enter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description here So I had GFCI outlets put into the garage to use for Christmas lights outside. After installing, the christmas lights all work great but when I flip the switch in the foyer for the lights at the end of the driveway, the new outlets in the garage trip. Is this normal? Something maybe related...there are four lights at the end of the driveway, one of the lights has been out for a while and still wouldn't turn on even with placing a new bulb in. Should I take the light apart and check for faulty wiring or could the gfci be incorrectly installed? Thanks.

ADDED IMAGES : I added images for all things involved. The wiring in the garage, the light switch, and the one light at the end of the driveway that doesn't turn on. Any help is appreciated. Thanks again

  • Can you post photos of the wiring in the GFCI boxes? This smells of miswired neutrals to me... Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 13:25
  • I will as soon as I get home. Posted this before I left for work. Thanks.
    – Jerry
    Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 14:25

1 Answer 1


Sounds pretty clear to me (and likely) that there was a phase to ground fault in the lights before you added the GFCI, that went unnoticed until now.

They might be wired wrong (if someone swapped ground and neutral). But most likely, there's a fault connecting neutral and ground somewhere beyond the switch.

To confirm this, disconnect the lights from the switch and use a multimeter to measure resistance between hot and neutral, then hot to ground and neutral to ground. If things were in good working order, you would have infinite resistance (no connection) between ground and neutral, and between ground and hot. Instead, you will likely find one of the two is conducting to ground. To locate this fault, you will have to divide the system at each wiring junction and re-test.

One last possibility (given this particular circuit is outdoors) is that the ground wire to the lights is electrically isolated from the physical soil, and that current is leaking from hot into the soil. This would be more difficult to test.

I would narrow in on any outdoor construction that took place or any spikes put into the earth near where the wire is buried. Probably something nicked the insulation and the moisture in the earth is leaking current from it.

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