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Old 10-16-2011, 07:06 PM   #16
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GFCI trips at the same time


Any one of those nearby businesses could have installed something recently that gets started up first thing in the morning. The inrush of power from the utility to get that beastie started and running can cause your surge unit to shunt out and trip your GFCI. Not all the time, but enough times to cause nuisance tripping.

IF you could install a surge unit ahead of your GFCI (like a whole house unit), that might minimize your nuisance tripping. Or, you could "cheat" and plug in a cube tap at your sump pump outlet, and run your computer stuf from there....

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Old 10-16-2011, 07:15 PM   #17
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GFCI trips at the same time


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Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
Any one of those nearby businesses could have installed something recently that gets started up first thing in the morning. The inrush of power from the utility to get that beastie started and running can cause your surge unit to shunt out and trip your GFCI. Not all the time, but enough times to cause nuisance tripping.
That sounds about right...

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Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
IF you could install a surge unit ahead of your GFCI (like a whole house unit), that might minimize your nuisance tripping. Or, you could "cheat" and plug in a cube tap at your sump pump outlet, and run your computer stuf from there....
This GFCI is the only outlet on this breaker. Couldn't I do the same, and put a single outlet in? If its ok for the sump pump, shouldn't it be ok for my computer equipment?
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:55 PM   #18
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GFCI trips at the same time


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Originally Posted by ATJaguarX View Post
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.

Surges are rare events. Overly frequent if one exists annually. Even noise will not trip a GFCI. GFCI trips due to something unacceptable in hardware. Something measured at all times. That is just below a GFCI's trip threshold. GFCI does not trip immediately because the failure is constantly below and intermittently exceeds 5 milliamps.

GFCI trips because a current going into those appliances on a black (hot) wire is milliamps different from the current coming back on the white wire. That milliamp leakage would exist constantly. Can be identified by tools that measure electricity; even sold in Kmart. Because that leakage exists constantly.

All appliances leak some current. Microamps of current is acceptable. Even one milliamp of leakage means the appliance is defective. But not large enough to constantly trip a GFCI.

How can leakage exceed 5 milliamps? Two defective appliances might do it. If swapping or disconnecting to find the failure. then both defective appliances, alone, would not trip the GFCI. Swapping and disconnecting would never identify defects. Would only cause confusion. Confusion is what you have due to answers not defined by numbers.

Your tests imply leakage inside a defective UPS. A constant failure that only gets a little bit higher intermittently. But again, that conclusion is a classic example of wild speculation. Because it is not defined by something definitive - numbers. Subjective conclusions are why junk science exists. And why simple problems cause so much confusion.

Your GFCI is reporting a failure that exists 100% of the time. But only exceeds the 5 milliamp threshold intermittently. Speculated 'dirty' power and other anomalies (ie voltage variations) are irrelevant and would not cause GFCI tripping.

So let's make a tool that might make finding the one or multiple defective appliances easier. Buy a plug from Lowes, et al. And two 100 Kohm (1/4 or 1/2 watt) resistors from Radio Shack (part number 271-1131). Connect two (or three) 100 Kohm resistors from the plug's hot prong to its safety ground prong. When that plug is connected to the GFCI circuit, then leakage will be about 2 (or 3) milliamps. Not enough to trip a GFCI. But maybe enough to trip that GFCI when a defective appliance is also powered by that circuit.

Ignore 'dirty' power or low voltage. Ignore speculation that does not say what a GFCI does. Above paragraphs define what causes a GFCI trip, why constantly defective appliances can intermittently trip a GFCI, and how any layman can more easily identify a defective appliance. The last paragraph demonstrates solving a problem by using hard facts generated with numbers. No speculation.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:00 PM   #19
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GFCI trips at the same time


Quote:
Originally Posted by ATJaguarX View Post
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.
See, you answered your question as to why your gfci is tripping.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:03 PM   #20
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GFCI trips at the same time


Kb, in one of the neighborhoods close by to us, there is a machine shop that does work for Caterpillar. I am sure that with the type of machinery they have, would be enough to cause havoc in the houses behind the shop, and the others on the same section of the grid. I am sure if the OP investigated, they would find out that there is the same type of shop, or even a recycler in that park, starting up their equipment first thing in the morning would be enough to cause havoc.

The sad thing is, there are not many electric grids laid out properly to not cause problems with the neighbors.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:27 PM   #21
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GFCI trips at the same time


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Your tests imply leakage inside a defective UPS. A constant failure that only gets a little bit higher intermittently.
I don't think the UPS is defective as I had the same exact problem with the 2 previous pieces of "surge protection" equipment. The problems started this year, never had problems with the same equipment for the prior 5 years.

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Originally Posted by westom View Post
Your GFCI is reporting a failure that exists 100% of the time. But only exceeds the 5 milliamp threshold intermittently.
Why would "intermittently" be exactly between 5:15am and 5:45am and NO OTHER TIME?
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:41 PM   #22
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GFCI trips at the same time


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Originally Posted by ATJaguarX View Post
I don't think the UPS is defective as I had the same exact problem with the 2 previous pieces of "surge protection" equipment. The problems started this year, never had problems with the same equipment for the prior 5 years.


Why would "intermittently" be exactly between 5:15am and 5:45am and NO OTHER TIME?
Would suggest going to the industrial park and finding out what kind of businesses are there. Large equipment when it starts up, especially those that use large motors can cause drops on the line, and if not properly installed, can cause line surges, due to possible back feeding of power on a opposite phase.

http://www.ehow.com/list_7285798_cau...l-surges_.html
http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=...&cop=&ei=UTF-8

Would suggest getting one of these http://www.lowes.com/pd_30639-82364-...d=10151&rpp=48 or these http://menards.com/main/electrical/e...337-c-6412.htm
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:55 PM   #23
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GFCI trips at the same time


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Originally Posted by ATJaguarX View Post
Why would "intermittently" be exactly between 5:15am and 5:45am and NO OTHER TIME?

