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GFCI breaker keeps tripping

3294 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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Thanks for the reply Oso954.

The pump is a Mastercraft 1/4 hp that is doing just fine when I plug it in any other receptacle.

I just plugged in work lights (3 prongs) without tripping the breaker. The small Stanley shop vac also worked without issues.

Could that small pump draw more than 15 A at startup?
Pump is submersible utility pump P/N 062-3580-2. Definitely a low-cost unit.

Thanks for the explanation. I thought that by coincidence I may have plugged the pump in a non-GFCI receptacle that would have been on a 20 A circuit.

I will have to see if I can borrow my neighbor's pump to see if it will work.
Well Oso954, you are correct. I just tried plugging the pump in a GFCI receptacle inside the house and it immediately tripped.

I was blaming the wrong thing all along.

Thanks for the help. I will go to bed a little less dumb tonight.
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The OP was indeed referring to a GFCI breaker. The pump was then tested on a GFCI receptacle.

The only inaccurate statement in my initial post is the 3-prong appliances that would trip the breaker. At that time, the tests were all with the pump, with and without extension chords. Later tests with other 3-prong loads support the defective pump theory.

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