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I installed (a few years ago) an extra light in our closet that is just run from a jumper to the existing light. I can have that light on as long as I want, but the moment I turn on my TV or computer (on the same circuit) it trips. I can have my TV or computer on at the same time, but the moment I (or my wife) turns on the light in the closet the breaker trips.

I installed the light using the same 14 gauge cable the house was run with (irritating, wish it was all run with 12-2 or 12-3) and made sure the connections were secure and all connections covered by wire nuts.

I'm at a loss at why this keeps tripping. I've replaced the breaker twice and it will run fine (light on and TV on) for a couple months and then it trips again.

HELP!

  • Why are you using a GFCI breaker? Maybe you should change it out for the current standard, an AFCI. That said, it sounds like you may have a faulty device somewhere. Breakers usually trip for a reason, and it doesn't seem like you've investigated why. – isherwood Nov 21 '17 at 16:01
  • It's a GFCI breaker as it is the bathroom, closet and bedroom. – Scott Padgett Nov 21 '17 at 16:06
  • Did it just start tripping, or has it always been this way? – mmathis Nov 21 '17 at 16:32
  • been like this for awhile now. – Scott Padgett Nov 21 '17 at 17:37
  • What type of fixture did you install? An LED, energy save fluorescent etc? – mikes Nov 21 '17 at 20:50
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Is the GFCI tripping or is it tripping on overload. The best way you can find out is to use an Ammeter and check the load. If it's less than 15A then we can assume you have a ground trip. Usually what we do is replace the ground fault breaker with a standard breaker and install a GFCI receptacle in the bathroom and any other outlet that requires GFCI protection.

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Check all your new work for anything out of the ordinary such as neutrals touching grounds.

Make sure you're using ground only as a safety shield and not as a current return. Stop replacing GFCIs, they're not the problem.

And consider the possibility that you might actually have a ground fault in an appliance. Three GFCI's can't all be wrong. (Unless they're Feit Electric, but I don't think they let those guys make GFCIs.)

  • Normally only the receptacle in the bathroom requires GFCI protection (not the overhead lights or exhaust fan). So you could install a GFCI receptacle connected so as to protect the bathroom receptacle only. Of course, if you already have a GFCI circuit breaker in the panel and have no other use for it, then you may want to keep it and investigate why it is currently tripping. – Jim Stewart Nov 21 '17 at 16:13
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    Reading this question a few times leaves me wondering if the GFCI breaker trip is tripping due to current overload instead of ground fault. – Tyson Nov 21 '17 at 16:21
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    @JimStewart in this context that means "cover up a known problem". Ground faults aren't only bad on GFCI circuits. They're bad on non-GFCI circuits too. – Harper Nov 21 '17 at 17:42

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