no trip in bathroom

Hey guys, I have been running into this lately. I use my suretest on a gfci bathroom outlet and get no trip when I send a surge. I have been told that this is ok by other inspectors in my area. The test button works fine. Is there a special circumstance that allows this?

Older, two-wire, systems don’t have an EGC, which is required by testers to trip GFCI circuits.

If the built-in test button works, the GFCI protections works.

Got it thanks. This was a newer home though, built in 99. Tell me this, why on Earth did I pay so much for the suretest when it doesn’t do everything? Oh yeah, I am addicted to toys. Forgot for a second. Here is something else though that I forgot about in my original post. The kitchen GFCI outlet read as an open ground but tripped when tested. Once again, newer house, 1999. I know I’m probably getting in over my head with this one. I did not call anything out on this.

I believe that GFCI outlets don’t need to be grounded in order to work properly, so the fact that it was not grounded would allow it to trip when tested. I believe testing looks for too great of a variance between the hot and neutral legs, usually something like five millamps.

Contact SureTest if your equipment appears not to work properly. If mine did everything I would of had to pay a whole lot more than what I did and any Bozo could call themselves an inspector. Oh wait that’s happening anyway SureTest or not.

To reiterate, GFCI receptacle will work properly without a ground wire, so having an open ground on the receptacle will not reduce the shock protection.

It’s quite possible that the ground wire is not connected at the panel box if your original wiring was not grounded or not connected properly in newer systems. The latter being a repair issue.

Both the grounded and ungrounded GFCI are working properly if pushing the “TEST” button on the face of the receptacle or breaker causes it to loose power. No other test is 100% reliable, especially the GFCI test button on any external tester.

It is amazing to me how many inspectors don’t realize that just because their external tester won’t trip an ungrounded GFCI, it does not mean that the GFCI is not working properly.

Further investigation by a qualified electrician may be necessary to assure you or client of the false-negative response you are experiencing, with the SureTest or other testing devices.

[FONT=Verdana]Be leery of using grounded-plug electronics on an ungrounded circuit. The GFCI will protect occupants from shock, but will not protect equipment from lightning/ spike damage even with a surge protector.[/FONT]

What did the suretest say about the ground ? Isn’t that really what it is supposed to test?

The SureTest will indicate “no ground” if the grounding connection is weak, or non existant.

With a weak ground connection, the test feature will still trip the GFCI.

Generally, a weak ground connection is at the receptacle prong, or even a worn plug on your SureTest. In any event, you can’t just plug it in and expect it to tell you everything. Just like any other instrument/tool, it’s up to the operator to interpret the readings and, if need be, perform additional “tests” in order to make prudent recommendations.

I carry several different testers and spare parts for any which may require them.

I did an inspection once on an existing building with a small addition and found all the receptacles I tested said no ground. The main bonding jumper was missing in the main panel. It had been running that way for years.

Ok…Firstly your investment in a SureTest fine as since older homes to not have a EGC you are simply going to make sure you do not have a reverse polarity issue for the most part on the older receptacles and that they are in working condition and the load tention on the plugs are fine…and not cakes with paint and what have you.

On the Kitchen GFCI…since the house was built in 99…Find it VERY hard to believe it has (2) hole plugs…and that it did not have a EGC…check the panel to ensure it has the correct GEC and is bonded correctly…

If you still get the no ground present at the kitchen GFCI write it up and have it looked at by an electrician…in a 1999 house it should have it…and could be a issue of a loose GEC or quite possibly ( and we know it happens ) none at all…but since you did not state it was in other areas of the house…could be just a loose EGC at the panel or a screwed up GFCI…

Mr. Abernathy, could that have anything to do with the fact that the kitchen GFCi and Hood breakers in the panel were next to each other, the GfCI having the black wire and the Hood having the red? They are supposed to be trip tied in that situation from what I gather. Everything as far as the bonding looked fine. One more thing that I hadn’t seen before, a bedroom outlet was GFCI protected and it shared the wall space with the exterior outlet. The two were basically right behind each other and the bedroom GFCI was the reset for the exterior. Interesting stuff. There are so many ways to shortcut electrical, it takes a while to learn them all, and by the time you do, more ways have been discovered. I have some homework to do. Thank for the info though guys.


The use of a multi-wire circuit on a Kitchen Counter Top Recep. and a Hood Circuit would not be correct…the nec is clear that NOTHING should be on the (2) appliance circuits ( exceptions apply and other areas apply ) but not a hood…and if this is the case they are sharing the NEUTRAL which is a PLAYER in the case of the GFCI Breaker…my opinion is it is wrong and incorrectly done…if that is the case. If it is done BEFORE lets say a GFCI recept…the fact it is sharing a Neutral on a circuit that should be dedicated for Small Appliance Circuits only is wrong…

As for the receptacle on the outside tapped into a bedroom circuit with a GFCI protecting it…nothing wrong with that…a bit chessy if you ask me…

Since we are dealing with a 1999 installation…I wont GO into what would have to be done TODAY…but I am sure others will to totally HIJACK the thread…lol…which is fine…always educates…:slight_smile:

See it could be that in 1999 your AHJ was under 1996…as the 1999 may not have been adopted yet but who knows…anyway it was not unusual to find outdoor GFCI’s, Bathroom GFCI’s together as well on the same circuit…the revisions have since changed those things…

Again while it is TACKY to do what you have stated the EC did…it is not actually a safety issue per say…as it is still protected by the GFCI as it is supposed to be…and this was before many CURRENT revisions started.

P.S…Call Me Paul…:slight_smile: