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Old 09-02-2011, 12:37 AM   #1
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Strange GFCI Problem


I asked for information some time back for this problem, and I tried all suggestions.
This is the first recepticle on a kitchen circuit with two other recepticles and two undercounter lights.
I had no problems before changing to GFCI but now when I turn the lights off, 3 out of 5 times, the GF will trip. The wall switch is contained with a double recepticle in a double box.
I am leaving the wall switch on and controlling the florescent lights with their individual incorporated switches, and it has not tripped except when someone accidently flips the switch. Lights are used everyday.
What makes this even more aggrivating is that the recepticles are in a ceramic tile wall with two built in showers on the opposite wall.
Without listing what I have done---everything including lights, and three GFCIs, has been changed.
I am not comfortable wth any type electrical problem, but should I just leave the switch on--or remove---or tear a wall up to address the fault?

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Old 09-02-2011, 04:01 AM   #2
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Strange GFCI Problem


Learn to spell "receptacle"

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Old 09-02-2011, 04:30 AM   #3
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i asked some information .Ok first forgive me if I have this wrong. I have tried to turn on all channels on all of my controllers via the HWU program. The best I could do was one controller at a time. So, if this is a correct statement, then you did not turn on all of your lights at the same time via the HWU. And there is the why of it.
Yes I believe your statement / question is true, it is an accumulative problem. As you noted it is not due to the amount of current you are pulling. As Chuck has noted it is an imbalance in current on the hot and neutral wires. Best bets are to get all connectors off of the ground. If you have long runs then get them up off of the ground. If you have a lot of wire frames. One guy made wooden or was it plastic stakes and then wired the wire frames to the stakes, getting them off of the ground. You do not need a "Short" to get current to ground. There is the capacitive effect that will leak current to ground. So the only fix for that is to get the wires off of the ground as much as possible.
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:58 AM   #4
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Strange GFCI Problem


Do you have the switched lighting circuit wired ahead of the GFCI's?
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:32 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
Do you have the switched lighting circuit wired ahead of the GFCI's?
No---the GFCI is fed from breaker. Load from GFCI goes to receptAcle and switch is fed from this receptacle.
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:35 AM   #6
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Strange GFCI Problem


Pigtail the power to the switch so it is before the GFCI receptacles.
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobelectric View Post
Learn to spell "receptacle"
I ALSO misspelled florescent--Too bad you didn't read and CHECK all my grammar
I have noticed you have a lot of Useless responses
I'll certainly try to do better

Last edited by Giles; 09-02-2011 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:15 AM   #8
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Do any of you think by removing the GFCI receptacle and protecting the circuit with GFCI BREAKER would be any better.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
Pigtail the power to the switch so it is before the GFCI receptacles.
Do like a7ecorsair said....wire the lights BEFORE the GFIC.....there should be NOTHING on those GFIC's except the kitchen counter outlets. If it is so supplies the bathroom....well...technically, it should be on it's own breaker....

In fact....those lights should really be on a different circuit all together. It's really a bad practice to put outlets and lights on the same circuit...if you trip the circuit because the blender pulls too much juice....you are now in the dark.

I wouldn't bother with a GFIC breaker....unless you like going outside everytime it trips.
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Old 09-02-2011, 04:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giles View Post
I ALSO misspelled florescent....
That's fluorescent.

That being said, the best solution I could offer is to make all the GFCI's into stand-alone units.

That is, do not wire anything "downstream" from them, but put in a separate GFCI outlet in each spot where one is required.

That should do the trick and for a lot less $$$ than rewiring.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
That's fluorescent.

That being said, the best solution I could offer is to make all the GFCI's into stand-alone units.

That is, do not wire anything "downstream" from them, but put in a separate GFCI outlet in each spot where one is required.

That should do the trick and for a lot less $$$ than rewiring.
Need further advise----This is what I have:

GFCI is wired first from breaker panel
This feeds a second outlet that is contained within a double box, approximately 3' away.
This second outlet feeds light switch---in same double box, and feeds the next outlet that is app. 5' away.
That's all that is on this circuit
I have several more GFCIs but am not sure how to install.
Am I correct that the feed to second GFCI should be attached to the LINE side of the first GFCI?
Would you suggest connecting the light switch to be protected or connect it to line also?
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:33 PM   #12
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Strange GFCI Problem


2nd GFCI and switch is on LINE, not LOAD, side of 1st GFCI.

3rd GFCI is on LINE side of 2nd GFCI.

Switch/lights on a kitchen counter receptacle circuit is a violation as you probably know.
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Code05 View Post
2nd GFCI and switch is on LINE, not LOAD, side of 1st GFCI.

3rd GFCI is on LINE side of 2nd GFCI.

Switch/lights on a kitchen counter receptacle circuit is a violation as you probably know.
The switch et lights on countertop receptacle circuit is pretty common violation I have see it from time to time espcally if someone try to rewire or add a undercabent luminarie { that get pretty common item I have ran into }

We have same rules in France with countertop circuits the hard wired luminaires are Jamais { never } go on countertop circuit that is written in French codes for many years.

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Old 09-03-2011, 07:49 AM   #14
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Strange GFCI Problem


Then I would say you exhausted all your skills and need to call in the next level of help.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:20 AM   #15
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It helps to understand how a GFIC works.

Your two wires, Hot & neutral pass through the center of a small torroid. In a perfect world, the current going down the black wire will be exactly the same as the current coming back on the white wire. When the currents are the same, the current produced by the torroid is 0.

If there is any leakage path on the load side....i.e., some of the current going down the black wire is going to a different path (say, ground) then the return current on the white will be less. This creates a current output on the torroid. When the difference in current reaches a certain point...the GFCI trips.

Some solid state devices have capacitors from hot to ground for filtering purposes....like fluorescent light ballasts....those can sometimes be enough leakage to trip the GFCI....most commonly when you turn on the device.....and in some cases when you turn it off.

So....connecting things like fluorescent lights on the load side of a GFIC is not a good idea.

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