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Old 11-06-2008, 03:52 PM   #1
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Fried GFCI


The other night my husband and I were watching TV when we heard a weird buzzing sound (kind of like an alarm) coming from the bathroom. We couldn't figure out what it was when we suddenly heard a POP! The GFCI outlet in the bathroom blew. It didn't trip the breaker. It is on the same circuit as the light and fan are and they still work. Nothing was plugged in to it. The bathroom was just finished, so it was only a few months old. The bathroom itself has hardly even been used. The back side of the wall is in an unfinished storage space so I can see that no water has leaked on it or anything. Any idea what would cause this to happen? Do you think it was just a faulty outlet or is there something else going on here?

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Old 11-06-2008, 07:57 PM   #2
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Fried GFCI


Its probably just the outlet. It really depends on the brand. I wouldn't expect for instance a pass & seymour outlet to go in just a few months. A power surge could do such a thing, though the tv would have been affected, even if its on a seperate leg...

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Old 11-07-2008, 01:10 AM   #3
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Fried GFCI


Yeah I've had a young GFCI go that way before. Kind of ironic that something that's supposed to be for safety fails in sort of unsafe ways.

I guess some of them just can't stand up to the moisture in bathrooms.
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Old 11-07-2008, 05:56 AM   #4
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Fried GFCI


gee, i wonder where that GFCI was made? *coughchinacough* install a new P&S or Leviton and if THAT pops, then you have another problem somewhere down the line.

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Old 11-07-2008, 10:25 AM   #5
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Fried GFCI


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Originally Posted by MdangermouseM View Post
gee, i wonder where that GFCI was made? *coughchinacough* install a new P&S or Leviton and if THAT pops, then you have another problem somewhere down the line.

DM

Those Leviton gfcis are weird. They are the only gfci I know that gets warm during operation.
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Old 11-07-2008, 11:46 AM   #6
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Fried GFCI


Thanks guys. I will get a new (good) one and keep you posted!
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Old 11-07-2008, 12:48 PM   #7
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Fried GFCI


Since the breaker didn't trip there doesn't seem to have been a line-to-line short.

Maybe the Integrated Circuit
http://img.alibaba.com/photo/5183248...ed_Circuit.jpg
inside the GF failed first, then told the GF relay to buzz. In that case the "pop" at the end was the plastic case blowing off the overheated IC. I don't know if they have a small internal fuse to protect the current sensing circuitry; if not, I guess this thing could have caught fire.

There might have been a voltage surge that overstressed the IC, or it failed because of an internal problem. Less likely is a bad design.
If some of your incandescents start burning out this would add credence to a surge as the cause.

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