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Question DetailsAsked on 3/16/2017

How much should this electrical work have cost me: GFCI malfunctioning on the exterior deck on the load side was fe

GFCI Receptacle malfunction on load side feeding to kitchen lights,dining room duplex, living room duplex receptacles, foyer light and receptacle, front porch light and GFCI receptacle. How much should I be prepared to pay to have this GFCI receptacle repaired so that the lights in my house will stop going on and off?

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1 Answer


Here is a prior similar question with several answers FYI -

If is unusual for original (as opposed to modified) wall outlet circuits to feed lights as well - that might be part of the problem.

I am also not sure if you are saying this GFCI receptable feeds the outlets and lights AND another GFCI receptable - because having two GFCI receptables in a circuit can sometimes cause one to trip the other, depending on brand. To protect an entire (properly wired) circuit only the first usage point on the circuit (which of course has to be an outlet) should have a GFCI outlet - then everything "downstream" of that point is protected by that one GFCI outlet.

However - a caveat - in many areas ALL outdoor and wet area outlets (or first outlet on outlet branches for kitchen wall strings of outlets) have to be GFCI type, on the presumption that an in-line GFCI outlet in the circuit might at some time be replaced with a non-GFCI type, thereby removing the protection on the wet-area outlet. I have never seen a case where they did not allow a GFCI breaker be put on the entire circuit however, in this case.

On the lights - if you are using low voltage lights, LED lights, CFL lights, flourescent lights those are known to sometimes trip out GFCI outlets - so you may be stuck with changing the circuit to remove the lighting from the GFCI protected circuit. If this sort of issue is causing the problem, then of course the repair cost will go way up because the circuit would have to be broken into two - which might or might not be a significant rewiring effort.

One other thing - the tripping might be due to an intermittent (possibly very minor) short - common in exterior fixtures, either due to bug accumulation in the fixture slightly shorting out from a live contact, or also commonly due to damaged insulation due to exposed insulation being overheated by the bulbs, or overheating due to inverted bulbs in basically airtight porch lights - a common overheating and shorting out circumstance. A precision check with an ohmeter (with the power off) will commonly pick up this sort of situation (with the bulbs removed).

So - to just replace or remove one GFCI outlet, commonly $100-200 range - but if a lot of tracking of a fault, or rewiring the lighting to get it out of the GFCI protected circuit is necessary, then commonly at least several and up to maybe $500 range - plus possibly some drywall repair and repainting if he has to run new circuit wiring in ceiling or walls for the lights.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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