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Old 10-06-2008, 11:14 AM   #1
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new gfci on new circuit pops


Just got my renovation passed for rough-in. After wiring in the new 15 amp gfci for my sump pump I noticed that on the first pump cycle with pump on the new circuit the gfci tripped. I reset it and did a couple more pump test cycles (filled the sump with water and let it pump thru completely) and it worked fine.

This is a brand new run to a new gfci outlet from a new subpanel - total length from subpanel to gfci is approx 40'. Prior to this I had a temporary connection to the sump using a long extension cord running from an older existing gfci off the main panel - it ran like this for months and never had an issue.

I checked the wire (visually - the entire new run is exposed along a crawlspace runner) and it looks perfect - no damage, cuts, anything - all connections are good and tight. And this is a shorter run than my old temporary connection if that means anything.

The new gfci tests ok (at least the test/reset on the plug). Could this be a flaky gfci? - is that possible / likely? it's a cheap made in china unit and I have my doubts about quality control but that's what they had at the electric supply place at the time (and made in china stuff is another rant). The electronics in the unit should be pretty standard regardless, no? Are all gfci's created equal? If not I might swap it out with a "better" unit if that's something you folks think may be an issue (and could recommend a particular brand).

like i said I reset the gfci and the sump pump cycled a couple times without issue when i last left it but that 1st "surprise" trip on the gfci makes me worry about it randomly tripping again.

thanks
-randy


Last edited by rtoni; 10-06-2008 at 11:14 AM. Reason: typos - again
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:16 PM   #2
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new gfci on new circuit pops


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Could this be a flaky gfci? - is that possible / likely? it's a cheap made in china unit and I have my doubts about quality control but that's what they had at the electric supply place at the time (and made in china stuff is another rant).
Why is the electric supply house selling off-brand Chinese GFCIs? That is ridiculous! Go pick up a Leviton or Pass & Seymour GFCI at Home Depot or Lowes. And yes the principle is the same for all GFCIs, but the quality of construction I'm sure is quite different.

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Old 10-06-2008, 12:18 PM   #3
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new gfci on new circuit pops


It might just be the gfci, you could go for a Pass & Seymour one or levition, they are some of the "top of the line" units.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:35 PM   #4
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new gfci on new circuit pops


thanks gents - i don't know why the electric place sells the made in china units - all they do is electrical and plumbing - i assumed they would sell better quality than the big box stores but when I unpackaged them that's what I got

I'll look for another unit on my next trip thru the home depot i guess.

btw - it's getting really difficult to find anything that isn't made in China these days - just looking at oil filled space heaters, outdoor light fixtures, etc. - all the brand names outsourced to China now (sorry promised i wouldn't go on that rant - just kinda bugs me - I want to buy Canadian or US - seriously - but sometimes they ain't makin' it too easy...)

thanks for the replies and the advice....
-randy
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:42 PM   #5
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new gfci on new circuit pops


update - went to home depot on late lunch - grabbed a Leviton gfci - looked at fine print on the box - made in China

<grrrrrrrrrr>
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Old 10-06-2008, 03:11 PM   #6
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new gfci on new circuit pops


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update - went to home depot on late lunch - grabbed a Leviton gfci - looked at fine print on the box - made in China

<grrrrrrrrrr>
Dammit all to hell! We are absolutely selling this country out to the red Chinese and Mexico! I don't want to rant, but I swear to God this has to be a conspiracy. I mean, McCarthy was right, they were and still are hiding around every corner, just looking for opportunities to get in. I mean 9-11 got the ball rolling, and they've gained influence through fear. Now, they are spending us broke through welfare and endless conflict and making more enemies everyday. And by "they" I mean whom every is behind it all.

Up until the past eight years, the economy was relatively stable, and most of the free world liked us. Now, we got no money and no friends. Boy what a fix we're in... end rant.

Leviton is still a pretty good device. But try to find one at least made in Thailand, or Taiwan, or God-forbid, the USA.
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Old 10-06-2008, 04:55 PM   #7
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new gfci on new circuit pops


It's all about the money

People poisoned by the dental fillings (contaminated with lead). Thousands of pets killed (melamine contaminated dog food), kids killed (lead contaminated toys, contaminated jewelery), and lately they're killing their own babies (contaminated infant formula - melamine, again, of all things - and the only reason our kids aren't dropping like flies here is that (at least right now) we don't allow imports of baby foods from China - not in Canada anyway. But their own kids are dying. "Goods" from China are killing people - literally

sorry moderator - this is a rant but it's kinda on topic - the point is around the thought of burning down my house or electrocuting my kids because a product that I used to trust is now manufactured where there is no quality control.

