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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 449
Fred Offline OP
I had a situation with the county deputy inspector this week. He was doing a final on a new house I had wired and informed me that all of the GFCI receptacles would have to be replaced so he could re-test them before he would sign off on the final electrical. I asked what the problem was and he told me that when he tested them with his Ideal receptacle tester they would trip okay but upon being reset they didn't register as hot. These are P&S Safelock 15A GFCI receptacles. He demonstrated for me and it was just as he said. I asked him to unplug his tester before he reset the GFCI. When he did this the power was restored to th GFCI immediately. The inspector thought these were all faulty GFCI receptacles(12 in this home)and wanted them replaced. I referred him to the manufacturer's instructions which state the GFCI receptacle should be tested using the test button on the receptacle. The instructions also refer to the device meeting the 2003 UL requirements. I wonder if the Safelock feature requires anything plugged into the receptacle at the time it trips to be unplugged before power is restored to the receptacles. The info that comes with the GFCI doesn't mention it. The GFCI would reset with the tester still plugged in, it just wasn't "hot" until he unplugged the tester and then plugged it back in. Anyone else run in to this? By the way, he passed all of them after repeating his test unplugging the tester after tripping and reset.

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 947
twh Offline
I can't be of any help to you, but I certainly appreciate the "heads up" on the receptacles.

Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 33
This is normal on the Receptacles. They are new and the "lock" feature is for this purpuse. The inspector has NOT been informed... I think. Check out this funny Movie. Or download direct at

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline
The GFCI would reset with the tester still plugged in, it just wasn't "hot" until he unplugged the tester and then plugged it back in.

Maybe it was the tester that would not register as hot, maybe he has not learned to use his new toy? Try it again with a simple GFCI tester.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 449
Fred Offline OP
I did try it with a simple tester and it produced the same results. I also plugged my Fluke T5 600 in the top of the GFCI while he plugged his tester in the bottom to monitor voltage while he tested. Same thing, no voltage upon reset until he unplugged his tester.

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,374
Thats interesting Fred, thanks for posting it.

When I inspect, I put my tester in, trip the device then pull out the tester and use the ground pin on my tester to reset the device, so I've never ran into that.

Good info to know though. [Linked Image]

Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
I have seen it where I would test a GFI with my little tester, then I would go to rest it and the "Open Ground" light would come on and it looked like a bad GFI. I would then trip it again with the GFI's tester button, and reset it once more. Then averything would act normal. I have seen these several times in the past year in many different house. It seems you have to test and restet twice before it resets properly. Just my 2 cents. By the way,, I have seen a gfi, tried to test it with my tester and nothing happened. I would then check the test button and it would work. So My gFI tester went bad. So now I carry 2 GFI testers just in case.

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