Unusual GFCI config

I had an unusual situation yesterday - a 2-story house, 6 BR, 3 baths. The GFCI for the downstairs bath tripped in the kitchen GFCI outlet. Another kitchen GFCI outlet has a crossed polarity - hot/neutral reversed, and then a 3rd GFCI just doesn’t trip at all!
Some electrician is going to make some easy money I’m thinking. The homeowner was present and said he’d get them fixed today.

interesting Andrew…the person who put them in must have been drinking that day and could not read the line and load markings on the GFCI.

I did want to make a good point to all you guys in Florida. Many of the older GFCI’s have a MOV electronic circuit within them that does wear out. Many times on the older GFCIs that do fail and a study was shown that nearly 40% of older GFCI’s in a test do fail and sadly in the CLOSED position making the GFCI HOT even when it is not working properly.

If you are in an area that is prone to alot of lightning and consumers complain their GFCI’s tripped during a lightning storm, keep that in mind as the MOV within the GFCI does have a life span and once it is toast it will loose it’s function.

If you ever get a case where you test the GFCI ( and you should on every one visible ) and it is HOT but wont reset…chances are it is a defective circuit board in and MOV is destroyed and should be replaced without question and be aware that many older GFCI’s would fail in the CLOSED position making them work like a normal receptacle without the personal protection of the GFCI and clients will never know this unless they test them properly…remind the clients to test them monthly at the device.

That is why the GFCI standard was changed. A miswired GFCI will not reset after a test if it is miswired.

Paul - thanks for the great info. Strangely enough, the homeowner showed me the HI report from when he purchased in 2004, shows the same problem wiht the same outlets. He swears he got it fixed - now he’s calling that electrician… oops!

Yeppers…thank goodness for changes and advancement but the HI’s will see ALOT of older GFCI’s in their inspections as well…seems to be a larger issue in areas where lightning is increased and a POOR or MISSING GES

Ssome flaky GFCI’s will show hot and ground reversed until they are tripped and reset. Don’t know why but another inspector I know has seen the same thing. If they can do hot/gnd then hot/neut is possible too. It’s possible that it finally stayed in the failure mode and the previous “repair” just managed to scare off the symptom for awhile.

Hmmm… good thought - I did trip/reset this one several times, but I’ll keep that in the back of my mind… Thanks.