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I have a receptacle that notoriously trips a breaker. However this time the receptacle stopped working as in nothing plugged in will work but will work everywhere else, and it did not trip the breaker. This receptacle is #4 as there are 3 in the garage that proceed it and there are 3 GFCI's that follow it. All the receptacles that proceed it work when you turn the breaker back on, however all of the GFCI's and the problem receptacle do not work. When tested the four that do not work test "hot/grnd reversed" and all the others test "correct". I took each receptacle and GFCI out and saw they are all wired correctly as in black wire to small blade, white to large blade and they are all grounded properly. No idea as to what else to do at this point. Any ideas as to why this receptacle is constantly tripping a breaker, what happened different this time and what to look for on how to fix it?

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    GFCI outlets can be wired to protect their outlets as well as any (regular) outlets after them. Are all your outlets GFCI, with each one protecting itself as well as all those following it in the chain? If so, then that might be a source of difficulty. – Daniel Griscom Apr 29 '16 at 16:11
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    Does the "notorious" outlet pop the breaker while you are plugging something in, or after something has been plugged in for a while? – longneck Apr 29 '16 at 17:02
  • For Daniel, there are 7 outlets in this line. So it goes from the Power box to #1-unprotected to #2-unprotected to #3-unprotected to #4-unprotected to #5-GFCI to #6-GFCI to #7-GFCI. #4 is the unprotected outlet that usually trips the breaker, usually during use, say while using a yard blower. At the moment outlets #4 through outlets #7 are not working and outlets #1 - #3 are working. For Longneck - usually the breaker trips on #4 after being in use. And #4 is actually brand new. – James Mahan Apr 30 '16 at 16:46
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"hot/ground reversed" is troubling. If there is no GFCI protecting that outlet it would mean that any grounded appliance plugged into it becomes hot and will shock you if you brushed against it.

I would gander you need to trace the wires and make sure some joker didn't cross connect the hot and ground wires. On every outlet on the branch double check each wire coming in and going out whether it is hot neutral or ground. Then if that doesn't reveal the evil-doer then do continuity checks on the wires to make sure the wire that's black stays black while it travels through the wall.

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  • "hot/ground reverse" can also be displayed for an open neutral... – ThreePhaseEel Apr 29 '16 at 22:46
  • @ThreePhaseEel that's less bad and for trouble shooting requires checking continuity and ensuring the white is properly connected everywhere. – ratchet freak Apr 29 '16 at 22:49
  • I have checked the wiring and found it to be correct for outlets #4 - #7. I will check the other three and get back to you all. Thanks for all the help – James Mahan Apr 30 '16 at 16:48

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