We had our GFCI fault yesterday afternoon,we thought it was the GFCI since we replaced it yrs ago and they do go bad sometimes. We bought a new one, put it in same wiring as the previous and it did not work. We checked the adjoining receptacles that were part of that circuit to the GFCI. GFCI is in master bath, affects light switch, hall bathroom wall receptacles and outside carport receptacle. Checked them all, replaced receptacles just to be sure. Still nothing. The line shows power but not load. We checked wires for hot, etc. We even switched out breaker box breaker. The breaker switch also controls some other receptacles & lights. Now we find two of the wall receptacles that are not part of the GFCI are not working. Note: We did have huge rain yesterday, thought it may be moisture driven but found no evidence. Even went to attic to check, nothing. Any ideas???? We are totally stumped.

  • When you say "it's not working" does that mean no power or it keeps tripping? Jul 10, 2022 at 19:18
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    You are throwing parts at this without doing a proper diagnosis. Breakers very seldom fail. A simple volt meter test would have told you if the breaker was OK or not. Jul 10, 2022 at 19:20
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    sorry for grammar. no power on the gfci, it cant trip cause it has no power on the load. the line has power by the tester. We're heading to lowes for better tester. No receptacles in line have any power.
    – user153960
    Jul 10, 2022 at 19:23
  • The breaker was fine, he just wanted to change it since its old. sorry that i'm not great at typing. just trying to help him out. its not tripping because it wont reset at all.
    – user153960
    Jul 10, 2022 at 19:27
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    Just to be clear, are you saying that you can't reset the breaker? (In other words, when you flip the switch does it immediately click and flip to the middle?) If so, you have a wiring short. Jul 10, 2022 at 19:39

1 Answer 1


A GFCI/receptacle has two sets of screw connections - line and load.

Any time you have problem, the first step is to disconnect the load wires. With load disconnected, the only things that matter are:

  • The GFCI/receptacle itself. These can go bad. They can also get water in them which can cause intermittent trips (or failure to reset) until they are totally dried out - that is by design.
  • No incoming power - e.g., hot or neutral not connected properly to the line side.

So if with load disconnected you still can't get the GFCI to reset, check voltage between the incoming hot & neutral wires. If it is ~ 120V and the connections are solid then you likely have a bad GFCI/receptacle. If you don't have ~ 120V then the problem is at the breaker or someplace between the breaker and the GFCI/receptacle.

If replacing the GFCI/receptacle does not solve the problem then temporarily install a regular, non-GFCI, receptacle. If that works then there is something wacky going on. If that doesn't work then the problem is in the breaker or the wiring between the breaker and the receptacle.

If you either get a good result when load is disconnected or you replace the GFCI/receptacle and it works, double-check for 120V on the load connections and, assuming that shows ~ 120V, then you reconnect the load wires. If everything works, great. If you get an immediate trip then one of the receptacles or other devices connected via load has a ground fault. If you don't get an immediate trip but you get a trip when you plug in and/or turn on a particular device then that is the source of your problem.

  • thanks, tester indicates "hot & ground reversed"?
    – user153960
    Jul 10, 2022 at 21:08
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    What you need here is a multimeter. Then you can check the line side wires connected (should show ~120V). And disconnected (hanging carefully in mid-air - turn off breaker, disconnect the wires and separate widely from each other from ground and from metal box, turn on breaker, check voltage, turn off breaker, reconnect). Should be black to hot, white to neutral, if bare or green wire present that connects to ground - all connections on GFCI should be pretty clear. Nothing to load (which should initially have come with tape covering the load hot & neutral screws). Jul 10, 2022 at 21:33
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    we checked the receptacles again after the GFCI reset and is functioning and all are working and TESTING correctly now as is the GFCI. We did test and reset checking the receptacles response to test and all worked perfectly. NOW we just have to figure out how& where moisture is getting to the GFCI or its joined receptacles. Whew !! THANKS to all for responses and offers of help.
    – user153960
    Jul 10, 2022 at 22:11
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    THANK YOU so much for taking the time out of your day to respond to our crisis and help in troubleshooting to resolve. THANK YOU
    – user153960
    Jul 10, 2022 at 22:20
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    The proper way to say "thank you", @Becka, is to click the up-vote arrow next to any answer that helps you and to click the check-mark for the one that helped the most. This also helps others to know that the issue has a solution - good for those who are looking to answer questions so they don't need to spend time answering one that has already been resolved for the OP, and good for others with a similar problem to know that a question has a resolution that worked for someone else.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 11, 2022 at 0:12

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