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What's the trick?


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A GFCI breaker shouldn't be hard to find, but I know what you mean about GFCI receptacles. The worst are the exterior outlets on "older" homes. Might be protected from the garage, the bathrooms, the kitchen, another exterior outlet, or just the other side of the wall. My only "trick" is to listen carefully when I test them. You can often hear the click coming from inside the house and tell roughly where it came from.

But...there is no magic formula that I know of for finding the tripped GFCI in a cluttered garage. Sometimes, you just have to dig. I've had to move endless boxes, the crap on shelves, sometimes the actual shelves, and full freezers to reset GFCI's. You could try to find the GFCI's before testing any other required location, but that doesn't always work and would be a bigger waste of time if they don't actually exist.

Last resort, and I've used it 2 or 3 times, is to leave a note for the seller. Just make sure you aren't "defrosting" a fridge or freezer full of food!

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You test an outlet, it pops the GFCI somewhere? I spend more damn time finding the GFCI Outlet that popped or GFCI breaker. What's the trick....come on, I know there are some techniques out there!

I rarely have that problem. The locations are usually pretty standard around here.

Listen carefully when you trip it. You'll get a general idea of the location from the sound.

Think like an electrician. How would you route the circuit?

Become familiar with the habits of your local electricians.

When all else fails, delegate. Buyers & realtors love chasing down stuff like this, really.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Yeah, newer homes are normally no problem...as Jim says, pretty much standard locations. 70's and 80's are the ones I sometimes have problems with.

I just had a thought...

Instead of those little "GFCI Protected" stickers that no one uses, the stickers should be "GFCI Protected from ________".

Too late to help us though.

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The trick is don't pop-um yet. Familiarize yourself with the house both inside and out.

Look carefully in the garage if you don't see a gfci in the garage watch out and if you see a freezer or refrigerator watch out.

Make sure before you leave that house that both the refrigerator and freezer are on.

As Jim said listen for the pop.

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Originally posted by Richard Moore

... Just make sure you aren't "defrosting" a fridge or freezer full of food!

And so, I tempted fate and, of course, I get my first message today saying I had left power off at the freezer yesterday! It was actually just a "BTW" in a message thanking me for my services, but I feel bad. It was a pre-listing in a partially re-wired 1914 house with an old, small feezer in the basement. I really don't remember tripping anything that I didn't immediately reset but, obviously, I did.

Fortunately, real nice clients, who said there was only $40-$50 worth of food in there and they did not ask me to pay for it. So...I think I'll send them a $50 gift certificate to QFC or Safeways.

I am definately not going to post that I haven't yet put my foot through a ceiling. Oops!

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Another approach is to trigger the GFCIs only at the GFCI receptacles , or breaker panels themselves. That way you are sure you can reset it. Worst case is you might not be able to find all the other protected receptacles on the circuit. Up here in the great white north we don't put fridges and freezers on GFCI circuits, I guess because we dont keep fridges outside and garage receptacles dont require GFCI.

T Dot

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Keith,

That's one of the coolest parts of this forum - reading about other locales. Obviously, our refrigerators are normally one very large freezer, but it's good to listen to others' experience. Especially with global warming and all [:-hot][:-tong2]

Originally posted by inspecTDot

Another approach is to trigger the GFCIs only at the GFCI receptacles , or breaker panels themselves. That way you are sure you can reset it. Worst case is you might not be able to find all the other protected receptacles on the circuit. Up here in the great white north we don't put fridges and freezers on GFCI circuits, I guess because we dont keep fridges outside and garage receptacles dont require GFCI.

T Dot

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Originally posted by Richard Stanley

"garage receptacles dont require GFCI."

In Canada??

Receptacles inside the garage dont require GFCI in Canada. Outdoor receptacles less than 2.5 m above ground do, and carports (not specified) but really they are outside so should have the GFCI. Good for us because I believe fridges and freezers can cause nuisance tripping of GFCIs. In U.S is it true that some exemptions from GFCI requirements may be allowed if access to the receptacle is blocked by something not easily moved ,such as a fridge or stove?

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Originally posted by Richard Stanley[/i]

" In U.S is it true that some exemptions from GFCI requirements may be allowed if access to the receptacle is blocked by something not easily moved ,such as a fridge or stove?

Yep.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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