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Old 10-16-2011, 12:04 PM   #1
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GFCI trips at the same time


I have a GFCI in my basement that my computer equipment is connected to. I have a number of different pieces of equipment plugged in. Occasionally, once a week, I would get up in the morning and all my computer equipment would be off and I noticed that the GFCI was tripped. To help cleanup the power coming and going to the equipment, I purchased a CyberPower 510 watt UPS. Also, being a software developer, I decided to write an application that writes to a log file every minute to help determine when the GFCI would trip.

After letting the logging application run for a few weeks and monitoring when the GFCI was tripping, I noticed that it would trip every couple days between the hours of 5:15am and 5:45am.

I decided to start removing pieces of the puzzle. First, I removed the computer as I have no idea what its doing at times of the night. After 1 week, the GFCI tripped again. The only thing I have left on the UPS is the router and a network switch.

This has been happening for 6 months now... every few days, between the hours of 5:15am and 5:45pm (NEVER any other time... not once in 6 months) the GFCI trips. I've replaced the GFCI with a new one and that didn't help.

Any thoughts?

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Old 10-16-2011, 12:53 PM   #2
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GFCI trips at the same time


Your surge protector is shunting out a power surge that occurs at roughly the same time each day. By doing so, the GFCI senses the mini-fault, and interprets it as a ground-fault condition, and then trips out.

Either remove the surge power strip, or install another non-GFCI protected outlet for your equipment. If you have a finished room, GFCI protection is not required.

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Old 10-16-2011, 01:35 PM   #3
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GFCI trips at the same time


That is one thing I do not understand about people KB. They want to run mission critical devices in their home (ie servers & networking equipment), but hook it up to gfci protection. I know that in our area, the power peaks to almost 250vac anywhere between Midnight & five a.m. Low's I have seen around 220vac at the lowest during the same hours.
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Old 10-16-2011, 02:33 PM   #4
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GFCI trips at the same time


GFCI's are intended to protect people using handheld electrical items from electrocution.

For example outside someone may plug in an extension cord, then handle it, and someone before cut through it with the hedge trimmers leaving a bare wire. Then as you handle the cord, you touch that bare wire... But the GFCI shuts off power instantly and you are safe.

It detects a fault to ground. Or electricity going through your body.

Sort of like a "bank teller". The same amount of electricity going out one wire must also come back through the other wire. If any electricity is "missing" (going through your body to ground), then power is instantly shut off.

With that said, I see no reason to place computer equipment on a GFCI when a regular outlet would be allowed in that area. Anything I might touch with my computer equipment is plastic.

However *very* good idea for outlets in bathroom, kitchen, garage, outside, basement, laundry, etc. (wet areas) where handheld gizmos might be plugged in. Also for garage door openers. There have been cases where a garage door opener had a malfunction and energized the metal garage door. Then a small kid touched the metal garage door.
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Old 10-16-2011, 02:58 PM   #5
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GFCI trips at the same time


The thing is Billy Bob, you do not want to use gfci protection on networking, alarm systems, computer, or mission critical devices. Even those devices that work to protect a person, due to a medical condition, you do not want it on gfci protected circuits.
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Old 10-16-2011, 03:16 PM   #6
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GFCI trips at the same time


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Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
With that said, I see no reason to place computer equipment on a GFCI when a regular outlet would be allowed in that area.

However *very* good idea for outlets in bathroom, kitchen, garage, outside, basement, laundry, etc. (wet areas) where handheld gizmos might be plugged in.
That's the problem... it is in my basement and it is code in my city to have GFCI outlets in the basement.
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Old 10-16-2011, 03:19 PM   #7
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GFCI trips at the same time


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
That is one thing I do not understand about people KB. They want to run mission critical devices in their home (ie servers & networking equipment), but hook it up to gfci protection.
I wouldn't say it is mission critical devices... this is just my home with a home network. I'm not running a business here. It is very common practice for people to put their networking equipment in their basements (actually, it's an option with my builder). It is also code for me to have a GFCI in my basement.
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Old 10-16-2011, 03:26 PM   #8
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GFCI trips at the same time


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Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
Your surge protector is shunting out a power surge that occurs at roughly the same time each day. By doing so, the GFCI senses the mini-fault, and interprets it as a ground-fault condition, and then trips out.

