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gondwanalon's avatar

Any electrical experts (familiar with GFCI outlets) out there?

Asked by gondwanalon (22791points) September 25th, 2023
3 responses
“Great Question” (0points)

We were gone from our house for 6 days last month.
When we returned home I noticed that a wall dimmer light switch wasn’t functioning in our pool room (containing a small swimming pool).

The GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet for the power leading into the pool room would not initially reset.

I tested wall light dimmer switch with an ohm meter that indicated it was faulty. So I replaced it with a new wall light dimmer switch.

Then I reset the GFCI outlet and I thought all was well. But each time that I plug something (like a night light) into the GFCI outlet the GFCI outlet shuts off.

Apparently all works well as long as nothing is plugged into the GFCI outlet.

Is the GFCI outlet faulty? It’s 20 years old.

Is there likely some other problem?

Is it time to call a professional electrician?

Thanks!

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Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

1) yes, GFCI outlets can go bad, especially after 20 years. They’re made to be incredibly sensitive and when they go bad, they trip to safety mode.

2) Whether to do it yourself or not: how good are you with fixing stuff like this? It’s just like changing a regular outlet – 2–3 screws and you’re done. Nothing tricky about it at all.

Two bits of advice:

1) Be sure to turn off the circuit breaker before you start. (I shouldn’t even need to say that, but some people are….)

2) Get a high quality, professional grade outlet, not the cheapie at Home Depot.

gondwanalon's avatar

^^^Thank a lot!

I have no problem replacing wall outlets. Had to replace two in our kitchen area earlier this year do to damage caused by rodents (ugly story).

I have a good basic understanding of household electrical circuits and fundamentals safety around it. I’m extremely cautious while working with the electrical components of the pool system (Making sure all power is off and everything is grounded). Last summer I took apart our pool’s heater to replace heating elements and flow sensors. EZPZ.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Like mentioned, GFCI outlets go bad. The code has changed and in many cases, a GFCI is not good enough anymore. You may need to get an AFCI/GFCI combo outlet.

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