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#18871 - 12/16/02 05:37 PM Help me locate the hidden GFIC  
Chris Rudolph  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 160
Winter Park,Fl USA
Here is the situation:
I was called to a customers house(upscale 2 story 9years old)to turn over a horizontal recpt(180deg)so he could plug in his hair dryer(one with the right angle plug headed in the wrong direction).It is located in the vanity/sink backsplash in a corner.His wifes vanity/sink recpt had the GFIC recpt so I figure his is on the load side of her GFIC.I plug in my GFIC recpt tester to his recpt and sure enough he has power on his recpt so I push the botton to take power off the recpt and it did but her GFIC did not trip out.All other recpt,that I can find, are working in the house except this one.The load center has 1 GFIC breaker and it is OK.
I had come up on a similar problem once before and found the GFIC for the bathroom tripped out in the garage hidden by peg board.Well guess what,this customer covered one whole garage wall wth peg board and he swears that he did not cover up any recpt.
Where should I look?What should I do?
Just to let you know what I am dealing with here,is that her GFIC load side is wired to the two bathrooms up stairs!!!!Nice huh?

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#18872 - 12/16/02 09:27 PM Re: Help me locate the hidden GFIC  
Edward  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 308
Here is my suggestion.

If the peg board is removable remove it to find any GFCI back there.

You said there is GFCI braker. Make sure you have voltage on the downstream side of that GFCI breaker.

Kitchen GFCI.

Maybe a GFCI covered with an appliance,poster,cabinet...anything.

Check for continuity at the nonpowered receptacle between Grounded(neutral) and grounding. If there is no continuity then there is a GFCI problem if there is continuity then there is loose connection of the hot conductor.

I will post if any other ideas come up

P.S. I had the same problem could not find a problem to a bathroom receptacle. Come to find out the GFCI that powers that bathroom is in the garage behind a poster. It took me 2 hours to find it. Then i had to explain to the home owner why i charged him $120 to reset a GFCI.

Good Luck


#18873 - 12/16/02 09:39 PM Re: Help me locate the hidden GFIC  
Chris Rudolph  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 160
Winter Park,Fl USA
Edward, Thanks for the suggestions.I wonder what goes through the electricans mind(?) when they wire houses like this.

#18874 - 12/16/02 10:10 PM Re: Help me locate the hidden GFIC  
harold endean  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
Boonton, NJ

On a lot of the older homes the electrical contractors would use 1 GFCI to protect all the rest in the house. (This is very true for condos and track houses.) The most common spots for GFI receptacles where, garages, basements, outside receptacles, and bathrooms. I found once the GFI was outside in the back yard. ( I couldn't hear the recpt. trip.) Most times you can hear them trip. Once I heard the GFI trip and couldn't find it. (This one was in the next room which happened to be a living room. It was behind the couch.) Once I found the GFI under a whirlpool tub. The only other way to find this receptacle is to use a tester that puts radio freq. on wires that are not energized. Sort of like a tracer tester but works on dead wires. Happy hunting.


#18875 - 12/16/02 10:27 PM Re: Help me locate the hidden GFIC  
Electric Eagle  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Alpharetta, GA
Did you try taking her GFCI out and check for miswired? I've found on more than one occasion a miswired GFCI that wouldn't let power out, but the outlet still worked. Is his outlet a dead end? If so it may be easier just to refeed it off hers.

#18876 - 12/16/02 11:18 PM Re: Help me locate the hidden GFIC  
Chris Rudolph  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 160
Winter Park,Fl USA
Thanks Harold and Electric Eagle,
Yes I did remove her GFIC and it is connected properly.
His is a dead end connection and yes I can run it from a closet recpt that backs up to the bathroom and change his to a GFIC.
I haven't given up on the garage behind the peg board or covered up with some other stuff.
I don't have an RF tracer.Maybe Santa will bring me one.If he did I bet I would never have need for it again but it would be good insurance.

#18877 - 12/17/02 10:10 AM Re: Help me locate the hidden GFIC  
SJT  Offline
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 241
Hello Chris,
The tester that gives a signal on dead
cables sounds like one I would be interested in.
I guess it would be like an amprobe PASAR, which has been a great device to use on live ckts. If they have anything that traces with a dead circuit, I would like to know. Good luck.
Sounds like a tough find.

#18878 - 12/17/02 11:28 AM Re: Help me locate the hidden GFIC  
jdevlin  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 402
welland ontario canada
To trace dead wires use a data cable tracer It has batteries in both ends. I usedone once to find an open hot in box that had be covered by bead board on the ceiling in a cottage. Make sure the power is off.

#18879 - 12/17/02 02:02 PM Re: Help me locate the hidden GFIC  
Chris Rudolph  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 160
Winter Park,Fl USA
The continuing SAGA,
I looked behind the pegboard and on all the garage walls,in the other bathrooms,in the kitchen, on the patio and side,front and back of the house,and all the other rooms in the house and still no tripped out GFCI.This house is easily 7000sqft,so it remains hidden.I haven't given up yet.

#18880 - 12/17/02 02:33 PM Re: Help me locate the hidden GFIC  
txsparky  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 552
Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.
Is it under the jaccuzzi tub?


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