I was replacing a outdoor GFI when putting back in box the ground touched the lower unused terminal and fried the ground, shorted GFI out. Now I have some switches in the house that do not work mainly on off switches and 2 standard outlets. No breakers are tripped?

All other GFI's in house work, What might I check next? I have not tried a new outdoor GFI yet.

  • 2
    Why in the world are you changing a GFI unit with the power turned on??
    – Michael Karas
    Dec 7, 2015 at 13:53
  • Do you have any idea whether the switches and outlets you mention are connected to the GFCI outlet?
    – isherwood
    Dec 7, 2015 at 14:18
  • They are not, Before it was changed that outdoor outlet was not working , And everything else was find
    – Jeff
    Dec 7, 2015 at 14:32
  • Check the breaker again. When breakers trip, they sometimes don't flip all the way to the OFF position. They open the circuit, but the handle sits in a "tripped" state rather than the off position.
    – Tester101
    Dec 7, 2015 at 14:50

2 Answers 2


It sounds like you fried the GFCI. 2 things that I Usually to to make it safe. turn the power off. With double gang or metal boxes wrap a couple layers of electrical tape around the terminals of the outlet or switch. Replacing the GFCI would be my first step. the outlet may work but not pass power to the other devices.

  • 1
    "lower unused terminal" is what Jeff shorted out - so I don't think there's anything on the load side of that GFI.
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 7, 2015 at 14:22

two possible causes but the most obvious one i see is when the short took place it burnt an already failing connection open somewhere in the building. start at the breaker box and turn off all the breakers then turn them on one by one and map them then turn them back off. this will allow you to find the other part of the circuit that still works. once found go through every box in the house starting at the end nearest the breaker panel. (by every box i mean look everywhere for them attic basement/crawlspace unfinished areas of the house) if you suspect hidden boxes get a very strong magnet and run it over the walls and ceilings a portable am/fm radio with a telescopic antenna works to to trace wires in walls) but a tool kit you can get at platt or amazon works well also use the probe by itself to follow the 60hz signal emitted by ac wiring to follow its path.

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