Testing GFCI's

During a recent inspection of a home that was built in 2004, I had a GFCI receptacle that would not reset. By this point I had already tripped 3 or 4 GFCI’s in the home with my receptacle tester (as per normal for me). I noted this with a picture in the inspection report that this specific GFCI receptacle would not reset. 2 weeks later, the Realtor representing both parties, informs me of this. Adding that the homeowners wifi unit was recently found to be “fried” due to the battery exploding. I know this is what insurance is for, just looking for comments. Does anyone else check every GFCI?

EVERY GFCI is checked. If it would not reset, it could be: miswired, downline of another gfci you may have already tested, or a bad gfci. Regardless, it would have nothing to do with a battery “frying”.

Yes we always did and if found a bad one left A note for all to see .
I do not think you are responsible for their Computer .

Funny how the minute anything breaks, someone wants to blame it on an Inspector. A non-resetting GFCI outlet would not cause a malfunction in any electronic device that was operating properly.

There is no cause and effect correlation there. Even if there was a GFCI device is made to trip and can do so at any time. Any device plugged into a GFCI circuit, needs to be able to handle a sudden loss of power or be installed on a UPS device.

Thanks for your comments.

I agree with everyone ELSE and next question is WHAT outlet the WiFi was plugged into that put it with a GFCI.

I know I’ve seen WiFi in Kitchens, unfinished basements, etc BUT where was his WiFi at ???

Greetings Tim,

Yes, every GFCI Device should be tested with your supplemental tester as well as via the test button on the actual GFCI itself. As you should know, many GFCI Devices will not activate using the supplemental tester due to the fact that many GFCI’s used in older homes with older wiring do not have an EGC (Equipment Grounding Conductor) within the branch circuit (older homes) and the GFCI is being used as a safety enhancement as well as to facilitate 3-prong plug replacements. Since the GFCI supplemental tester utilizes the EGC of the branch circuit for it’s function, the lack of a EGC will “fool” your little supplemental tester so as a rule always double check with the actual device test button when in doubt.

All of which you may already know…but always a good reminder.

2 weeks to find out.? Why would a GFCI cause a wifi to go bad to begin with?

I am sure it didn’t…they just wanted someone to blame.:mrgreen:

Thanks Paul.:slight_smile:

What wifi routers (I assume you mean a router) have batteries in them? Did you go back to verify the damage?

Nice post. :slight_smile:

For this reason when testing outdoor GFCI’s with metal covers I would avoid the plug-in tester completely. If the GFCI receptcle is fed from a circuit with no EGC when you press the test button the metal cover that you’re holding open with your hand will become energized while you’re standing, or worse, kneeling on the ground.

That’s why I leave my GFCI tester in place and take a picture while pushing the test button, and note GFCI not functional in my report with pic. included.

Nowadays you need to document everything, and you need to cover yourself.

Equally Nice Post…The Minds of Electricians!

Thanks Paul and Robert great reminder to all, Much appreciated … Roy