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I replaced a dead GFCI and the new one doesn’t work. What’s wrong?
Saturday, April 24, 2021
A GFCI-receptacle right out of the box is tripped, and will not reset and function until it is wired correctly and the power turned back on. The reset button won't work and the receptacle remains dead, even though the wiring to it is live.
You need to connect the black (hot) wires to the brass screws and white (neutral) wires to the silver screws. Also, be sure to mark which pair of wires are LINE and which are LOAD before removing them from the old receptacle. The LINE wires bring the electrcity to the receptacle and the LOAD wires connect to another receptacle downstream in the circuit. If there are no other receptacles on the circuit, then it will only have two LINE wires
And this is important: it’s not enough to just mark the top two wires in the old receptacle and place them in the top position in the replacement, because some manufacturers put the LINE set on top, and others put the LINE set on the bottom. If you just match top and bottom wire sets, you may get it wrong.
Here’s an example below of two GFCI’s from different manufacturers that look similar from the front, with ground hole on bottom, but must be wired differently in back.
If your old GFCI failed due to a problem elsewhere in the circuit, rather than simply a failed GFCI-device, then further troubleshooting is necessary. Also, always turn off the breaker to the circuit before attempting any receptacle replacement, and don’t tackle this work yourself unless trained in elctrical wiring and safety
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