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Old 04-19-2014, 07:40 PM   #1
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Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,383
GFI continues to have power

Just moved into new home. Today I discovered that 4 of my GFI's are not working properly.

When I manually trip it or push test button the power stays on. Outlet boxes are plastic.

Wired wrong? No ground? Too much of a coincidence to be defective

I'll be calling home inspector because he didn't find that during his inspection.

Bob Russo
Formerly had 07 Neptune 36PDQ, ISB 325, Allison 2500, Source Trailing Arms and Ride Enhancement Kit, Demco KarKaddy 460SS.
Currently no Motorhome
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:53 PM   #2
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Gulf Streamers Club
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 17,905
I suggest you get one of these:
GB Tools GFCI Outlet Tester 120 Vac 1 Clam | eBay
Also available at Home Depot or hardware store. Use it to check your outlets. If you find all 4 are miswired, I'd report the electrician to proper authorities. That could be a killer!


Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:57 PM   #3
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Stays on the outlet with the button or downstream ones connected to the outlet?

If downstream then likely wired to inlet wires and if same then outlet bad.

Inspector sjoukd be slapped.

What else was missed...?

May be good to request reinspection by diffeferent person for free.
Tony & Lori
1989 Country Coach Savannah SE
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:47 PM   #4
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Correction, said 4, found a 5th!

Went and got the GFI tester. I haven't removed switch covers or switches yet. Will do that tomorrow.

What I have done the 5 are
1. push test button - other switch trips. Power appears off but if you insert the pencil type tester into the hot slot it beeps constantly.

2. reset switch and plug in tester - result is 2 yellows on, red off

3. hold button down on tester - result is immediate trip of GFI, 2 yellows off, red off.
Chart indicates this to be "open hot"

Am I correct that "open hot" would be accurate IF this outlet is grounded?

If, when I get a closer look tomorrow and find no ground wire, would that mean something else?

As for downstream, don't know at this point. There are 2 bathrooms with 3 outlets total and each has a GFI.

Kitchen has 2 GFI's and one appears to be by itself based upon location (will look into that further). 2nd GFI may have 2 outlets downstream (will look into that further also) but they remain "hot" when the GFI is tripped.
Bob Russo
Formerly had 07 Neptune 36PDQ, ISB 325, Allison 2500, Source Trailing Arms and Ride Enhancement Kit, Demco KarKaddy 460SS.
Currently no Motorhome
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:07 AM   #5
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Do not use the voltage present pencil things for testing as they will pick up the voltage inside the outlet.

The little plug in 3 light devices indicate voltage fine.

A portable heater will use real load to check the outlet.

If you want perfect then get a long extension cord and plug in at an outlet that allows the cord to reach every outlet and the panel.

Non gfi.

Mark it with a piece of tape.

Remove cover and look in to check for white wires on tall side, black on short side and bare not where white goes then replace cover.

Now plug cord in and take it to main.

Open cover and make sure all white in one buss and all bare in another.

Now ohm out ground to bare and check for voltage from wide to white and verify zero then ohm it out.

Now you have confirmed ground connections on cord.

Now measure voltage on cord as 120 or so and replace cover.

You can now check ground and power connections with this cord.

If an outlet is wired backwards it will show up as voltage from outlet fat to cord fat.

Pin to pin will read zero when on same side of panel and small pin to small will sometimes read 240 when your cord is on L1 and your outlet is on L2.
Tony & Lori
1989 Country Coach Savannah SE
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Old 04-20-2014, 03:29 PM   #6
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No ground is not a problem with GFCI's. NO trip. or power after tripping is.

It may be that the installer confused the inlet leads with the outlet leads...

GFCI outlets used on both Homes and RV's have two sets of terminals or leads (usually leads) two are to be connected to the power SUPPLY (Back to the breaker box) and the other two are for powering a down-line PROTECTED outlet.. This is why most RV's have a single GFCI, usually in the bathroom (yes I know sometimes it is elsewhere and sometimes there are multiple GFCIs) but the Kitchen and Patio (And dining table) are all protected.

Breaker box==GFCI===Kitchen===Patio

Note I'm only running 2 wires there (OK, equals sign).

IT works great that way.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 04-20-2014, 04:12 PM   #7
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This tool Klein Tools Receptacle Tester - Mills Fleet Farm is very handy for checking correct wiring in outlets, every home and coach should have one. Those pin type devices aren't worth a toot.

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