Need some advice on an electrical issue I'm having in my new condo.
My bathroom has a GFCI receptacle (similar to this one). I noticed one morning that the LED indicator was out, so I figured something tripped it. I had a hair dryer plugged in, so maybe it shorted out. No biggie, I'll just hit the reset button... but nothing happened. It would not reset! To make things worse the bathroom light and fan were also off. Not sure if it's common to wire these to the GFCI?
So next I went to check the breaker to see if something was tripped, but nothing was. Interestingly there was no specific breaker for the bathroom, so I went flicking breakers one by one. Eventually I discovered that the GFCI was on a "general wall plug" circuit. I toggled this breaker and the GFCI turned back on, along with the light and fan. Great problem solved. Well not exactly. Here's when things get a bit strange.
When turning on the bathroom light, I noticed some heavy flickering. A few minutes later the GFCI triggered. Light went off. Great. To made things worse the hard-wired fire alarm started chirping (indicates loss of power). So apparently now the fire alarm is also wired on the same circuit.
Anyways, I knew the drill now. Press the reset button, toggle the breaker, everything works. Alarm stops chirping.
Later in the evening I had the kitchen (recessed) lighting on, and I went to turn on the living room free-standing light. Guess what? GFCI trips and this light as well as the kitchen lighting went off, and the fire alarm starts chirping.
One more thing to note is that when the GFCI is "working", pressing test works (only bathroom light and fan are disrupted, not any other lights/sockets or fire alarm), and I am able to reset it just fine. It's only when it trips itself there are issues and I can't reset it without toggle the breaker.
So what is going on here? Why does the test button have a different downstream impact over it's "failure" state? Should replacing the GFCI solve the issue?
Any feedback is appreciated!