I could not find the load neutral--it may not even be white in the panel. Do I need to or is it OK to just hook up an extra neutral and go to the neutral bus from the GFCI breaker? Of course I have hooked up the white pigtail from the GFCI breaker already.

More info:

It is individual wiring not Romax so to actually follow the wiring I would have to follow it inside the conduit and keep checking at junction boxes in the attic of the building. But other things have come to light. It would trip even when I tried to set the breaker when the load was not even connected on one and the other one that I purchased which they said was new breakers and they may be but maybe they have a malfunction in them.

The other breaker will trip when I would touch the secondary load neutral which I just connected to the neutral bus in the breaker box it would trip the breaker with our load connected so I think something is wrong with these two breakers.

But I appreciate all the insight. If I can’t find the actual neutral that comes from these outlets I may have to put just a GFI outlet breaker in the metal track where The old outlets are again thank you tom

  • What kind of wiring do you have--non metallic cable (aka Romex) /2 + gnd? Or do you have individual wires in conduit? If the former, then have you followed the hot from the breaker to where the cable enters the box? Oct 18, 2018 at 17:52
  • 1
    If you are in conduit, is it possible that you have either an accidental or deliberate multi-wire branch circuit? How many hot wires (black brown red orange yellow pink blue or purple) are in the conduit? How many neutrals (gray or white)? Oct 18, 2018 at 19:14
  • Can you post photos of where the wiring enters the panel? Oct 18, 2018 at 22:35
  • If you have a multimeter then remove the wires from whatever they're connected to and test VAC on all the wires, only one set of wires should read 120 if it's the first receptacle on the line, which is where a GFCI should be to protect the circuit... and from ground to the one black wire should be your only hot wire...
    – user70085
    Oct 19, 2018 at 10:02

2 Answers 2


You must use the same neutral as the hot or every time you plug in the gfci will trip. GFCI'S work by detecting an imbalance from the hot and neutral. To find the neutral trace the hot wire back to where it enters the box if 1 cable entering the box black, white, and ground that white is the neutral you are looking for, remove that one from the buss and install it in the gfci breaker if only 1 white on the breaker then the white from the breaker to the neutral buss. if your gfci breaker has 2 white wires the white with a black stripe is usually the load neutral. tie white black stripe with the white you removed from the buss the 2nd white from the breaker goes to the location on the neutral buss you removed the wire from or one that is closer to the breaker but it needs to go to the buss now put the hot (black) on the hot side of the breaker , turn off the breaker plug it in then turn the breaker on. Breakers should always be in the off position when removing or installing for safety.

Added from deleted answer info, having multiple wires is a little tougher but not two hard, first turn OFF every breaker that wire comes in from that pipe or the main, this will keep you from being shocked when trying to find the correct one. With the power off on every hot wire that enters the pipe Re there equal numbers of hots to neutrals? If there are less neutrals jump to the bottom where it says MWBC) go to the outlet that you are trying to protect with the GFCI breaker. Pull the outlet, remove the neutral and hot from the outlet and put a wire nut on the 2 wires. Now go back to the panel and use a continuity tester or ohm meter and remove the neutrals that come from that pipe and check for continuity from the hot for the gfci that is turned off and the neutrals. On of the neutrals should have a very low reading less than 10 ohms for most homes. Once you find the correct wire showing a very low value mark that neutral and tape them together hot and neutral. Now if only 1 neutral pull the wire nut at the outlet and separate the hot and neutral and re check the hot and neutral it should not show continuity or now a very high resistance value if so hook the neutral to the gfci breaker explained above install the outlet now time to turn on and it should work.

MWBC if there are less neutrals than hots you have multi wire branch circuits where a neutral is shared by 2 hots on opposite hot legs (L1/ L2). You can use a double pole GFCI and hook the 2 hosts and neutral to the new double pole gfci or pull a new neutral pulling a new wire won't be that hard in pipe but dpGFCI's are expensive and you already have one. The hard part here is finding where these 2 hot wires and neutral go. It will usually be close to the outlet we started with if this was the first outlet on that circuit, once you find where the hot and neutral split at that location I would pull in 2 New neutrals back to the panel using the original neutral as a pull string (you could reuse the wire you pull out by attaching a string and 1 new neutral. But I usually just pull 2 for cases like this). Now you have a neutral on each hot so your gfci will work making sure to get the correct neutral with the hot to do this without thinking I will pull a gray and a white both are legal neutrals but in large facilities gray is usually for "other voltages than 120" like 277 or a 230 3 phase system,,,. In residential it helps to identify multiple neutrals in the pipe., hope this covers every thing, if not comment below this and every one will try to help clear things up for you.


It is my understanding that for a GFCI breaker to work correctly you must connect to the GFCI breaker the neutral that is paired with the hot on the breaker. This must be connected to the neutral conductor path that is at the receptacle which is being protected.

If you would connect a wire from the neutral contact on the GFCI breaker to the bus bar, then any load on the circuit would cause an imbalance and it would trip.

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