Either remove the surge power strip, or install another non-GFCI protected outlet for your equipment. If you have a finished room, GFCI protection is not required.
I'm not quite following here so please don't slam me for it. What could be causing the power surge? Is it my equipment causing the surge? What would be causing the power surge at roughly the same time?

The "surge power strip" is more then your basic power strip. It is a UPS that is supposed to provide "automatic voltage regulation (AVR) topology delivers clean and consistent AC power".

http://www.cyberpowersystems.com/pro...850PFCLCD.html

If it was as easy as removing my GFCI, I would, but it's there because of code.
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Old 10-16-2011, 03:29 PM   #9
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GFCI trips at the same time


It is code for me to have one also, only due to the fact that I updated the wiring in the house in 2003. Before it was not required, due to the original wiring was from 1937. I stop when it comes to hooking up networking equipment or servers to them. My network switch and RG from ATT is hooked up to a regular outlet, no gfci in the loop. Never have had any problems ever. I would not doubt that the Cyber power is suspect. Try hooking the equipment up directly without the UPS and see if the gfci trips. If it does trip, try another gfci.
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Old 10-16-2011, 03:43 PM   #10
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GFCI trips at the same time


It's not your equipment that is causing the surge. It could be anything within several miles that starts up at about the same time each day.

The surge is coming in from the outside, on the same power lines.

Therein lies the problem: The surge shunting capability of your UPS system is fooling the GFCI to trip out.
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Old 10-16-2011, 04:54 PM   #11
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GFCI trips at the same time


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It is code for me to have one also, but I stop when it comes to hooking up networking equipment or servers to them. My network switch and RG from ATT is hooked up to a regular outlet, no gfci in the loop. Never have had any problems ever. I would not doubt that the Cyber power is suspect. Try hooking the equipment up directly without the UPS and see if the gfci trips. If it does trip, try another gfci.
From what i've read on here, it sounds like the UPS is suspect, but I don't blame the UPS directly. I've tried a number of other scenarios, regular surge protectors etc... but never have I hooked up the equipment directly. The idea scares me due to the reason I purchased the UPS, we often have power outages for a few seconds here and there. The last time I had the equipment not hooked up to a UPS/surge protector, I blew a network switch.
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Old 10-16-2011, 04:59 PM   #12
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GFCI trips at the same time


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However *very* good idea for outlets in bathroom, kitchen, garage, outside, basement, laundry, etc. (wet areas) where handheld gizmos might be plugged in.
Funny thing, it's code to have a GFCI in my basement, yet my sump pump is not hooked up to one.
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Old 10-16-2011, 05:17 PM   #13
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GFCI trips at the same time


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Funny thing, it's code to have a GFCI in my basement, yet my sump pump is not hooked up to one.
That would be because it most likely would trip the gfci that was on that circuit, or it is downstream of another gfci. How old is this house, and when was the electric last updated?
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Old 10-16-2011, 05:19 PM   #14
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GFCI trips at the same time


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Originally Posted by ATJaguarX View Post
From what i've read on here, it sounds like the UPS is suspect, but I don't blame the UPS directly. I've tried a number of other scenarios, regular surge protectors etc... but never have I hooked up the equipment directly. The idea scares me due to the reason I purchased the UPS, we often have power outages for a few seconds here and there. The last time I had the equipment not hooked up to a UPS/surge protector, I blew a network switch.
It has already been explained that it has nothing to do with the UPS, but the fact that something in your area causes a large surge? Any industry in your area, nursing home, funeral home, etc? How old is the neighborhood?
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Old 10-16-2011, 05:41 PM   #15
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GFCI trips at the same time


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It has already been explained that it has nothing to do with the UPS, but the fact that something in your area causes a large surge? Any industry in your area, nursing home, funeral home, etc? How old is the neighborhood?
I'm confused as both yourself and kbsparky mentioned that that the shunting capability of the UPS system is fooling the GFCI to trip out. I understand that my equipment is not causing the surge, but something outside my house.

I am relatively close (a few blocks away) to a small industrial park. The neighborhood is approximately 6 years old and my house is 4 years old. I've had my computer equipment on the same outlet for 4 years and only this year has it been a problem.

My sump pump is on its own dedicated breaker. From my understanding, equipment, such as this, on its own dedicated circuit, with a single outlet, is not required to have a GFCI.

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