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Old 11-23-2010, 09:14 PM   #1
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Do GFi breakers go bad with age?


I have a GFI breaker that will not trip for weeks, but if I use receptacles or lights that go through it, it will start tripping more often until I cannot reset it any more. If I let it sit tripped for a couple of days then it seems to reset fine, but the cycle starts again.
I assume that there is mercury in these breakers and wonder if enough of it evaporates to make it behave in this manner. Should I replace it?

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Old 11-23-2010, 09:33 PM   #2
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Do GFi breakers go bad with age?


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I have a GFI breaker that will not trip for weeks, but if I use receptacles or lights that go through it, it will start tripping more often until I cannot reset it any more. If I let it sit tripped for a couple of days then it seems to reset fine, but the cycle starts again.
I assume that there is mercury in these breakers and wonder if enough of it evaporates to make it behave in this manner. Should I replace it?
majtory of breakers do not have mercury in there at all.

What circuit this breaker is serve on ??

And what brand name your load centre it is.

Most breaker don't go bad very fast but it can get off kinter over the years { useally trip much earier than it should beside couple breakers manufacters will never trip on simple overload }

Merci.
Marc

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Old 11-23-2010, 09:45 PM   #3
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Do GFi breakers go bad with age?


Breaker is 36 years old.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:48 PM   #4
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Do GFi breakers go bad with age?


A quick and dirty way to test is to take a light socket with two wires, with a bulb, and connect one wire to the hot of an outlet, and the other to ground. It should trip the breaker. If it lights up, then the GFCI portion is not working.
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:26 PM   #5
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Do GFi breakers go bad with age?


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Breaker is 36 years old.
Ok 36 year old breaker but again what model it is ??

The reason why I ask due some case some of older breaker are no longer manufacterd so one of the Electricians in this forum will know which one.



Merci,
Marc
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:48 PM   #6
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Do GFi breakers go bad with age?


36 years old ? replace it with a new one,don,t take the risk in using it.
GFI's are ment to trip on a short to ground around 6 milliamps,moisture can case them to trip,I have around 100 checked monthly at my work location and quite often one unit shows up bad.These are newer units.
for the cost change it out and have a peace of mind.

Safety first
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What does the French electrician think?
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:53 PM   #7
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Do GFi breakers go bad with age?


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Originally Posted by Wayne2004 View Post
36 years old ? replace it with a new one,don,t take the risk in using it.
GFI's are ment to trip on a short to ground around 6 milliamps,moisture can case them to trip,I have around 100 checked monthly at my work location and quite often one unit shows up bad.These are newer units.
for the cost change it out and have a peace of mind.

Safety first
Wayne


i's
What does the French electrician think?
I know the breaker is pretty old but the key issue is what name brand this GFCI breaker is.

But to OP the new GFCI breaker are useally about 30 Euros { for single pole verison }

Merci.
Marc
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:10 AM   #8
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Do GFi breakers go bad with age?


? I've never known a gfci to have mercury in it - at least not as an important functional part.

I just took a GFCI receptacle apart a couple days ago. I already know how they worked but I wanted to see how they crammed the whole thing together (my version of the circuit filled a circuit board bigger than the receptacle!) I don't know if the older ones, or maybe the breaker versions, are more mechanical in nature, but the modern receptacles are all solid-state and shouldn't just "wear out" due to age itself. That said, of course, corrosion, extreme temperatures, and other environmental factors can certainly cause a problem.

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