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My old GFCI would not reset, so I replaced it with a Leviton GFCI. Wired it exactly the same way as the old one, indicator light is white which according to the instructions means it's wired correctly, but it still will not reset.
Could the issue be downline?

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  • power must be on to reset. Often my finger will not be able to press the little button in far enough. I use a plastic sharpie pen or something smaller and non metalic that will not scratch the button as a screwdriver will.
    – RMDman
    Feb 17 at 18:09
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    One must distinguish a GFCI which is defective, from a GFCI which is doing its job exactly as it's designed to. "Won't reset" is the expected response when a ground-faulting appliance is plugged into it, or there is a ground fault on any wires attached to the LOAD terminals. So you must unplug and disconnect all wires from LOAD (including neutrals) for a proper test. Feb 17 at 20:28
  • Thanks so much!
    – jay
    Feb 19 at 15:16

1 Answer 1

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One must distinguish a GFCI which is defective, from a GFCI which is doing its job exactly as it's designed to. "Won't reset" is the expected response when a ground-faulting appliance is plugged into it, or there is a ground fault on any wires attached to the LOAD terminals. So it's inconclusive as a diagnostic of the GFCI itself.

For a meaningful test, you must unplug everything from the GFCI (even/especially things which are 'always' plugged in there)... and any hot or neutral wires attached to LOAD must be temporarily removed from LOAD. If the GFCI holds under those conditions, then the problem is in something you disconnected.

Then you need to work your way down the circuit, unplugging things to see if that clears it, and otherwise find the halfway point in the still-unknown section of the circuit, open up a receptacle and interrupt hot and neutral. That will reveal which side of this break the fault is on.

Those with some experience troubleshooting electrical may think to only interrupt hot, since neutral doesn't matter. That's wrong with GFCIs. Neutral matters.

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