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GD Lee 03-19-2011 09:13 AM

Treadmill popping GFI
My treadmill just started popping the GFI breaker. The treadmill is only two months old and otherwise works fine. I used an extension cord and ran it to another circuit and it did not pop the breaker. I decided to try it with the extension cord to the original circuit and the breaker does not pop. Does that make any sense?

joed 03-19-2011 09:21 AM

What is the ampacity of the circuit breaker? Is it popping the GFCI or the breaker overload? Electronics in speed control will often fool the GFCI into tripping for a fault.

GD Lee 03-19-2011 09:29 AM

It's a 15 amp breaker and also has a computer on the circuit. I unplugged the computer and it made no difference. The GFI is the breaker type and it trips it.

PaliBob 03-19-2011 09:46 AM

GD, Welcome to the Forum

Here is a little GFI Tester I made to help analyze nuisance trips.

secutanudu 03-19-2011 10:17 AM

Like joed asked, you need to find out if the breaker portion is tripping from Ampacity overload, or the gfci portion is tripping due to a possible ground fault.

Try using your extension cord to plug it into a gfci outlet, see if anything trips.

awdblazer 03-19-2011 11:01 AM

if you read your manual on the treadmill i am sure it says to not use on a gfci circuit

GD Lee 03-19-2011 11:24 AM

I didn't understand joed comment until I did a little investigating. The breaker is a Sqaure D Homeline AFCI. The way I understand it is that a AFCI is a little different design than a GFCI however would give me the same problems. The manual does specify not to plug into a GFCI outlet. (good comment awdblazer).
As far as whether it's the breaker portion or the AFCI portion that is tripped, I assumed they were tied together. The breaker switch is tripped and needs to be reset. The blue push button does not need reset. Does that mean that its tripping on over amperage? It's actually my son's treadmill and he's 50 miles away so I can't do much much troubleshooting today. It does not make any sense to me why it trips without an extension cord however when I plugged one in it runs fine. Its a 12 gauge 25 foot extension cord. I guess in 2002 there was a new code that specified that all bedroom outlets have to be on a AFCI circuit. He (my son) says that's the only place they have to put the treadmill. I think he's going to have to come up with another plan for it.

joed 03-19-2011 11:43 AM

What size circuit does it say to use? Many tread mills require a 20 amp circuit. They could work on a 15 amp circuit but if close to the limit it might or might not trip the breaker.

GD Lee 03-19-2011 12:55 PM

It specifies in the manual that a 15 amp circuit with nothing else on it. Tried unplugging everything on the circuit and made no difference.

jbfan 03-19-2011 01:16 PM

When you ran the ext. coed, did you plug into another afci circuit?
Have you been using it for 2 mionths and it just started tripping the breaker?

GD Lee 03-19-2011 01:28 PM

It has been used since mid November and just started tripping breakers. I first used the extention cord to run it to another circuit in an adjacent room and it did not trip. I thought that I had it a bad breaker but decided to use the extension cord on the original gfi circuit and it did not trip. I found this odd so ran it again without the cord and it tripped within a minute. Put the cord back on and it ran for 20 minutes with me on it at about 6 MPH and did not trip. ??

GD Lee 03-19-2011 09:34 PM

Does anyone know if there ia a device, a type of filter, that can be used between a treadmill and an outlet that will filter nuisance frequency spikes that are tripping a AFCI breaker. It sounds like this is somewhat of a common problem since it is now a requirement to use these breakers on circuits that feed bedrooms. Like I stated in an earlier blog, when using an extension cord plugged into the same outlet it does not trip. I assum it acts as an inductance filter.

PaliBob 03-19-2011 11:07 PM


Originally Posted by GD Lee (Post 612886)
Does anyone know if there ia a device, a type of filter, ........?

Not a pi filter but a good quality power Isolation Transformer with a low inter winding capacitance should do the trick. What are the treadmill power requirements?

killadelphia 03-20-2011 12:19 AM

Ive seen this problem plenty of times. What else on the circuit with the gfi breaker. Anytime a homeowner had this problem they plugged their treadmill into an unknowingly maxed circuit. Find out what else is also on the circuit, you may need its own dedicated circuit.

GD Lee 03-20-2011 05:34 AM

I'll try an isolation transformer. Any suggestion to make and model? That would be an easy fix. Its located upstairs and a dedicated circuit would be difficult and with the AFCI requirement I'm afraid a dedicated circuit may not fix the problem unless there are neutrals tied together somewhere in the circuit. Thats something I will look at. thanks

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