I have a circuit connected to an AFCI breaker circuit breaker, which is running into our upstairs bonus room as well as upstairs guest room area. I changed out an outlet in one of the boxes, and suddenly we get a trip in our breaker every so often. The trip stops happening if I disconnect the rest of the outlets in that same sequence, but of course that's not acceptable since the rest of the outlets include those in the guest room.

I'm guessing it's a poorly connected ground wire. When I changed the outlet out I used a Greenie to twist the two ground lines, followed by another small ground line peeking out of the end. I then wrapped that around the ground screw in the outlet. I think maybe I'm not nutting in the two grounds correctly, but is that a common cause of a tripped breaker: a poorly connected ground? If so, is that a newer feature on an AFCI breaker?

  • Are you sure all your other connections are tight? – Tester101 Aug 24 '16 at 17:04
  • I am working on that now, but that was possibility #2. Since the sequence is disconnected the rest of the way, I can work on replacing outlets (more child/tamper proof) along the way and double checking. These are the builder quality generic ones so I figure they should be replaced anyway (?). They are also using the push-in holes on each outlet I noticed. – saigafreak Aug 24 '16 at 17:17
  • What make/model is the tripping AFCI? – ThreePhaseEel Aug 24 '16 at 22:47
  • If the old receptacles are wired using the backstab connectors, you'll want to replace them, or at least rewire them to use the screw terminals. If the AFCI is tripping, it could indicate a loose connection, or a wire slipping out of the terminal. – Tester101 Aug 25 '16 at 0:29
  • 2
    The would be no way for the AFCI to know about a loose ground. Power does not flow down ground unless something is wrong. – Harper Aug 25 '16 at 1:19

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