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Old 09-02-2010, 09:11 PM   #16
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Swamp cooler pops GFCI


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Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
If I've been reading this correctly it is the GFIC that is tripping, not a breaker. A GFIC trips if the current flow detected in the grounded conductor (white or neutral) is different than the current flow detected hot conductor (black). A breaker trips when the circuit current exceeds the breaker rating.
The GFIC would not be affected by a meter change.
OP, you said this is last in the string. This doesn't matter where in the sting the GFIC is placed but what would matter is if there is a pair of wires connected to the Load side of the GFIC. And BTW, the power to the GFIC must be connected to the Line terminals. Are there any other wires in the receptacle box where the GFIC is mounted? Is there anything connected to the Load terminals?
Correct, the gfci is popping, not the breaker itself. Pulled the gfci and it's just the standard 1 black in 1 black out, one white in one white out with a ground at bottom of the outlet. Black is on gold screw white on silver as normal. Nothing else in the box. Looking straight at the outlet (plug ins facing you) you have:

w.....b

w.....b

Ground

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Old 09-02-2010, 09:14 PM   #17
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Swamp cooler pops GFCI


A swamp cooler also has a pump and float switch. I'd get in the wiring compartment and start isolating components by disconnecting the hots and neutrals and see if it only trips the breaker when these components are connected with the motor.

A simple diagram may look something like this....

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Old 09-02-2010, 09:20 PM   #18
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Swamp cooler pops GFCI


There is no electrical float switch on this cooler. It uses a standard brass float that shuts off the water when it reaches full. The switch itself (often called trailer switches) since they were found in mobile homes mostly. It has pump only, high vent, low vent, high cool, low cool and off. Gfci only pops on high cool/high vent nothing else. And it's wired exactly like your diagram
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:23 PM   #19
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Swamp cooler pops GFCI


It has a blower motor and pump motor ... no?
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:23 PM   #20
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Swamp cooler pops GFCI


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Correct, the gfci is popping, not the breaker itself. Pulled the gfci and it's just the standard 1 black in 1 black out, one white in one white out with a ground at bottom of the outlet. Black is on gold screw white on silver as normal. Nothing else in the box. Looking straight at the outlet (plug ins facing you) you have:

w.....b

w.....b

Ground
GFCI are not "Standard" You have other outlets that are protected by this GFCI. Look at the back of the GFCI and you will see Line and Load.
Was the GFCI installed mainly because of the cooler or were you expecting to protect other outlets?
If the GFCI was installed to prevent shock while working on the cooler, then you should wire nut the two blacks and add a pig tail to the line gold terminal and do the same with the white neutrals, and the bare grounds.
Leave the load terminals empty and turn in the screws.
This will place only the cooler on the GFCI and allow you to verify that the problem is in the cooler.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:28 PM   #21
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Swamp cooler pops GFCI


It was installed should the motor on the cooler or the motor on the pump seize(water pump more likely), then it wouldn't sit there being seized up and getting to the point of causing a fire. The seized motor would produce enough load to pop the gfci, thus killing power to it in case no one was home at the time. That was the only reason it was installed.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:32 PM   #22
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Swamp cooler pops GFCI


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It was installed should the motor on the cooler or the motor on the pump seize(water pump more likely), then it wouldn't sit there being seized up and getting to the point of causing a fire. The seized motor would produce enough load to pop the gfci, thus killing power to it in case no one was home at the time. That was the only reason it was installed.
You don't understand the purpose nor the operation of a GFCI. Let's see what Stubbie adds.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:32 PM   #23
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Swamp cooler pops GFCI


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Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
GFCI are not "Standard" You have other outlets that are protected by this GFCI. Look at the back of the GFCI and you will see Line and Load.
Was the GFCI installed mainly because of the cooler or were you expecting to protect other outlets?
If the GFCI was installed to prevent shock while working on the cooler, then you should wire nut the two blacks and add a pig tail to the line gold terminal and do the same with the white neutrals, and the bare grounds.
Leave the load terminals empty and turn in the screws.
This will place only the cooler on the GFCI and allow you to verify that the problem is in the cooler.
So basically I would hook it up this way to isolate the circuit to the cooler only, so if it pops after that then I know it's cooler? Just to make sure we are on the same page.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:38 PM   #24
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Swamp cooler pops GFCI


