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In my kitchen, I installed a GFCI but it will not work if I put one receptacle on its Load. I press reset and see the lights come on, but it immediately trips. If I put the wires in Line only, or remove the receptacle wiring, the GFCI works (so does the other receptacle if it's in Line). I have tried two new GFCIs and they do the same thing. The multimeter shows 120V, and the receptacle tester shows green for both outlets

Here's the set up: Breaker -- GFCI -- Receptacle

What's the deal?

  • Most likely a wiring error, but without photos or a diagram of what you've done - couldn't say what exactly. – brhans Jun 18 '17 at 19:25
  • It's either a wiring error or a ground fault -- where is this other receptacle located? – ThreePhaseEel Jun 18 '17 at 20:36
  • @ThreePhaseEel It's located in the kitchen, about 4 feet away in the same wall. The kitchen sink is between them. – LampShade Jun 18 '17 at 21:26
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    Zero resistance between the neutral and the ground means they are shorted. This is a ground fault which will trip the GFCI receptacle. It is supposed to be open circuit (infinite resistance) between the neutral and the ground of the other receptacle if it is disconnected from the GFCI receptacle. Either the neutral and ground are nutted together or a nail has connected them. The line wires to the GFCI go back to the panel where the neutral and ground are bonded. This is a long path and could well be 1 ohm so this makes sense. – Jim Stewart Jun 24 '17 at 21:12
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    Disconnect the receptacle and check the resistance between the neutral and the ground of the receptacle. Should be infinite = open circuit. If not then the receptacle is shorted internally. Now check the resistance between the neutral and gnd of the wires (disconnected on both ends). This should be infinite (open circuit). If the neutral and gnd wires are shorted look in the box for the disposer receptacle. The cable may "pass through" it and be improperly connected there. – Jim Stewart Jun 24 '17 at 21:20
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The best way to see if your circuit to your receptacle is bad is to get a piece of romex and a receptacle and make up a test circuit. If you do this make sure all bare screws and wires are insulated and there is no exposure for electric shock. Anyway connect the new circuit you just made to your GFCI. If the GFCI tripped then you are making it up wrong. If the GFCI resets then you have a wiring problem in your circuit. It may not cure the problem but at least it will point you in the right direction to look for the problem.

  • Do these GFCI receptacles trip just due to the existence of a neutral to ground path or does there have to be a load, i.e., current flowing.? – Jim Stewart Jun 19 '17 at 16:55
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    Just answered this by putting a jumper between the neutral and the ground of a GFCI receptacle. It tripped. So the slight voltage difference between neutral and ground at the receptacle causes enough current to flow through the neutral to trip the GFCI. A significant load is not necessary to trip a GFCI. A nail penetrating a cable could trip a GFCI. – Jim Stewart Jun 19 '17 at 18:46
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    @JimStewart I ended up replacing the entire run from the Breaker to two outlets. The issue was the cabinet installers drove a nail through the Romex between the GFCI and other receptacle. From the Breaker to GFCI it was found that mice got to the cable as well. Thanks! – LampShade Apr 24 '18 at 17:53

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