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I have a GFI receptacle in my kitchen that feeds four other receptacles.

It tripped the other day and I cannot get it to reset. All of the other receptables on the circuit are not functioning which is to be expected. I first thought it was a bad GFI receptacle so I replaced it to no avail.

I then checked power at the electrical panel and all of the breakers for the house appear to be providing power. The breakers for the GFI receptacles in the bathrooms have test buttons on them and trip when it is pressed, however the kitchen GFI breakers are standard non GFI breakers.

The confusing part is that when I go to the GFI receptacle I am not seeing the 120V power on my meter that I am seeing in the other working receptacles in the house and at the electrical panel. I checked both sets of wires coming into the receptacle and various combinations of hot and neutral just to be sure I was testing the correct wires. One pair gives me 3.9V and the other 0.04V.

I have gone through and verified that all of the other GFI receptacles in the house are functioning correctly so I don't think it is a separate GFI feeding this one that is causing the problem.

What would the next steps for testing this problem be? It was functioning correctly before it tripped so I am assuming that it is not a wiring issue that would require an electrician at this point.

I have a meter and all of the necessary tools to do any of the work I am just not sure where to begin troubleshooting.

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Do you know what caused the GFCI to trip in the first place? –  Tester101 Oct 11 '11 at 17:18
    
Because it was working, does not mean there is not a problem with the wires. A problem with the wiring could have caused the trip, and will have to be located and fixed before the GFCI will work again. –  Tester101 Oct 11 '11 at 17:39
    
Some undercabinet lights were plugged in and an espresso machine was turned on which caused it to trip. –  amarcy Oct 11 '11 at 17:59
    
I'd check the receptacle where the espresso machine/lights were plugged in (assuming it's not the GFCI), it might be bad causing the GFCI to not reset. –  Tester101 Oct 11 '11 at 19:46
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1 Answer

up vote 10 down vote accepted

I would start troubleshooting by disconnecting the Load side of the GFCI, this will tell you if the problem is upstream or downstream from the receptacle.

  1. Turn off the breaker supplying the GFCI.
  2. Disconnect the wires on the Load side of the GFCI.
  3. Turn the breaker back on.
  4. Press the reset button on the GFCI.

If the GFCI resets with nothing connected to the load terminals, you'll want to look for a short/problem in the lines and devices supplied by the GFCI. If the GFCI does not reset with nothing connected to the load terminals, you'll have to trace the line back to the breaker looking for shorts/problems along the way.

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Exactly what I was going to say - disconnect everything "downstream" and reconnect one at a time. –  The Evil Greebo Oct 11 '11 at 17:32
    
Turned out to be a loose connection at the breaker in the electrical panel. –  amarcy Oct 13 '11 at 18:07
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