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Thread: Neutral connection tripping GFCI

  1. #1

    Neutral connection tripping GFCI

    Just wired a multigang location as follows:RRD-8ANS (exhaust fan) + RRD-6ND (bathtub lighting) + RRD-6ND (shower lighting). The old switches did not utilize the neutral, but there was a neutral available in the box so I thought I had this one set. After turning the breakers back on, I noticed that NONE of the switch or dimmers was working. I have wired hundreds of RA2 switches and dimmers without a problem so 3 in a row not working seemed hard to believe. After some investigation, I noticed two GFCI protection devices located near the baseboard in the bathroom. These are not outlets, just straight GFCI, and one is now tripped and cannot be reset. I assume that the original electrician put the GFCI in due to the lights being above the shower and bathtub. That makes sense, and it means the common wire is running from the GFCI load side to my switch box. I am not sure why connecting the 8ANS and 6ND to neutral is tripping the GFCI. I think (not sure) that the switch sits between the GFCI and the loads. The neutral in the switch box is the true neutral from the breaker box... so the GFCI may be detecting a "ground fault" because the neutral is now being connected at the switch, and was not before. Any ideas on how to fix this? I could replace the 6ND with Pros that do not require neutral, but the 8ANS is my only option for a fan load and it requires neutral. Bypassing GFCI would put me out of compliance with code. I need some re-wiring ideas to fix, but I don't think I understand the problem well enough to fix it. Any explanation + ideas would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Posts
    11
    Check to make sure the bare ground wire is not touching a neutral either on a switch/dimmer or at any of the fixtures. A continuity tester would be helpful if you have one.
    You could also try using a GFCI breaker instead of the in wall device to see if that makes a difference.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    319
    The neutral you used is probably from a different circuit. If that is the case, current will flow through the GFCI but will not return, hence the trip. You cannot reset it because it will immediately trip again. The only correct way is to get the correct neutral connected.
    Evan Kirkhart- Home Electronics Solutions
    Santa Barbara, CA
    evan@homeelectronics.solutions

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by evankirkhart View Post
    The neutral you used is probably from a different circuit. If that is the case, current will flow through the GFCI but will not return, hence the trip. You cannot reset it because it will immediately trip again. The only correct way is to get the correct neutral connected.
    This. I had a second neutral in the box, a grey wire. Connected that to the GFCI protected lights and the regular neutral to the fan... Needed electrician to figure out which neutral was which but all good now. Thanks!

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