apologies - really frustrating how bad it is - when I go to the home improvement store and every lamp / plug / switch / gfci on the shelf is coming from China. Hey Leviton - I'd rather pay an extra $5 or $10 for my gfci and sleep at night knowing I'm safe because the product comes from a company that actually gives a rat's ass. You want me to buy it but you don't want to pay my neighbor to make it 'cause it costs a bit more?

can't wait for the Chinese cars to start hitting the roads here - let the carnage begin...

http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&bran...351&from=15/64

Last edited by rtoni; 10-06-2008 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:12 PM   #8
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new gfci on new circuit pops


Okay, now that the ranting is done I'm gonna add my 2 cents, if the gfci is tripping, seems to me like you have a failing sump pump. Believe it or not they do not last forever, and take a guess at where your pump was made...


Why people think the GFCI is the first thing wrong is beyond me, they are simple devices with a simple job, measure current in, measure current out, cut off power when over 5 milliamps magically disapears...

Last edited by chris75; 10-06-2008 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:24 PM   #9
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and take a guess at where your pump was made...
thanks Chris75 for the chuckle

sorry all for the distracting rant - bad hair day here (I don't have any left)

I have a spare pump still in the box - swapping that out might have to be part of the troubleshooting exercise - just seems weird that there was no problem for months until the new circuit went in with the new gfci.

thanks all...
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Old 10-06-2008, 06:38 PM   #10
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new gfci on new circuit pops


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thanks Chris75 for the chuckle

sorry all for the distracting rant - bad hair day here (I don't have any left)

I have a spare pump still in the box - swapping that out might have to be part of the troubleshooting exercise - just seems weird that there was no problem for months until the new circuit went in with the new gfci.

thanks all...
Things break down, its the fact of life, the thing is, the gfci only monitors current to whats plugged into it, not the entire circuit, so that really only leaves one culprit in my opinion.
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:42 PM   #11
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Things break down, its the fact of life, the thing is, the gfci only monitors current to whats plugged into it, not the entire circuit, so that really only leaves one culprit in my opinion.
You're right about the circuit, but the quality of the GFCI has some bearing on the matter, in my opinion. Remember early GFCIs? They were prone to nuisance tripping on motor loads. They have gotten better over the years. So a quality GFCI is far less likely to trip for no reason than a Chinese-house-fire-waiting-to-happen-special-number23-with-duck-sauce GFCI.
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:52 PM   #12
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new gfci on new circuit pops


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Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
You're right about the circuit, but the quality of the GFCI has some bearing on the matter, in my opinion. Remember early GFCIs? They were prone to nuisance tripping on motor loads. They have gotten better over the years. So a quality GFCI is far less likely to trip for no reason than a Chinese-house-fire-waiting-to-happen-special-number23-with-duck-sauce GFCI.

Actually I believe it to be the poor quality of appliances that tripped GFCI's back in the day, UL has stepped up and limited the amount of acceptable current leakage, IMO, GFCI's were never the problem.


Don't get me wrong, I highly believe in counterfeit gfci's and breakers.
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:15 PM   #13
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new gfci on new circuit pops


If it makes you guys feel any better gfci was invented by an American...Charles Dalziel an EE professor at U of C Berkley in 1961. He was considered the 'man' when it came to the effects of electric shock on humans. Take a read on one experiment he did on his way to inventing the gfci....

"For the morbidly curious, Charles Dalziel's experimentation conducted at the University of California (Berkeley) began with a state grant to investigate the bodily effects of sub-lethal electric current. His testing method was as follows: healthy male and female volunteer subjects were asked to hold a copper wire in one hand and place their other hand on a round, brass plate. A voltage was then applied between the wire and the plate, causing electrons to flow through the subject's arms and chest. The current was stopped, then resumed at a higher level. The goal here was to see how much current the subject could tolerate and still keep their hand pressed against the brass plate. When this threshold was reached, laboratory assistants forcefully held the subject's hand in contact with the plate and the current was again increased. The subject was asked to release the wire they were holding, to see at what current level involuntary muscle contraction (tetanus) prevented them from doing so. For each subject the experiment was conducted using DC and also AC at various frequencies. Over two dozen human volunteers were tested, and later studies on heart fibrillation were conducted using animal subjects."
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Old 10-07-2008, 08:29 AM   #14
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new gfci on new circuit pops


Local areas modify the NEC. Might want to ask if your area requires a GFCI for a sump pump.
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:59 AM   #15
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new gfci on new circuit pops


I think we need to go back top what Chris said... why do so many people want to circumvent the gfci before determining if the appliance is leaking excessive (possibly fatal) current. The description as explained by the OP IMO suggests a fault in the sump pump. I'm having a hard time understanding advice to remove the gfci from the branch circuit before detemining this.

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