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Old 01-08-2015, 01:48 PM   #1
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New Owner electric question on GFCI

I'm a new owner of a 2013 Escape 19 (2nd owner) and have made one short camping trip with no problems. Now that the trailer is in the driveway I have it plugged into a normal 120 outlet in my garage (with adaptor plug). The two GFCI plug outlets (by the front door and outside) are tripped and will not reset. I do not remember testing these two outlets while camping. Is this a problem because of being plugged into the household 120 or do I have a larger problem. All other 120 outlets test fine. Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:57 PM   #2
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Hi: Double D... Some times a minute amount of corrosion on the end of the wires is enough to trip the GFCI. My Bro-in-law had this happen at our place with his behemoth 5th. wheel. This is why I don't like push on wire conectors...if that's what they are.
I'd check the out side one first!!! Alf
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Old 01-08-2015, 02:46 PM   #3
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Code compliant GFCI receptacles (symbol of a padlock on front cover of device) are self testing . If the internal components of the GFCI are not functional ,the receptacle will trip and not allow you to reset . Older GFCI receptacles could be reset even if the ground fault protection was not functional . Shut off the power to the GFCI ,remove the GFCI from its junction box ,disconnect the wire from the terminals marked "Load" ,reenergize the circuit and reset the GFCI If the GFCI holds then the problem is probably down stream . If you can NOT reset the GFCI ,the GFCI receptacle is probably defective
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:03 PM   #4
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If two independent GFCI receptacles are tripping, I would suspect the garage connection rather than a problem with both GFCIs. It is rare for them to fail; 2 at the same time is pretty unlikely.

A GFCI will also not reset unless it is getting power. I'd first check the breaker that feeds them.

Another thing that would cause the problem is to have the hot & neutral switched (sometimes called reverse polarity) on the input to the trailer. This could be caused by a miswired garage receptacle, the adapter or extension cord. A 3 light tester would identify the problem.

If the 3 light tester indicates that all the receptacles (of course excepting the dead GFCIs) test OK, that is when I'd turn off the power & pull the GFCI receptacle, turn on the power & use a meter to insure there is power reaching the input of the receptacle. Steve's suggestion of checking downstream is a good one, although I don't believe there is a "downstream" for the outside receptacle (at least there isn't one in the 17).

Again, if both GFCIs have a problem, I'd suspect the feed to the trailer, although as second owner, you do have to consider any "modifications" done by the previous owner...
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
If two independent GFCI receptacles are tripping, I would suspect the garage connection rather than a problem with both GFCIs. It is rare for them to fail; 2 at the same time is pretty unlikely.
. ...
This was my first thought as well.
I quick alternate test would be to plug your adapter into a receptacle on a different circuit. ( E.G. where the washing machine plugs in) and see if you get a different result.
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
If two independent GFCI receptacles are tripping, I would suspect the garage connection rather than a problem with both GFCIs. It is rare for them to fail; 2 at the same time is pretty unlikely.

Again, if both GFCIs have a problem, I'd suspect the feed to the trailer, although as second owner, you do have to consider any "modifications" done by the previous owner...
My thoughts exactly. The chance of two GFCI's failing at the same time. More than remote.

I see the term adapter being used; two prong or three? Also, reverse polarity is so common, especially if there's been any previous "homeowner" wiring. So as has been said, determine that your garage outlet is wired correctly with an inexpensive tester.

On 2014 19 the exterior GFCI outlet also feeds and protects the interior outlet on the end of the counter by the door.

Ron
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