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View Full Version : Outlet reading 110 but nothing works


bobm
January 5th, 2011, 10:39 PM
Hi All,

In my garage I have a single circuit with one GFCI and a standard outlet downstream. Nothing will work in the outlets although I am reading 110 with the voltmeter at the down stream outlet between Hot and neutral and Hot and ground. I have an externsion cord with a lighted plug to indicate power. If I plug this in it will light but even if I try to power a small radio in the cord the light will go out. I assume I have a faulty GFCI?

Thanks Bob

6pack
January 6th, 2011, 04:40 AM
GFI should trip if testing from hot to ground?
Gfi faulty or its wired wrong. Havent worked with em enough to
know off top of head, how they react when wired wrong.
Check out conn, should trip as mentioned above.

joed
January 6th, 2011, 06:50 AM
You have a loose connection somewhere.

Mr T
January 6th, 2011, 07:14 AM
Many if not all modern GFCIs that are wired incorrectly should lock itself out.

I agree, loose connection. Probably a wirenut either hot or neutral. It is allowing enough current through for the neon lamp in the cord (draws very very little current) to light and to get a reading on your volt meter but not much else. If the GFI is backwired check those connections too, make sure you strip the correct amount of wire for good contact. (should be a strip gauge on the back of the GFI)

6pack
January 8th, 2011, 06:12 AM
want to be sure correct in my thinking here? As Bobm stated he tested
110v from hot to "ground" on down stream outlet from GFI? That GFI should have tripped if working or wired properly? Unless he is assuming that downstream outlet is on load side of GFI, possibly by just visualizing the outlets after the GFI, he thought its connected to load side?. It's maybe connected to line side. If testing at GFI itself then it should have tripped.

suemarkp
January 8th, 2011, 10:59 AM
Not necessarily. There has to be 5mA of current flow to trip a GFCI. A meter will not draw nearly that much. From what the poster says it appears that everything was wired correctly since he's measuring proper voltages in the correct places.

But the lighted cord going out and things not working indicate a high resistance connection (the load is trying to take all the current starving the little neon light in the power cord). But the circuit can't provide enough current to the load and the voltage is dropped too much before.

It could be either the black or white wire that is loose.

powerleg5
January 19th, 2011, 07:48 AM
I would advise going into both receptacles (GFI and regular outlet) and check those connections. If the problem is still there then temporarily replace the GFI with a regular receptacle and then recheck for proper operation of your desired tool or lighting.

If everything is working right at this point then replace the temporary first outlet with a new GFI receptacle making sure that your hot feed hooks to the line side and the power leaving hooks to the load side of the GFI.

In response to the post about tripping a GFI when checking from hot to ground, this will happen when using a Wiggy tester but not with a digital meter.

bobm
February 2nd, 2011, 04:06 PM
The problem was the GFCI, I replaced and everthing is working now. I must have replaced every GFCI I installed about 3 years ago when wiring my addition. I must have recieved a bad box or something. Thanks Bob