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Old 12-30-2017, 12:32 PM   #1
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Default No power with device connected?

So I have ran into this issue a few times in my career and it again just happened yesterday.
Got a call, no power to gfci in bathroom. It's a new plug and wire. Ran from it's own breaker 10 feet away in panel. It's a small apt. I pulled device out of box, wires still attached and put volt meter to screws. Nothing. Phase-ground. Nothing. And yes breaker was on. So I remove device, put meter across hot-neutral, 123v. Phase-ground, 123v. I put device back on wire, Nothing!
Why am I reading voltage when no device is on the line? Again, this has happened a few times and some of my more seasoned friends don't understand it either. Any input would be great. Thanks.

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Old 12-30-2017, 12:57 PM   #2
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If you are measuring the receptacle slots (where the plug goes in) it might be tripped.
Are you taking the reading from the wired connections is what I mean.
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Old 12-30-2017, 12:58 PM   #3
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If you are measuring the receptacle slots (where the plug goes in) it might be tripped.
Are you taking the reading from the wired connections is what I mean.
That's the thing I don't take readings from the slots. I always put my probes directly on the screw terminals where the wire terminates.

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Old 12-30-2017, 01:13 PM   #4
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What kind of meter are you using? Digital?
Have you tested your meter on a known good power source?
Do you have a solenoid tester? A way to test with a bit of load on it?
Do you have a pigtail with light bulb? You could connect it with wire nuts to see.

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Old 12-30-2017, 01:14 PM   #5
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You have a loose connection ahead of the GFI I would suspect. Not enough power for the GFI and your tester.


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Old 12-30-2017, 01:17 PM   #6
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Sounds like induced voltage to me.

As others said, put a wiggy on it
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Old 12-30-2017, 01:17 PM   #7
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A GFI presents a very small load to a circuit. If there's a very poor connection somewhere, it would read hot with no load and 0 with load.

If you're using a digital meter, you may be reading ghost voltage with no load.

Check voltage at the panel, specifically the load side of the breaker. Check each conductor in the cable for continuity. Applying an actual load will be better than using a meter.

A broken wire inside a cable that has blown apart will give the symptoms you describe.
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Old 12-30-2017, 01:25 PM   #8
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So I have done everything you guys have stated. And there is no loose connection upstream since it's directly from breaker to plug. I tested without device and it reads normal with a digital meter. I put a new gfci on and everything was good to go. Just wondered if anyone had this issue before.

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Old 12-30-2017, 01:52 PM   #9
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What meter are you using
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Old 12-30-2017, 01:54 PM   #10
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Klein digital multi meter. Don't know the exact model number.

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Old 12-30-2017, 01:56 PM   #11
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I hate the term but you are probably getting ghost voltage. use a wiggy or voltcon. Or just plug a load in it. My guess is a tripped breaker or faulty connection.
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Old 12-30-2017, 02:00 PM   #12
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I hate the term but you are probably getting ghost voltage. use a wiggy or voltcon. Or just plug a load in it. My guess is a tripped breaker or faulty connection.
No everything was fine when i put a new gfci in. I thought I was getting ghost voltage cause I had about 2v leakage when the breaker was off.
A friend of mine thinks the insides could have melted and plastic covered the metal and therefore no power to screws.

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Old 12-30-2017, 02:14 PM   #13
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Let me guess. Leviton gfi.


And looking at the info you described in this thread, they probably made your meter as well........
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Old 12-30-2017, 02:17 PM   #14
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If I'm right and it is Leviton, ever since NEMA has requested (required?) they produce gfi outlets with self testing capability , self testing failures resulting in device total failure has become commonplace. It's just like faulty afci breakers, you spend money twice and the company gets rich. I can't wait till car manufacturer's learn all about this new scam........
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Old 12-30-2017, 02:25 PM   #15
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Haha yes it was leviton. I replaced with Seymour I believe it was. But unless Klein is partnered with leviton, they didn't make my meter.

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Old 12-30-2017, 02:40 PM   #16
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My meter.

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Old 12-30-2017, 03:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
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My meter.

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I think Mike is referring to country of origin
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Old 12-30-2017, 03:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
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No everything was fine when i put a new gfci in. I thought I was getting ghost voltage cause I had about 2v leakage when the breaker was off.
A friend of mine thinks the insides could have melted and plastic covered the metal and therefore no power to screws.

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There shouldn't be that type of connections inside the device that melted plastic would do as described, doesn't sound legit to me.
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Old 12-30-2017, 03:29 PM   #19
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Ive seen gfi's do the melt down. Usually loose connections and hair dryers to blame.
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Old 12-30-2017, 03:35 PM   #20
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I've seen them melt as well but if inside is melted there's always signs outside of device as well. The gfci looked brand new like it wasn't even used yet. It just honestly baffles me. If this happened once I'd say ok there was a glitch in the matrix, but for this to be about the 5th time I ran into this situation has me wondering what on earth could it be?!

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