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So basically I would hook it up this way to isolate the circuit to the cooler only, so if it pops after that then I know it's cooler? Just to make sure we are on the same page.
Yes, that is my point. As it is connected, you have something else in the house that is being protected by this GFCI.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:51 PM   #25
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Swamp cooler pops GFCI


If the motor or pump seizes, it will pop the breaker because it is creating a shorted condition, not a voltage drain to ground, which would trip the GCFI.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:14 PM   #26
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Swamp cooler pops GFCI


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If the motor or pump seizes, it will pop the breaker because it is creating a shorted condition, not a voltage drain to ground, which would trip the GCFI.
What is a voltage drain to ground??
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:29 PM   #27
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Swamp cooler pops GFCI


If the gfci is protecting downstream and it never trips until you operate the cooler then the cooler is suspect. You could disconnect the cable going to other protected outlets if you want to be sure.

As long as the incoming power is connected to the line terminals anything plugged into the gfci is protected.

You are however not understanding how a gfci works and your reason for using it is not correct and will not trip the gfci , it might trip but not because of the overload from a seized pump.

GFCI's do not need the ground to function properly, what they do is what a7ecorsair is saying... they measure/monitor the current flowing in the hot wire and the neutral when operating an appliance. This current will be equal in both wires under normal conditions. If there is 5 amps in the hot and not 5 amps also in the neutral then the gfci trips out because it is 'seeing' that current is going somewhere it should not be.

They detect current leakages at around 5ma if that occurs the gfci trips.

Anyway you need to make sure all your connections in the cooler wiring compartment are clear of any metal especially the neutral connection. Be sure that there is no moisture building up or dripping on the connections etc.. Be sure that the ground wire is not touching neutral that sort of thing.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:30 PM   #28
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Swamp cooler pops GFCI


Also along the Stubbie's comment I do not know if you have clamp on ampmeter if so you may want to check the motor current drawage on both low and high speed I know you mention nameplate but double check it on both low and high speed and to see if over the limit espcally on high speed.

Some case the bearing on the motour can go bad also that can cause the breaker to trip in few minutes.

The other test you can try is unplug the pump motour and see what happend if not tripping on high speed then you may have issue with pump motor if not then just unplug the fan motour and run the pump alone and check the current drawage on that as well.

Merci.
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Old 09-03-2010, 12:03 AM   #29
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Swamp cooler pops GFCI


I'd like to thank everyone for their help trying to solve this problem. I went back and talked with the person that originally told me to put the gfci in. He was basically saying the same thing as you guys, that the gfci is only going to protect it from where it was put in down the line. I misunderstood why he had me put the gfci on, I thought it was for what I described earlier, but I was wrong, it was in case moisture got in the line I guess, to be honest still a bit confused by what he was saying and he didn't have time to explain it further. I admit wiring is something I don't know much about other than your basic receptacles and switches, after that I get a bit lost. I'm going to double check everything again tomorrow as I ran out of daylight today. Maybe I will eliminate the gfci altogether and see if it pops the breaker on high. If the gfci is not beneficial to me, I don't see the purpose of having it on there tbh. Perhaps the circuit is producing just over the 15 amp mark enough to pop it. Not sure how, but worth a try I guess.

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Old 09-03-2010, 12:14 AM   #30
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Swamp cooler pops GFCI


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Also along the Stubbie's comment I do not know if you have clamp on ampmeter if so you may want to check the motor current drawage on both low and high speed
I don't have the clamp on style ampmeter just a regular multimeter with the 2 probes. This is what I wanted to do originally, but at the time it wouldn't stay on long enough to get a reading. Before I changed the breaker, it was instantly popping it as soon as it hit high, now that I changed the breaker (not gfci), it can run about 5 minutes before it pops. At least it's running long enough now to get a reading. So that's something else to check tomorrow. Thanks again for the help everyone.

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