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Old 05-13-2010, 06:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
I plugged it into the GFCI in the laundry area and all was fine for about 2 years!

So it must have been right.

No! the feed power was connected to the load terminals.Effectively disabling it!

However, from time to time, when turning OFF the fixture with its pull chain switch, the GFCI trips!

So the leakage current is at or slightly below the GFCI tripping threshold?

Hmmm! Not sure?

I have a dehumidifier plugged into the same outlet, its auto start and stop, and it is not a problem.

Could be the cumulative effect of the fixture and this heavy load.

I unplugged the dehumidifier and it still tripped! The tripping started when I corrected the GFCI wiring! (feed to the LINE terminals)

The GFCI never trips until the flourescent fixture is turned off.
I have yet to open up the fixture, but it does have an electronic ballast (Chinese ?) so I'm wondering if this gives a kick that trips the GFCI!


e = -L(di/dt); you should get a huge voltage spike when you interrupt the current in a circuit containing inductance.
Possibly this could be fixed by putting a 400v MOV on the fixture.
It does seem to be an inductance back EMF, that is the root cause! I plan to have a look inside this fixture, but its way down the list! [wife is ill and I'm chief cook and bottle washer, at the moment]
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:10 PM   #17
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You can check the leakage current in the ground lead if you'd like. You just need a meter and a small incand. lamp.
If it's near the trip threshold this could be the problem. 5 mA is the max, but most GFCIs trip at less than this value.
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:39 AM   #18
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I checked mine and it was a Leviton "Pro" 20A GFCI. I have this on a 15A breaker from the panel and 14/2 romex. I will find a properly sized (15A) GFCI from a non-Leviton manufacturer this weekend and replace it....
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:56 AM   #19
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You can't legally have a 20A outlet on a 15A breaker anyway, so good idea

I'll probably swap my GFCI with a different brand at some point. I'll post results when i do.
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:59 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
You can check the leakage current in the ground lead if you'd like. You just need a meter and a small incand. lamp.
If it's near the trip threshold this could be the problem. 5 mA is the max, but most GFCIs trip at less than this value.
Something odd happened with this GFCI today! I was hammering in Romex staples near where the GFCI and it tripped from the vibrations.
So now, I'm wondering if the GFCI is defective?
Are these usually sensitive to any sort of physical vibration etc?
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:24 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildie View Post
Something odd happened with this GFCI today! I was hammering in Romex staples near where the GFCI and it tripped from the vibrations.
So now, I'm wondering if the GFCI is defective?
Are these usually sensitive to any sort of physical vibration etc?
I suppose they shock-test these things to some level of G force. Dropping a wrist watch on a hard floor is 5000 Gs, I think.

Does it reset?
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:17 PM   #22
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I suppose they shock-test these things to some level of G force. Dropping a wrist watch on a hard floor is 5000 Gs, I think.

Does it reset?
Oh yes! And test's OK as well!
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Old 05-15-2010, 02:31 PM   #23
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Oh yes! And test's OK as well!
I'm inclined to think it shouldn't have done it.

You can test it independently for a dollar or so in parts by running resistors from the hot outlet slot to ground.
If you use 120v in Canada
for 1 mA use a 120k 1/4w resistor
for 2 mA use 62k 1/2w
3, parallel these two resistors.
4mA, use 30k 1w
5mA, parallel #1 and #4
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:49 AM   #24
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I finally got around to picking up a 15A GFCI to replace the 20A. Unfortunatley, the store only had Levitron. So, the box says 15A and moulded into the plastic is 15A. However, there is a white sticker on it that says 20A. WTF? I examined the 20A GFCI I just removed. Same thing, 15A moulded into the plastic, but with a similar white 20A sticker. The only differences between these two GFCI's is that the new one is brown, the old one is white (brown goes better with the brown glass tiled backsplash); the new one is "Tamper Resistant" and the old one is not. I am going to go ahead and install the brown one this weekend and see if simply having a different unit from a different lot will produce different (hopefully favorable) results....
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:54 AM   #25
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A 20A outlet has a "T" shaped slot on it. It allows you to plug a 20A device (which also has a "T" shaped plug) into it.

A 15-Amp outlet is rated for 20A "passthrough", meaning you can put it on a 20A circuit but not plug a 20A device into it. If your old outlet didn't have a T slot, then it was a 15A outlet.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:21 AM   #26
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Bingo secutanudu!

Yep, both GFCI's I have do not have a T-shaped slot.

I installed the new, brown GFCI and apparently it has a different trip point. Now I can turn on and off my upstream fans to the GFCI at will and it does not trip.

I tossed the white one in the trash.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:30 AM   #27
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So - the new one you bought was Leviton? That's the brand I am having issues with...
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:45 AM   #28
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Yeah. Both are Levitron. I really didn't have a choice. It's all the hardware store had. I rolled the dice hoping that a different lot from the same manufacture would produce different results. I guess I hit the GFCI lottery. If it does it again, I will put more effort into looking for non-Levitron. Perhaps buy online.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:10 AM   #29
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I know Lowe's sells Cooper - I guess I can try them.
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:23 AM   #30
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Thanks. I'll remember that if the Levitron gets flakey again. Let us know if the Cooper works for you.
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