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-   -   GFCI Problems (https://www.diychatroom.com/f18/gfci-problems-61261/)

trudyjk 01-07-2010 11:26 PM

GFCI Problems
 
I have a pond in my Wisconsin backyard. I had a special electrical outlet put in for it. In the winter time I run a heater and aereator. I had no problems until our first snow. Then the GFCI would trip. I can run the aereator on that outlet but the heater trips it. I plugged the heater into a different outside outlet but it did the same thing. This is a new heater specifically for ponds. I purchase another heater and it does the same thing. I replaced the extension cord, same problem. I have made sure there is no water in the connections and have a covered connector over them. Would a better contractors cord possibly help or some type of surge unit? I'm at a loss and my fish can't survive much longer. Trudyjk

beenthere 01-07-2010 11:36 PM

Please do not make duplicate threads across the forums. I removed your other one.

Thank you.

frenchelectrican 01-07-2010 11:55 PM

The key issue is the heater sound like you have moisture got in somewhere it should not be in.

Second thing is how far is the receaptle is from the pond is ?

Some case if too far it can cause a tripping issue with distance and many GFCI are only good for so many feet after that they get really funky.

Merci,Marc

codeone 01-08-2010 04:39 AM

What size is the circuit to the outlet?
What kind of heater is it?
Plus Marc's questions!

trudyjk 01-08-2010 10:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by frenchelectrican (Post 378730)
The key issue is the heater sound like you have moisture got in somewhere it should not be in.

Second thing is how far is the receaptle is from the pond is ?

Some case if too far it can cause a tripping issue with distance and many GFCI are only good for so many feet after that they get really funky.

Merci,Marc

The recepticle is 6 feet away. The heater is for ponds, so it is in water, pretty much checked to make sur the connection was dry.

trudyjk 01-08-2010 10:24 AM

Looking at the circut board there is a 20 on the switch. Don't know really how to tell where do I look? the Heater is made for ponds and recepticle is about 6 ft away. Thanks

Yoyizit 01-08-2010 11:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trudyjk (Post 378705)
1 the GFCI would trip.
2 I can run the aereator on that outlet but the heater trips it.
3 I plugged the heater into a different outside outlet but it did the same thing.
4 I purchase another heater and it does the same thing.
5 I replaced the extension cord, same problem. I have made sure there is no water in the connections and have a covered connector over them.

1 leakage current in the heater or other problems
2 see #1
3 see #1, I assume the other outlet is served by the same GFCI.
4 so it's very likely not the heaters but post links to the heater and aerator.
5 I assume the heater has a grounded plug. It does now sound like a defective GFCI or a defective cable inside the wall downstream of the GFCI.

A default fix would be to replace the GFCI. More likely than not that is the problem but you gamble the $15 for a new GFCI.

If you have a voltmeter and a 7-1/2w incand. lamp you can do further testing.
Post back.

Meantime you may be able to run the heater with an extension cord from an inside GFCI outlet. The cord should be rated for outdoor use. Some cords come with a built-in GFCI.

joed 01-08-2010 11:39 AM

What hapens if you plug the heater directly into the receptacle and not using an extension cord?

trudyjk 01-08-2010 03:05 PM

unfortunatly the cord isn't long enough.

joed 01-08-2010 06:34 PM

You have a fault in the heater or the cord. The first test would be to plug the heater direct in a receptacle. That should test the cord.

Or maybe plug the pump into the cord and see if it trips the GFCI. That should also test the cord.

codeone 01-08-2010 06:41 PM

Its most likely a restive heater which are bad about the inside element touching the sides of the outer part when they get older and they will trip a GFCI every time.

I know this from food warmers in kitchens where they use a similar element. It will drive you crazy.

Yoyizit 01-08-2010 07:05 PM

IMHO, the chance of two consecutive heaters being bad is probably less than 1 chance in 10,000.

codeone 01-08-2010 07:17 PM

Could be the quality of the heaters. Ididnt read he had tried two heaters.And he also said he tried another outlet also.Their is also another issue since he said about the snow, if the outlets are the older ones the moisture could be destorying the GFCI's making them more suceptable to tripping. Try getting one of the new Weather resistant GFCI's the circuitry is encapsulated to protect aganist moisture.

Yoyizit 01-08-2010 07:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by codeone (Post 379130)
the circuitry is encapsulated to protect aganist moisture.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conformal_coating
?

codeone 01-08-2010 07:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yoyizit (Post 379134)
?

Could be dont know. I was at a counter day with tech reps at a local supply house not long ago. The tech rep form one of the major receptacle MFG's showed me a cut away of their product. It was about an 1/8" thick.


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