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Thread: buzzing GFCI

  1. #1
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
    Richard Stanley Guest

    Default buzzing GFCI

    House about 6 months old. Several of the GFCI's buzzed when tested - 1 of them blew out, started smoking, and tripped the breaker. I told the owner to get them all replaced. Electrician that installed them happened to be there replcing a ceiling fan - heard me tell her and agreed. Anybody know about defective or recalled GFCI receptacles?? (No, I don't know the brand.) I suspect the subdivision may have alot of them.

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  2. #2
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
    Jerry Peck is online now Member
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    Default Re: buzzing GFCI

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Stanley View Post
    House about 6 months old.

    Anybody know about defective or recalled GFCI receptacles??
    There have been defective ones at times, various manufacturers, some would reset reverse polarity, some would buzz (like the ones you found) and there were other problems.

    I suspect they were 'production run' problems and, depending on the problem, all GFCIs made on that production run were likely to have similar problems. Thus, shipments to different electrical distribution warehouses distributed those problems all over the country, and when the problem surfaced, it self-corrected itself through replacements from new shipments (sometimes meaning that several replacements had to be made before 'finding a good one', i.e., they had to deplete that bad batch in stock and replenish with a new shipment, from a new production run, and the problem solved itself). Except when resetting reverse polarity, I think that was a design issue which was corrected through re-design.

    Of course, I am referring to well past that 6 month old house (to 3-10 years ago), so it's just 'the same problem' resurfacing again.

    The electrician has probably replaced many, and will likely replace many more, until the warehouse stock is turned over and the new ones 'are okay now'.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Terry Neyedli's Avatar
    Terry Neyedli Guest

    Default Re: buzzing GFCI

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Stanley View Post
    House about 6 months old. Several of the GFCI's buzzed when tested - 1 of them blew out, started smoking, and tripped the breaker. I told the owner to get them all replaced. Electrician that installed them happened to be there replcing a ceiling fan - heard me tell her and agreed. Anybody know about defective or recalled GFCI receptacles?? (No, I don't know the brand.) I suspect the subdivision may have alot of them.
    Country of manufacture, country of assembly and poor/nonexistant quality control all play their integral part in a properly operating unit.
    Apparently one or more operations are missing in these units. It is happening more frequently since asia has the lion's share of the process.
    T.Neyedli
    www.alphahomeinspections.ca


  4. #4
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    Talking Re: buzzing GFCI

    Maybe they were made in China!

    RJDalga
    http://homeanalysts.com
    Kalamazoo, MI

  5. #5
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    Default Re: buzzing GFCI

    Have done a few "new home finals" in the past couple of weeks and have had them all with 'buzzing GFCIs' when reset.

    Mentioned to builder's rep and he said that their electrician has had a "run" of bad GFCIs.

    He said they keep buying the 'cheap ones' ... so it is expected.

    Cheers - Nolan E. Kienitz
    Dallas Home Inspector
    www.NolansInspections.com

  6. #6
    Shannon Guinn's Avatar
    Shannon Guinn Guest

    Default Re: buzzing GFCI

    I have also seen the buzzing gfci's but also 3-way switches and single-pole switches, country of origin usually plays a role in this but I have also seen American made devices with production problems. As a former contractor there's almost nothing as annoying as having to go back on a finished job to replace faulty equipment. It always seems, or maybe it was just me, that the customer might think that it was an installation error. Quality control should be the top priority at a manufacturing facility but in the end I guess we all make mistakes. I try to limit mine to as few as I can instead of thousands.


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