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Old 07-05-2008, 02:37 PM   #16
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Tom, Chris is correct. The GFCI tripping is a symptom of your problem. The ground or lack of it is not the problem. A GFCI measures the current on both conductors. If it detects a difference exceeding 5 milli-amps, the GFCI trips.

I assume the GFCI receptacle does not trip with nothing plugged into it? If that is true, then the problem is from the male plug on out to, and including the washing machine. Somewhere there is a leakage of current.

I hate to have to say this, but I think you may need a better electrician. One who actually knows how a GFCI works would be a huge plus. One who owns and knows how to use test instruments is a requirement.

If I had a washer which was tripping a GFCI, there is no way I would eliminate the GFCI and allow people to touch that machine. There is a problem. It can be found and eliminated.

I can't explain why two different washers would trip a GFCI. My washers have been on GFCI protected circuits for years without any problems or any tripping.

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Old 07-05-2008, 02:53 PM   #17
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a good point that chris states, it doesnt trip when the washer is NOT plug into does it?? have you tried pluggin something else into the gfci to see if it trips??
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Old 07-06-2008, 02:56 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roztom View Post
Appreiate your comments.


Also, this is in a laundry room of a small apt bldg. The wiring is run in conduit on the inside wall, not in the wall. I have never seen any water on the floor or seeping by the washer.
Now this got me thinking for a minuite .,, how many apt unit is that place have and do each apt have it own meter{s}

The reason why I ask real quick if this apt have two or more meters [ one for each apt and one for common area aka " house " metering ] some case the netural or bonding is not right.

Anyway did someone test the GFCI without the load on the receptale ? if it don't trip then get a voltmeter and read the voltage from H to G it should be normal 120 volt range and N to G should be zero and last thing get the electrician come out and ampclampped the main bonding wire at the water pipe if you are picking up stray current it can wreck hovac with GFCI { Heard few case like that }

Merci,Marc
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Old 07-06-2008, 06:06 AM   #19
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That is a good point Marc.
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Old 07-06-2008, 12:51 PM   #20
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions and insights.

I will be getting a new electrican out this coming week and I will give you an update after. Hopefully I will get a real solution...

Tom
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:19 PM   #21
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Yes, do post the outcome. Many of us will be curious about the results.
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Old 07-06-2008, 02:56 PM   #22
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I apologize if this is material info:

I forgot to mention that I have 3 GFCI's (2 in a double outlet box and one single outlet) and no matter which one I plug the washer into it will trip.

Does this make you guys lean in a different direction on this? Remember, the washer was changed out and was at a different location on a GFCI and didn't trip it.

Tnx,

Tom
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Old 07-06-2008, 03:04 PM   #23
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Tom; silly question; the original gfci that DID NOT trip was that a 20A?
are the ones tripping now the same rating as the first? Yeah I know that is 2 questions LOL sorry
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Old 07-06-2008, 03:35 PM   #24
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Tom; silly question; the original gfci that DID NOT trip was that a 20A?
are the ones tripping now the same rating as the first? Yeah I know that is 2 questions LOL sorry

A gfi does not provide overcurrent protection, so the amperage of the GFCI is irrelevant...
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:32 PM   #25
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so do other people have washers on gfcis and they don't trip? I've never put one on a gfci. Chris says its code now in 2008, but i haven't wired a house in over a year
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Old 07-06-2008, 06:05 PM   #26
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so do other people have washers on gfcis and they don't trip? I've never put one on a gfci. Chris says its code now in 2008, but i haven't wired a house in over a year

I see more laundry units installed in bathrooms more than anything, and those also require GFIC protection...
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Old 07-06-2008, 07:24 PM   #27
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The GFCI that did not trip was at a different location. So we switched washing machines and the replacement started popping the GFCI's at my place.

The washer (previous) would pop any of the GFCI's (3) I have at my location/laundryroom. The previous machine is NOT popping the GFCI at the other location where I got my replacement machine from.

SO.... assuming it is not the machine and all the GFCI's pop at my place after the washer fills. All the GFCI's are alone on their circuit and I have also direct wired one just to be sure and it still pops.

Knowing all this... What is it? Ground at panel? Can't be ground on washer. Can all GFCI's not be grounded properly thru the panel or are all my appliances not grounded properly thru their ground plug?

Where else can their be leakage?? Especially on ALL of them?

Thanks everyone for your patience.

Tom
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Old 07-06-2008, 08:52 PM   #28
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What sort of a washer is this? Just a basic household one? The reason I ask is because I'm getting the idea that the neutral might be bonded to the ground (frame of the washer) somehow. I just can't imagine how this would happen.

It's a common practice to bond the neutral to the ground on an older 3-wire dryer, but I've never heard of it on a washer.

The test is really simple, just check for continuity between the ground pin on the cord and either of the flat pins. It should be open.

If this circuit is not far from the panel, I could easily see the GFI not tripping until the motor started. The fill valves, etc. are very low current, and not enough would go down the ground to trip it. When the motor started though, it would certainly cause more than 5 ma on the ground. then the GFI would trip.

Are the GFI's wired correctly? The incoming power must be on the line side. If it's on the load side, GFIs can behave strangely. They can also act up if the hot and neutral are reversed. Most new ones won't reset at all under these conditions.

Rob

P.S. If this is one of those new-fangled variable speed machines, the electronics of the speed controller could wreak havoc with the electronics of the GFI. I've seen 120 volt VFD's trip GFIs with absolutely no current imbalance at all. Rare, but it does happen.

Rob
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Old 07-07-2008, 08:06 AM   #29
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Quote:
Knowing all this... What is it? Ground at panel? Can't be ground on washer. Can all GFCI's not be grounded properly thru the panel or are all my appliances not grounded properly thru their ground plug?
As others have pointed out, the ground or lack thereof does not affect the GFCI operation.

From what you have done so far, you have eliminated the washer and the GFCI receptacles as the source of the problem. What's left? Have you tried unplugging the amplifier thingy (technical jargon ) you mentioned in post #9 to see if it still trips?

You say it trips only when the tub is full... that means the washer weighs more. Any chance something is getting pinched at that point?

Any pictures available of this room?
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Old 07-07-2008, 08:15 AM   #30
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When you say "pinched" what does that mean?

Would a bad ground with somne leakage at the appliance plugs be a cause. Now I have a drier plugged into another GFI and it has never tripped. When I switch them and put the washer on the GFI it trips and only intermittently.

I'm trying to figure if there is a bad ground or should I say some leakage and the water fills the tub aND ADDS SOME MORE LEAKAGE IF THAT IS WHAT MIGHT BE DOING IT. Is it possible that the ground going back to the panel is not very good on that conduit or that the neutrals going back to the panel are not grounded well thru the panel. (If I got it wrong don't shoot me).

I assume a simple continuity test is not enough since it shows a ground but it might have some resistance in it...

Tom

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