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Old 12-25-2012, 10:55 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by v8dave View Post
GFI receptacles are confusing to wire especially when there are trailing receptacles. If you just copied what was there originally, dig out the instruction sheet that came with the GFI and inspect the wiring again. Look for a reversal of the connections between the supply and trailing plug wiring.

. . .
Here is some more information about GFI wiring.

The GFI makes a distinction as to the supply/input IN circuit wiring and the load/output OUT circuit wiring.

In the wiring box the GFI is stuffed into there should be two sets of wiring cables entering the box. Each set of cables contains a white, black, and ground wire.

One cable set is IN from the electrical supply; the other cable set goes OUT to additional 'protected' outlets (also referred to as "load" or "downstream"). If the box is mounted vertically and the National Electrical Code has been followed then the IN cable enters the bottom of the box and the OUT cable exits the top of the box. But the code is not always followed.

If the "supply" is wired to the GFI's load side and
the "load" is wired to the GFI's supply side and
the GFI is reset from the factory,
then the GFI will pass electricity to all the outlets UNTIL you either press the trip/test button or a fault occurs.

Then because the IN electrical supply is on the OUT GFI connections, there is no electricity to reset the GFI. Pushing the reset button won't work and the green light won't come on. Sound familiar?

Unfortunately if the code was not followed you have no way of determining which cable is the IN or OUT. If you are not familiar and comfortable with changing 125 VAC wiring circuits, you will need professional help to correct the problem.

Lots of words and a fair amount of danger working on the electrical wiring. But It sure sounds to me like the input and output wiring has been reversed to the GFI.

Northern California
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:11 PM   #16
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Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
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If the outlet by the passenger's seat has power when on gen or pedestal, this may be a failing transfer switch in the inverter. Power leaves a 30A/1p breaker in the gray breaker panel, head to the Input of the Inverter & its Xfer switch, is supposed to transfer to the Output of the Xfer switch of the Inverter & to the 30A/1p main breaker of the black inverted breaker box. Theory being the Inverter can invert 120Vac off battery power choosing that as the Output to the black breaker panel, OR it can simply handshake gen or shore 120Vac straight thru to the breaker panel when available.
If there is no reliable 120Vac Output of the Inverter's Xfer switch it could be tripping the GFCI w/hinky power.

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Old 12-26-2012, 09:30 PM   #17
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All of those are on one circuit, did you trip and reset the breaker? Sometimes it doesn't look like it has tripped, but it has and needs to be reset. Sure sounds like it is just that one circuit. Mike, in our coach the front plug by the passenger seat doesn't go through the inverter. Since the microwave is working, sure sounds like the inverter is passing power through except for that one GFI circuit, which for the life of me I cant't figure out why they put so much on that one circuit?

Barbara & David O'Keeffe
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:31 AM   #18
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DIY Success and Lessons Learned

Thank you all for your valuable suggestions / tips and time you have given me thru this forum!

I am happy to report, thanks to you I have our six outlets and GFIC up and working better than ever.

The most applicable "spot on" information received was from KIX, v8dave, and bruceisla. Had the circumstances been different others of you provided me most important information (that I may need to use in the future)!!

bruceisla wrote:
"While you are checking all connections (and I assume you are disconnected from shore/genset/inverter), try this:
Instead of tightening, note the position of the screw slot, loosen the connection 1/2 turn, and re-tighten. Note the screw position to see if it was possible to get it tighter. Sometimes a loose connection can cause enough heat to make the screw seize ... that makes it feel tight when it is still slightly loose."
(This is now standard operating procedure for me and is a most valuable tip for all RVers)!

On the neutral block in the breaker I found several wires had heated up and was my opportunity to apply bruceisla's tip. One screw was 180 degrees loose and another screw has seized plus the insulation was cooked back a short distance worse than any of the other neutral wires. This one screw seized so badly I tore out metal from the slot trying loosen it. After cutting this wire at the top of the block, I moved it to an available & larger set screw.

The new GFIC I installed days earlier still did not work!

I removed the screws and pulled the GFIC with wires connected from the wall. Using an electrical meter I identified which wire was the "Line cable" (wire from the breaker) to insure it was mounted to the correct post and it was..... making the "Load cable" downhill to the other 5 outlets correct. I checked the neutrals and found they were wrong. (Either the factory wired the old one incorrectly or I had when I installed the new GFIC). Once I swapped these neutral wires, life was good, the GFIC came alive, and I have restored power to six outlets thanks to you!! The new GFIC has a small green light and I now can tell visually if there is power to the GFIC.

Thank you all again!! My stress level has dropped and we can continue our adventures until we arrive home.
2003 Alpine Coach
2009 Jeep Wrangler 4-Dr Rubicon
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:48 AM   #19
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Awesome! Glad you found your problems!
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:58 AM   #20
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Just to add, it's a good idea to check your electrical connections in the circuit breaker box at least once a year. Takes only a few minutes to remover the cover and tighten the screws. Be sure to check the incoming feed wires as well. Of course be sure the power is OFF. Glad you found the problem.

Steve & Sally / Hudson Our Little Pom / Heidi, Houston & HiTee Forever in our Hearts
04 NEWMAR MACA 3778 W22 / 05 PT Vert
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