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GFCI breaker keeps tripping

3258 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Fix'n it
Hello all,

I have a circuit with a 15 A GFCI breaker that powers a single outdoor receptacle. I have been trying to run a small pump (2.2 A) and the breaker would keep tripping. I elected to replace the receptacle and cover since both looked worn out. The replacement would also allow me to look at the wires. The wires all looked good. With the new receptacle wired in and the pump plugged in, the breaker will trip after a few seconds of being energized.

Testing the receptacle with various loads, I noticed that 2-prong appliances work fine. Even the power-hungry 1875 W blow dryer. As soon as I plug a 3-prong cord, the breaker trips.

Something is not working with the ground? How can the problem be further diagnosed and fixed?

Thanks much.
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What make/model is the pump ?

What other 3 prong cord devices have you tried plugging in ?

Are you plugging them directly into the receptacle, or is there an extension cord being used ?
The GFCI doesn't trip on overcurrent, it trips on current leakage.
A non-GFCI receptacle does not sense current leakage. If that is what you mean by other receptacles, it does not mean that the pump is fine.

Since you didn't supply the model number, I am assuming that this is a submersible pump, either a sump or utility pump. It is not uncommon for these pumps to have GFCI problems, particularly with the lower cost units.

I believe that your pump is defective, leaking more current than the GFCI trip point.
could you please explain this in a little more detail ? the leakage part.
The official definition is current that escapes the current carrying conductors and returns on the ground conductor. I was using it a little looser than that, to cover all escaping current that does not return to the GFCI, whether it returns on the ground conductor or takes some other path.

I am not sure why you are tripping the GFCI when plugging into it. But if it is resetting and holding without tripping in use, you are not experiencing a continuous leakage problem above the trip point. So it is safe to use.
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