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Half of my garage does not work due to the GFCI constantly tripping.

Could this be due to cement moving due to freezing weather? The cold weather has moved the ground about 2 inches and I believe the grounded wire came loose or some connection broke. I can reset the outlet and see a flash of light before it breaks again. There are two circuits in the garage and the other side still works.

  • Right below the question and keywords is some words: "share edit close delete flag". Make sure that you are logged in (your avatar picture will be in the top bar) and you will be able to edit your question directly. Be careful not to accidentally create another account; that seems to happen to a lot of people. – Harper Mar 5 at 15:06
  • Hello again. Thanks for finishing the question text, but it still isn't clear what you're asking, besides "could bad wiring cause GFCI trips?", for which of course the answer would be "yes". – Daniel Griscom Mar 5 at 16:41
  • Is the wiring in conduit in or under the slab? Or is in entirely in attic or walls? – Jim Stewart Mar 5 at 19:19
  • Does the GFCI trip immediately upon reset, or is the trip delayed? Are there outlets on the LOAD side of the GFCI? – ThreePhaseEel Mar 5 at 23:53
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A wiring failure due to slab movement is unlikely unless the wiring is in conduit in or under the slab. Is it?

Put in a new GFCI receptacle and see if it works. If a new one doesn't work, you'll have a replacement GFCI on hand for a future failure.

Or if want to go sleuthing, turn off the breaker to this GFCI receptacle, remove the cover, remove the two screws securing the receptacle and pull the receptacle out without disconnecting it. Turn the breaker back on and see if you can reset the receptacle.

If it will reset, then this indicates that the wires are folded in the box in a way that is allowing a ground to contact the hot or a hot to contact the box (if box is metal).

If you have a standard receptacle lying around, put it in place of the GFCI receptacle see if it works. Test it with a 3-prong circuit tester.

My guess is the GFCI receptacle is bad. To test it put it in place of a standard receptacle somewhere in your house that is not protected by a GFCI receptacle or breaker.

  • Thank you! I have gone through your steps and new GFCI did not work. But a standard receptacle worked and the 3-prong showed correct wiring with a ground. Any answers? Or just keep the normal receptacle in place? Thanks! – Mitchell Elmer Mar 7 at 14:42
  • Is this receptacle a terminal one or does the wiring go on to another receptacle or to a light? This additional receptacle might be inside the garage or outside or inside the house (if this is an attached garage). Are you using both the line and the load terminals on the GFCI receptacle? – Jim Stewart Mar 7 at 15:03
  • I am not familiar with the newest GFCI receptacles but on this site someone reported that to reset some new ones you must first press the test button. – Jim Stewart Mar 7 at 15:09
  • Describe in detail this circuit: what size breaker, how many receptacles on the circuit and where in the chain is this GFCI that trips? – Jim Stewart Mar 7 at 19:57
  • From the box, two circuits. One working and one is not. On each circuit, there are 30 amps to a welder outlet then 20 amps to the CFGI outlet. The side that is not working goes to three other recpticals and the garage door openers. The 3 prong test shows all correct wiring in the other outlets. I will try the CFGI reset again. – Mitchell Elmer Mar 7 at 21:30

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