I have a GFCI that does not trip with the plug tester. I tried troubleshooting the issue. I looked in a junction box, and found all the neutral wires coming from the subpanel were all connected at the junction box.

Should I disconnect that neutral from the rest, so that the outlets have a separate neutral? When I try tripping the GFCI with the tester, the neutral light only on the tester goes out but does not trip the GFCI. Also I tried to short the outlet out by touching ground to neutral, and the 15 amp breaker did not trip.

  • Well, your description is very vague. We do not know what "all the neutrals" are. It is possible that they are all part of the same circuit. Also, you cannot "short" a circuit by touching the neutral and ground. This will only trip a GFI breaker, not a standard breaker. Please give a clearer description of your situation. Jun 7, 2015 at 15:20
  • 1
    Touching ground and neutral together will not trip the breaker.
    – Tester101
    Jun 7, 2015 at 22:07
  • Yes I have a sub panel which has two double pole 15 amp breakers each one of the breakers have a single pole on each feeding eg. One line feeding lights and one is feeding a pool filter and a few light fixtures the the other two pole has two lines one for a few outlets running a refrigerator and the other pole has the Gfi. But they used a junction box to branch out of. All four line go into that junction where all the neutrals are together I split the gfi line from the others but, am I suppose to split that gfi neutral also so that it can be like a dedicated circuit to gfi
    – user38388
    Jun 12, 2015 at 19:26
  • Also it is a 120/240 panel old Murray who's whoever wired 30 or more years ago fed it wit a 10/2 or 12/2 can't exactl recall each phase to neutral gives me 120 v what they did was jump the phase with a jumper so that each phase would be hot otherwise only half would be hot it's sort of like a load in and breakers then the neutral bar on the bottom are all separated there but together in the junction box my thought was to separate all neutral at junction box to have a separate neutral going for each circuit being fed
    – user38388
    Jun 12, 2015 at 19:37

3 Answers 3


If you have normal power at the outlet and the outlet tester does not trip it, then there are two options:

  1. The GFI is wired backwards. A GFI has line connections (for incoming power) and load connections (for using the GFI to protect other outlets). If the incoming power is connected to the load, you will get the behavior you describe.
  2. The GFI is defective. This is pretty common.
  • Most GFCI devices will not reset if they're not wired properly.
    – Tester101
    Jun 7, 2015 at 22:09
  • 1
    Nope a tester won't trip an ungrounded GFCI outlet , the GFCI is probably fine.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 8, 2019 at 14:38

If your GFCI outlet only has hot and neutral a tester will not cause it to trip, this dose not you are mis wired but if no ground wire the tester is not able to create the ~6ma hot to ground that mimics a fault. Creating a ground to neutral short won't cause a fault because these are tied together in your main panel and are at the same potential at that point. Pushing the test button is the way to test a ungrounded GFCI outlet.

  1. GFCI wire backwards
  2. GFCI has gone bad
  3. Neutral wire grounding itself after the load side of the GFCI circuit.

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