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Old 04-24-2012, 12:17 PM   #1
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ejector pump suddenly tripping gfi


OK, I'm an electrical dummy ...

I have finished basement w/a bathroom. We have an ejector pump off the bathroom that has been plugged into an outlet w/gfi since I've owned the house (10 years). There is also a booster fan for my electric dryer plugged into the outlet (has been the same for 10 years). The only thing that has ever tripped up that outlet is using a hair buzzer in another outlet within the bathroom (but once you hit the reset its fine).

This morning I realize the ejector pump was not sucking down the water from the drains. I looked at the outlet and realized it needed to be reset. When I reset it, the pump would run for a few seconds and the outlet would trip up again. Tried this a few times. Thought maybe it was an issue w/the outlet altogether. Neighbor suggested maybe it was an issue with the pump. Went thru various scenarios and bottom line is when I plug the pump into other outlets it works totally fine and once I do that and reset the outlet it was on, the booster fan works fine and the outlet does not trip. So, basically this outlet is tripping when the pump is on it but the pump is not tripping other outlets and the outlet works fine as long as the pump is not on it.

What could be causing this? Why would an outlet that housed the two things on it all of a sudden continue to trip when the pump is on it but the pump is fine on its own in another outlet and the outlet is fine on its own w/o the pump?

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Old 04-24-2012, 01:42 PM   #2
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ejector pump suddenly tripping gfi


Replace the gfci receptacle, as they do go bad.

When you plug in the pump, are you using a gfci receptacle?

The pump could be bad also.

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Old 04-24-2012, 01:44 PM   #3
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ejector pump suddenly tripping gfi


If it was bad, would other things work in it fine without tripping it up?

Yes, I've tried the pump in two other outlets and it is working fine (one of them being another GFI outlet), and it did not trip it up - only tripping up the original outlet.
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:32 PM   #4
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ejector pump suddenly tripping gfi


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Originally Posted by lilargie View Post
If it was bad, would other things work in it fine without tripping it up?
possibly. if you were able to operate the pump without tripping on another GFCI, that strongly suggests the GFCI that the pump is presently plugged into has gone bad.

try this: remove the suspected faulty GFCI, replace it with the other GFCI outlet that the pump worked in when you were testing and see how it goes. you may have an issue with the entire circuit of the 'original' GFCI receptacle but if it works with a different receptacle, it even more strongly suggests it is the GFCI receptacle that is the problem.

and like jbfan said, these do go bad from time to time.
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:15 PM   #5
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ejector pump suddenly tripping gfi


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Originally Posted by lilargie View Post

What could be causing this? Why would an outlet that housed the two things on it all of a sudden continue to trip when the pump is on it but the pump is fine on its own in another outlet and the outlet is fine on its own w/o the pump?
The original power circuit could have a problem causing a current
limiting effect.
These are usually bad/loose/dirty connections somewhere.
With lite loads the effect is usually minimal,
But if a larger load tries to start up (motor)
then the losses become much larger,
possiblly stalling the motor.
remember motors require a large start up current
to get going.

Check all the connecttions,
right back to the panel if nessecary.
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