my private email, and write me back regardless, I want to know how you are getting along and what you found, then IF you dont find it and I bet you do, you can tell me and everyone else what it was so that helps them let me know,
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clear and concise......followed his recommendations and found the problem
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