System noise can cause leakage to vary just enough above the threshold. That noise involves something beyond this technical level.

The point remains. Avoid subjective conclusions. Ignore observations that are not tempered by fundamental facts - such as how a GFCI works.

I know some reasons why the GFCI might trip at a certain time. And those reasons are not relevant to a fundamental fact. Some appliance (or house wire) is leaking current - a defect exists. Find that defect. Noise does not cause milliamps of leakage.

Do the test. Discover what actually exists. Does not matter how many other appliances do and do not cause a failure. Only fact that matters is what THAT UPS or other appliance is doing. All that other stuff (ie what it was doing 5 years ago, events at 5:30, etc) is only confusing you. Means nothing if you cannot attach it to how a GFCI works.

Why did this problem just start this year? A bypass capacitor inside one of the appliances has failed. Do not assume that is THE answer. That is only one of maybe 50 speculated reasons for something changed. We don't care what it was doing 5 years ago. Relevant is only what exists now. That means numbers.

That layman test (resistors and AC plug) is example of an experiment based in numbers and a hypothesis. A hypothesis based in how a GFCI really works.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:59 PM   #24
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GFCI trips at the same time


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Originally Posted by ATJaguarX View Post
Funny thing, it's code to have a GFCI in my basement, yet my sump pump is not hooked up to one.
Oregon has modifications to the electrical code. Last time I checked, sump pumps and refrigerators/freezers were an exception to the GFCI rule. (Not required for those.)

GFCI's are required for these in other states. (Check your local electrical inspector's office for NEC rule ammendments.)
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:13 PM   #25
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Here are those Oregon modifications to the NEC...
http://www.cbs.state.or.us/external/...ive_040111.pdf
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:56 PM   #26
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GFCI trips at the same time


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The point remains. Avoid subjective conclusions. Ignore observations that are not tempered by fundamental facts
Are you implying that I should not listen to other's responses regarding the nearby industrial park?


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Originally Posted by westom View Post
Why did this problem just start this year? A bypass capacitor inside one of the appliances has failed.
Actually, now that I think about it... since I started experiencing this problem, I have replaced ALL the equipment. So if it is an issue with the equipment, it was an issue with the old equipment AND the new equipment.

So confused...
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:19 PM   #27
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GFCI trips at the same time


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Originally Posted by ATJaguarX View Post
Are you implying that I should not listen to other's responses regarding the nearby industrial park?
Tell me why any noise causes GFCIs to trip. If the industrial park is tripping your GFCIs, then how do they keep their equipment working?


If noise causes a GFCI to trip, then the post also says why - and with numbers. Learning these concepts is why we solve problems.

Cheaper to always have professionals do it. We solve problems, first and foremost, to learn how to solve problems. Solutions that do not say why and that do not include numbers are best called speculation.

Also why we learn from history. Same logic that says the industrial park causes GFCI tripping also proved Saddam had WMDs. We who know why numbers are always important also saw through that myth.

Why does a GFCI trip? It was defined. And with numbers. Also provided is how to obtain useful facts for your unique situation.

On CSI, they say "Follow the evidence". Posted was how one follows that evidence. Not on speculation from what existed five years ago or from noise only rumored to exist from some nearby factory. A GFCI trips due to a greater than 5 milliamp difference in an up to 20,000 milliamps current. Get those resistors and plug. Do the experiment because the hypothesis is based in science (not in speculation). Then one who really knows this stuff has a fact to provide a useful answer. Then we 'follow the evidence' provided by that experiment.

Not yet learned is what 'follow the evidence' means. Dispose of any recommendation that comes without numbers. Show me why noise causes a GFCI trip. No fact says external noise causes a GFCI trip. If the reason why is not provided, then the claim is only wild speculation. Noise does not cause tripping.

Ignore subjective conclusions: anything not supported by numbers, well proven science, and how a GFCI works. Do the experiment. Then others who have been doing this stuff before GFCIs existed can provide hard facts with reasons why and numbers.
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:47 PM   #28
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GFCI trips at the same time


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Originally Posted by ATJaguarX View Post
The only thing I have left on the UPS is the router and a network switch.
This thread is getting quite long
In this posting you said the only thing on the UPS is the router and switch. Move these two devices to some other circuit using an extension cord or what ever but leave the UPS on the GFCI. This way you will have a load on the GFCI and also, originally, the UPS wasn't in the game.
Now, is the UPS the only thing on the GFCI? You said you replaced the GFCI so the question is, are there any wires connected to the load side of the GFCI?
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:54 PM   #29
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GFCI trips at the same time


As to electrical disturbances from elsewhere... Large computer rooms have large UPS's which also have logs of "power line events".

I saw one of these logs and there was a power line event about once an hour. This can be frequency out of whack, voltage surges, voltage drops, etc.

So quite common for the electricity provided by the electric company to have "weirdness" many times a day.

Some of these events are voltage surges, maybe just for a split second, but that is when the voltage goes above normal...

Then the way surge protectors work is they have a "varistor" connected from each electrical line (hot and neutral) to ground. These varistors "turn on" after the voltage reaches a certain point (voltage surge)...

And if you have a GFCI prior to that surge protector, then it will notice some electricity going elsewhere than hot and neutral (ground), thus the GFCI trips.

Surge protector diagram - Varistor aka "MOV"...
http://www.seekic.com/uploadfile/ic-...1722818810.gif

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varistor

Last edited by Billy_Bob; 10-16-2011 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:55 PM   #30
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Do the experiment.
I'd love to do the experiment... if you could provide a little more details would be helpful.

Thanks!

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