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Old 01-17-2009, 08:11 PM   #16
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GFCI Problem from Hell!


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Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
So, what do you do about motor starting, etc that causes a GFCI to trip?
I'm wondering what I should do if I have to deal with this kind of issue when I install the GFCI for my washer. There has never been one before, but I have decided that I want the protection.
Sometimes the winding insulation is breaking down, or commonly, water/moisture gets into the motor.

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Old 01-18-2009, 03:26 AM   #17
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GFCI Problem from Hell!


Electric motors are notorious for leaking a small amount of current to ground. Sometimes it's winding insulation that's failing, frequently though, it's just a build-up of dust, etc. around the start switch.

It really doesn't take much dirt inside of a motor to trip a GFI.

Sometimes, just blowing it out with air will clean it up enough, sometimes it has to be taken apart and cleaned.

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Old 01-18-2009, 07:47 AM   #18
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GFCI Problem from Hell!


I left an e-mail note to Sears about my washer, explaining that I am going to install a GFCI receptacle for it. I wanted to know whether they have any issues with that. There is nothing stated in the installation guide about not using a GFCI. The washer is only 2 years old, so hopefully it will be OK.
If it does start tripping the GFCI, I'll start complaining to Sears<g>
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:43 AM   #19
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GFCI Problem from Hell!


1 year so far with Kenmore washing machine on a GFCI in an unfinished basement and so far, knock on wood, no problems. But its good to know this info in case it does happen in the future.
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:22 PM   #20
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GFCI Problem from Hell!


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1 year so far with Kenmore washing machine on a GFCI in an unfinished basement and so far, knock on wood, no problems. But its good to know this info in case it does happen in the future.

All my appliances in the basement are GFCI protected:

Sump pump, Freezer, Sewage Ejector pump, Aquarium Equipment, Its not a big deal.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:08 PM   #21
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GFCI Problem from Hell!


what happens when the GFCI trips, and you get water in your basement and your not home to reset the GFCI?
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Old 01-18-2009, 04:37 PM   #22
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GFCI Problem from Hell!


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what happens when the GFCI trips, and you get water in your basement and your not home to reset the GFCI?
I think when Chris says:
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Originally Posted by chris75 View Post
All my appliances in the basement are GFCI protected:

Sump pump, Freezer, Sewage Ejector pump, Aquarium Equipment, Its not a big deal.
That means he hasn't had any issues with it being GFCI protected.

If its a big concern to you, they do make sump pumps with a battery backup unit. Basically its a 12 volt car battery that sits in a plastic battery box and connects directly to the sump pump. In the event of a power failure (or in this case a tripped GFCI) the battery takes over.
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Old 01-18-2009, 04:57 PM   #23
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GFCI Problem from Hell!


The UL standard for allowable leakage for a sump pump motor is .75mA. This is well below the 4-6mA trip level of a GFI.
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Old 01-18-2009, 05:01 PM   #24
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GFCI Problem from Hell!


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From OP
.....The only thing on this circuit is the two outlets in the very large bathroom, and the half dozen outlets outside in and outside the screen porch.....
So 8 outlets total, with 4 in Damp or Wet locations in a highly conductive environment with lots of metal for multiple leakage paths. The GFCI is doing its job and tripping when it sees a fault current of 5ma. The GFCI can't differentiate between circuit leakage and a real fault current. The only thing it knows is to trip on the 5ma differential.

The fix may involve running a new ckt to feed the present Bath downstream load. To ascertain the leakage now you could with a suitable breakout box or equivalent to momentarily connect a resistor between AC and Grd.

I would start with a 60K resistor (2ma fault) which will will likely trip your GFCI and prove the leakage hypothesis.

If for some reason the GFCI holds then try the test with two 60K in parallel which will cause a 4 ma fault. If your GFCI still holds then I'll have to do the Hari Kari.

The way commercial El Cheapo GFCI Testers work with the GFCI Test Button is to connect an ~18K resistor between AC and ground.
The more expensive GFCI Testers can insert the leakage in steps. But even the Hubbell starts @ 1ma then can step up past 5ma with the rotary switch. Of course the actual leakage current is controlled by the line voltage. The higher the line voltage the higher the leakage.

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Old 01-18-2009, 05:17 PM   #25
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what happens when the GFCI trips, and you get water in your basement and your not home to reset the GFCI?
Riddle me this, what happens when the utility fails? If someone depends on a pump then they should be prepared for all events, which equals a spare pump, a battery backup pump, etc,etc, etc, get where I'm going with this?
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Old 01-18-2009, 05:27 PM   #26
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GFCI Problem from Hell!


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Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
The UL standard for allowable leakage for a sump pump motor is .75mA. This is well below the 4-6mA trip level of a GFI.
Can you post a link to this 0.75mA? I'm curious if it refers to resistive leakage.
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Old 01-18-2009, 05:30 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
Can you post a link to this 0.75mA? I'm curious if it refers to resistive leakage.

Just search UL's website, they only allow so much leakage, I can tell you this, it would be about 12xs over if a GFCI is tripping with an appliance plugged in.

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