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Old 07-08-2009, 12:14 PM   #1
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A/C and refrigerator trip kitchen GFI


Hi all. I'm stumped by GFI in my kitchen. It is often tripped when the fridge comes on while the A/C is running.
- The central A/C is on its own circuit - it has a pair of 30 amp breakers.
- The refrigerator is on its own 20 amp circuit.
- The GFI is on its own 20 amp circuit. Not much is on this circuit, just outlets for counter-top kitchen appliances, so it's usually not in use.

The house, the A/C unit, and the refrigerator are all approaching their third birthday. The builder's electrician couldn't find a problem.

The proximity of these items might be significant. The GFI outlet is mounted on the wall above the section of counter nearest the refrigerator, and the A/C unit is on the exterior of the same wall.

This isn't a big problem, but I'd like to have it fixed just because it's obviously not right.


Thanks,
Chris

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Old 07-08-2009, 12:42 PM   #2
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A/C and refrigerator trip kitchen GFI


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Originally Posted by Tyrrell View Post
It is often tripped when the fridge comes on while the A/C is running.
50-50 odds that it's tripping for a valid reason.

While the fridge & all else is running put a 7-1/2w incand. lamp in series with the ground wire that serves the cable downstream of your GFCI.
If the voltage across the bulb reads from 0.6 vac to up to 120vac you've found your leakage path to ground. A normal reading would be less than 15 mVac.
Disconnect appliances until the leakage current goes away.

The GFCI might already be seeing a few mA of leakage current so the fridge startup is the final straw.


Last edited by Yoyizit; 07-08-2009 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 07-08-2009, 01:06 PM   #3
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A/C and refrigerator trip kitchen GFI


Thats some crazy crap



I have heard of nextell walkie talkies tripping GFCI's so who knows????


Check neutral connections if the refer/GFCI counter receps are on a 3 wire home run.

Obviously replace the GFCI, perhaps a different brand (we use Pass & Seymore)
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:07 PM   #4
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A/C and refrigerator trip kitchen GFI


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Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
Thats some crazy crap
When the going gets tough, the tough. . .

Rev A to my procedure, courtesy of 220/221:
Disconnect the neutral wire from the load side of the GFCI and check for no continuity between it and the ground wire.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 07-08-2009 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:28 PM   #5
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A/C and refrigerator trip kitchen GFI


Sorry.

I meant the OP's situation was some crazy crap
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:55 PM   #6
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A/C and refrigerator trip kitchen GFI


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Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
Sorry.

I meant the OP's situation was some crazy crap
Agreed; I hope we'all can help the guy.

If he lived within a half hour of Rockville, MD, I'd take a crack at it. You always learn stuff on jobs like this.
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:17 AM   #7
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A/C and refrigerator trip kitchen GFI


1) Make sure the GFCI is wired correctly. 2) Replace GFCI with a new one.

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