Bathroom light tripping GFCI in bathroom


Old 02-22-17, 08:11 PM
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Bathroom light tripping GFCI in bathroom

I've been searching these boards for 3 days straight and I still can't find an answer.. And I'm about to pull my hair out!

I have a small half bathroom in my basement, toilet and small sink. Over the sink is a medicine style mirror with a 17" florescent light fixture over it. This past weekend the GFCI outlet, which feeds the light, tripped for reasons unknown to me. I naturally hit the test button 16 times with no success. So I killed the power and opened the wall box, switch box, and light fixture. It was set-up to protect the downstream devices (line AND load). I replaced the outlet and that didn't help so I pig-tailed everything together and attached everything to the line terminal and that brought everything back to normal.

However, I don't want to just leave it as is because there obviously is a problem. Without tearing off the paneling walls, I think the setup is: Source>GFCI>switch>light.... I pulled all wires off the devices and tested for power and GFCI line black wire was the only hot one...

Thank you in advance!

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Old 02-22-17, 08:21 PM
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Disconnect the light fixture. If the problem goes away it's a leaky ballast.

Normally..... fluorescent lighting is not put on a GFI receptacle and does not
need to be protected. You can leave it on the line side.
Old 02-23-17, 04:20 AM
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Does your GFCI have two holes per screw head on the back? If so, you can remove the crook connections, either straighten or shorten them to where they will fit the holes, and move the LOAD wires to the LINE holes, so all are on the LINE side. AFTER you do what Pete suggests by checking the light to see if it is the culprit.
Old 02-23-17, 06:06 AM
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Thanks for the quick responses!

So if the outlet doesn't trip with the light not hooked up, we know that's the culprit? Is it common for the light/ballast to just go like that?
Old 02-23-17, 08:03 AM
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Try pressing the "Reset" button instead of the "Test" button!
Old 02-23-17, 08:09 AM
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I meant test! Good catch though.
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