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Old 07-31-2011, 10:09 AM   #1
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Garage Door GFCI


HI;

I installed a GFCI in my garage for the main garage circuit about 2-3 years ago. It is a wood door and a wood frame garage. The opener is plugged into a grounded outlet that is in good physical condition. All outlets are properly wired and grounded / bonded.

Starting about 2 days ago, when I would push the garage door opener button on either the remote or the wall button that is a hard wired momentary contact switch, the GFCI trips. I reset it and some times it trips it again, some times it opens and closes normally for a couple times.

What would explain this? An intermittent short in the opener that sometimes sends current back via ground? With the wood door, I can't see where else it could be finding a path, I think it would have to be via the outlet. I suppose I could pull apart the outlet and put a clamp meter on it and watch for this to happen and see if there is any activity on the ground wire.

Otherwise a bad GFCI? I don't think it is a real expensive GF, though it may be a P&S..

I've not done any testing yet. I don't expect and loose / bad connections, as I have gone over / re-installed outlets in just about all of the garage junctions in the past couple years.

I'm wondering if this could be similar the problem we had with an older fridge that would constantly trip a GFCI; we had a long discussion here about it and basically decided it is a problem with some older fridges and it got a dedicated non-gfci outlet. But with the garage door, I don't know why this would start now after the GFCI has been in for 2 years.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

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Old 07-31-2011, 11:01 AM   #2
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Garage Door GFCI


Run an extension cord from a non GFCI receptacle and see if the problem goes away.

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Old 07-31-2011, 11:13 AM   #3
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Garage Door GFCI


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Run an extension cord from a non GFCI receptacle and see if the problem goes away.
That solves the problem. I guess the next step is to replace the GFCI with a new one and see if that still works or if it trips the new GFCI.

Do you often see GFCI's just go bad in situations like this?
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:32 AM   #4
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Garage Door GFCI


The GFI could go bad. Does the garage have high moisture? Try swapping the suspect GFI with one from the bath, kitchen, basement temporally as a test before you buy a new one. Should tell you if it’s the GD motor or GFI.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:34 AM   #5
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Garage Door GFCI


GFCI's don't like inductive loads, IE-motors. Spikes from the motor can cause tripping. Best not to have GD openers on GFCI, not required anyhow. For appliances like refrigerators/freezers in the garage where the outlet may get used for other things, it is required. Best thing to do there is make the appliance sole use for that non-gfci outlet and run a circuit for general GFCI protected outlets.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:40 AM   #6
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Garage Door GFCI


The exception was removed in 2008. Now all receptacles in a dwelling unit garage require GFCI protection (125v/15A &20A)
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:48 AM   #7
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Garage Door GFCI


Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
GFCI's don't like inductive loads, IE-motors. Spikes from the motor can cause tripping. Best not to have GD openers on GFCI, not required anyhow. For appliances like refrigerators/freezers in the garage where the outlet may get used for other things, it is required. Best thing to do there is make the appliance sole use for that non-gfci outlet and run a circuit for general GFCI protected outlets.
GFCI IS REQUIRED FOR GARAGE DOOR OPENERS. 210.8(A)(2). Also, modern GFCIs DO NOT trip from inductive loads. There isn't even a plausible explanation for how an inductive load could falsely trip a modern GFCI - it's a myth.

Either the GFCI is bad, or your opener has an intermittent ground fault.

And here's why GFCI for garage door openers is now required:
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:14 PM   #8
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Garage Door GFCI


Quote:
Originally Posted by SD515 View Post
The GFI could go bad. Does the garage have high moisture? Try swapping the suspect GFI with one from the bath, kitchen, basement temporally as a test before you buy a new one. Should tell you if it’s the GD motor or GFI.
The garage door is open most of the time, but it has been very humid much of the summer. The concrete floor has stayed a little moist much of the summer. However there isn't any water condensing on anything in the garage.

Maybe that was too much humidity for it. I'm sure I can find a spare GFCI around here, it might be the wrong color, but I can find one and will swap it out and see if that fixes it.

Thanks!

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