I have an electrically powered Drop-shade that is hot-wired to the load side terminals of my GFCI. The GFCI is a dedicated circuit there are no other outlets daisy chained to this GCFI.

It worked fine for a month or two then fails and is not able to Reset. The Reset button can be depressed but does not give that detente click but just springs back.

I have had 2 of these GFI's fail. I called Levaton they said the load terminals cannot be used to connect a direct load but only are there to connect downstream non gfci outlets that need gf protection. This seems counter intuitive as any load connected to a downstream outlet is directly connected to the load terminals on the parent GFCI.

Maybe there's something else in play that I don't know about but if I replace the non-functioning GFCI with a new one it probably will be like watching the same movie again and i am hoping for a different ending.

Any thoughts

  • 1
    1) How is the dropshade supposed to be wired? Is it designed to be permanently connected to the house wiring, or is it a plug-in unit that you've "hot wired" by snipping the plug off of it and attaching it to the back of the outlet? 2) If Levaton says their receptacles aren't designed for the purpose for which you're trying to use them, the it seems likely that you'll continue to experience the same failure modes in the future. 3) is there any particular reason you feel this shade needs to be GFCI protected? Could you pig-tail it to the wiring before the receptacle instead?
    – FreeMan
    Jun 10, 2020 at 16:49
  • 2
    That is just stupid a load is a load no matter if it is plugged into the receptacle or the load side. The problem is GFCI’s don’t last long on motor loads because the inductive kickback from the motor kills them. Do you really need GFCI protection on this dedicated circuit?
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 10, 2020 at 17:03
  • "Cause you can tell by the lines I'm reciting, That I've seen that movie too" (Elton John, Bernie Taupin)
    – Alaska Man
    Jun 10, 2020 at 17:40
  • It turns out I had a case of that "new" virus going around.. DAV19 (DumbAss19). I could never figure out what one switch by my back sliding door controlled... it was the outlet into which the shade is connected!!. It's not inverted in the protective cover so I didn't put 2 and 2 together. Flipped the switch and the shade woke up.... Thanks for everyone's help. Bad news... there's no DAV19 vaccine in the pipeline....
    – Dezertman
    Jun 13, 2020 at 16:55

1 Answer 1


Yeah, the Leviton rep didn't understand. Perhaps you should change that to a deadfront if it's a dedicated circuit as you say.

But congratulations, you have overcome the usual GFCI fallacy: "The GFCI must be defective! MY appliances don't have ground faults, those only happen to other people!"

Indeed, I would follow SOP when chasing a GFCI trip: first remove everything from the LOAD side, see if that clears it. If it does, divide and conquer the LOAD side appliances and wiring until it clears. What you narrow it down to is faulty; you can either try to fix or replace it...

... or determine that GFCI is not required or useful for that device. Which is what you do with refrigerators or freezers.

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