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Old 05-24-2011, 01:39 PM   #1
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GFCI Troubles


I am trying to help a buddy, his garage door opener has a GFCI receptacle in the circuit between the breaker and the actual outlet for the opener. It trips once or twice a week - I am wondering how to tell if the GFCI is just bad or if there really is a problem somewhere. The test and reset buttons on the outlet work as they are supposed to. A std GFI tester does the same thing as the test button on the receptacle and the lights show it is connected properly.

Tracing it out physically by the flex conduit it goes like this - Breaker Panel -=> GFCI Receptacle -=> Std Receptacle for Garage Door opener -=> Std Switch -=> Outdoor Security Light. The Security light is totally under the eaves and well out of reach, so I'm also wondering if a GFCI is even needed.

The house is pretty new and has GFCI's in the kitchen and bathrooms so I don't think there is anything else downstream of the problem one except the opener and the light.


Thanks


Last edited by Zomalaja; 05-24-2011 at 01:41 PM. Reason: spelling error
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:50 PM   #2
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GFCI Troubles


The GFCI's are needed because it is required by code.

Just FYI, if the house was new like it was wired in the past month (particularly that it falls under the 2008 NEC code) it would be required to have GFCI and tamper-proof receptacles for the garage door openner even if it was a single duplex receptacle that only served the garage door openner. This is because code requires it, I guess in case there is a 5-year old climbing a ladder while standing in a bucket of water so he can stick a screwdriver into the outlet way up on the ceiling.

Seriously though the reasoning is that I think they just wanted to eliminate exceptions because if there was any gray area, then somebody would neglect to put in GFCI at a place where it should be.

Anything to indicate if the GFCI is tripped by the garage door openner or the light? When you test, is it with the light on?

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Last edited by WillK; 05-24-2011 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:28 PM   #3
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GFCI Troubles


I'd probably start my disconnecting everything downstream of the GDO outlet. The switch and security light, in this case. If it doesn't trip anymore, the problem is in the light or its wiring. If it still trips, the problem is probably in the garage door opener.
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:57 PM   #4
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GFCI Troubles


I have tested it with the opener plugged in and unplugged and the switch in the on as well as the off position. So far all of the 5 plus times it has tripped has been during the day with nobody home and the light supposedly is inactive during the day. No possibility that the GFCI is just defective ? I know they have circuit boards and those capacitors, etc do fail sometimes. Thanks for the responses as well as citing that Elec. Code requires a GFCI. I will check the light this evening and reply.
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Old 05-24-2011, 05:47 PM   #5
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GFCI Troubles


Quote:
Originally Posted by WillK View Post
The GFCI's are needed because it is required by code.

Just FYI, if the house was new like it was wired in the past month (particularly that it falls under the 2008 NEC code) it would be required to have GFCI and tamper-proof receptacles for the garage door openner even if it was a single duplex receptacle that only served the garage door openner. This is because code requires it, I guess in case there is a 5-year old climbing a ladder while standing in a bucket of water so he can stick a screwdriver into the outlet way up on the ceiling.

Seriously though the reasoning is that I think they just wanted to eliminate exceptions because if there was any gray area, then somebody would neglect to put in GFCI at a place where it should be.

Anything to indicate if the GFCI is tripped by the garage door openner or the light? When you test, is it with the light on?
There is no such thing as a tamper proof receptacle. Unless it is a low short garage door recptacle , less than 5.5' above the floor, no tamper resistant receptacle is required.
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