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When testing a GFCI protected outlet why will the lower outlet trip the GFCI but not the upper?


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2008-08-24 17:26:24
2008-08-24 17:26:24

Check to see that the jumper tab on the side of the receptacle isn't broken. If it is, this cannot be reversed but the receptacle must be replaced. My concern is that if the receptacle is GFCI protected, it is protected for a reason. Therefore the top and bottom of the receptacle should be GFCI protected. Is the upper half being powered at all, or is it completely dead? If it isn't powered at all, it seems that tab is broken but shouldn't be. Replace the receptacle with a new one. If it is powered, that means the tab was broken on purpose. Power to the upper half is coming from a source other than the GFCI. When you replace the receptacle to fix the tab, you'll have to cap off the wire that was feeding the upper half with a wire nut. It won't be used. That way the entire receptacle will be GFCI protected, which is how it should be. ----

If you do not understand the work well enough to accomplish it yourself properly and safely, don't try it. Consult a professional electrician, as they are proficient enough to do it properly and safely. When working on electrical circuits and equipment, make sure to de-energize the circuit you will be working on. Then test the circuit with a definitive means to make sure it is off (multimeter with metal tipped leads, voltage tester with metal tipped leads, etc., not a non-contact tester, which is non-definitive.)


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