I completed a home inspection last week where I encountered a problem with a GFCI circuit breaker. As I was inspecting the electrical receptacles. A circuit breaker was tripped in the garage area. I couldn’t reset the breaker. I talked to the owner and she explained that she had this problem a week earlier and called an electrician and the told her it was the GFCI circuit breaker. they reset it. Anyone know why it did not reset? I want to get informed about the issue incase I have this issue again in the future.
Perhaps a ground fault on the circuit.
Defective-time to replace? Planned obsolescence like our cars.
Like anything else… GFCI’s DO NOT last forever. Why didn’t the electrician replace it?
Just put in your report the GFCI didn’t operate properly.
Mark, in the future, when you see a tripped breaker during an inspection, do not try to reset it. Just note it in your report.
It sounds like the breaker tripped like it’s supposed to and the electrician was able to reset it. Do you know how to properly reset a GFCI breaker?
Very good advice…and, that goes for valves too e.g. water, gas, etc.
And yet it tripped again! WHY? Only an idiot would try to restore power to a bad circuit!!
Unless that “idiot” is the one who tripped it with a 3-light tester, or other device, as they were “inspecting the electrical receptacles”. Which is what the OP said they were doing.
Sometimes what was causing it to trip in the first place was probably still plugged into the circuit somewhere down the line
Or, like Jeff said, it is just defective now. They are very sensitive, not as much as AFCI, but it doesn’t take much for them to go bad if they are constantly tripped
This doesn’t go on the report. Just for knowledge
When I come across a gfci outlet that trips but won’t reset. It’s usually because of another gfci outlet between that outlet and the panel on the same line or panel gfci breaker
Yes, I run across these on a few occasions. (redundant GFCIs). From experience I have noticed GFCI control receptacles and also GFCI breakers when located in a dusty environments (as in Garages or outside) seem to fail to reset or will be finicky when trying to reset them. Usually if you can pop and reset a few times (what we called cycling, switches and breakers in aviation). They would start working normally. However probably best to just call them out so they don’t become an issue for your client later.
I confess, I have a habit of trying to figure out the actual problem more often than I should…best to call it out and be done with it.
Hi Mark, Maybe the breaker is going out. It gets hot then trips and wont reset until it cools off. That’s why the electrician had success. It had cooled off. There’s a heat tolerance that governs breakers. That’s what I was told by an Engineer at the Hospital. Something to consider next time use infra red to see if the breaker is too hot.
Is it possible that GFCI may be downstream from another? I had a problem like that one time and found a 2nd GFCI outlet that activated it in a “reset”.