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three prong tester failure

John Dirks Jr

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Have you ever had a three prong tester fail? I did today for the first time. When I pushed the GFI test button, I got a little fireworks show and not only did the GFI trip, but so did the breaker back at the panel board.

The three prong tester still works for wiring tests but the GFI trip button no longer works. What happened here?

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It's very common. Always carry a spare. It's just what happens with five dollar testers made in China.

I had a spare. Just ordered more.

Do you think I damaged the receptacle contacts such that it should be replaced?

That would be very unlikely.

A resistor probably blew inside the tester.

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I'll go ahead and mention the event in the report and suggest they have an electrician check it. If they want to bill me for it, that's fine.

It sounds like the breaker did what it is designed to do. I would recommend replacing the $20 GFCI simply because it may have a fault that led to the demise of your tool, and because it probably should have tripped immediately, IMO.

Yes, what Jim said, a resistor has fried in the test button circuit. It was supposed to be rated for 5 Watts but cheap components fail. Pop it open and check it out.

I am finding so many GFCI's that stays energized after tripping. I can't believe they are all wired wrong, so now I'm thinking maybe there is an internal fault that happens to them. Then there is the dubious value of paying someone to correct wiring on an old device. Replace it with a correctly wired new unit.

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