When I get a phone call that includes this statement, I begin itching in odd places to find out why - the voice on the phone says, "The GFI never trips in our new basement bathroom." I know, the title said Northern Virginia, but they didn't actually say that on the phone...
Let's just say that a circuit breaker GFCI has special wiring. And it has to be done properly for it to control everything in a bathroom that needs to be protected by it. In this case there were two receptacles.
Both receptacles were hot, but neither tripped the breaker when tested with my GFI device. Pushing the test button on the breaker did not turn it off either.
Look at the photo and tell me what the problem is here.
Notice how the GFCI breaker is the only one with two screws that are to be connected.
Notice what is happening to the white cable -
it is merely hanging there, connected to the breaker but from there to nothing else.
Without knowing anything about wiring or breakers or GFI circuits, does that impress you as correct?
Do you think this was wired up by an electrician?
Or do you think this was wired up by a "contractor" who thinks he knows everything and did not pull a permit for the job?
I can just hear him thinking, "That pesky white wire. It'll work fine just hanging here..."
Yes, there's lack a black double tap just below. That is where two wires are connected together under a single screw (called a lug). It is just as incorrect. And wired by the same guy, no doubt.
My recommendation: don't get talked out of pulling a permit that is closed by the local jurisdictional authority. Closed means that the local inspector came by and approved everything, issuing you a copy of the closed permit! Don't let a general contractor tell you that he can do everything, or claim he has just the right guys working with him to do all the work. Make sure that each industry discipline needed for your remodeling is worked on by someone licensed in THAT discipline! The general contractor is just that - he is responsible for the whole until completion. They sometimes have very high opinions of themselves - opinions that may be just a tad higher than completely true.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560