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Thread: GFCI tripping

  1. #1
    River Oaks's Avatar
    River Oaks Guest

    Question GFCI tripping

    I have a frige in my garage on a GFCI. I had to replace the defrost terminator yesterday. Before doing so, I had to melt the ice build-up around it, which of course sent water down into the unit. After reassembly, I turned it back on and all seemed fine. This morning the GFCI had tripped so I turned the controls to "OFF" and reset the GFCI. It is running again but I cannot figure out what may be grounding out. Could the melted ice have caused the problem, or did the frige problem weaken the GFCI when it originally failed. It has been on this circuit for 2.5 years with no issues. Thanks

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
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    Default Re: GFCI tripping

    What is the age of the fridge/freezer?

    What is the age of the GFCI?

    GFCI's more than 10 years old are less reliable. A new one costs about $12.
    Old fridges make more electrical noise and can trip old GFCIs.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: GFCI tripping

    Quote Originally Posted by River Oaks View Post
    I have a frige in my garage on a GFCI. I had to replace the defrost terminator yesterday. Before doing so, I had to melt the ice build-up around it, which of course sent water down into the unit. After reassembly, I turned it back on and all seemed fine. This morning the GFCI had tripped so I turned the controls to "OFF" and reset the GFCI. It is running again but I cannot figure out what may be grounding out. Could the melted ice have caused the problem, or did the frige problem weaken the GFCI when it originally failed. It has been on this circuit for 2.5 years with no issues. Thanks
    90% chance that it is the refrigerator and I would say 10% chance it is the GFCI. Older refrigerators are known for doing this as their motors age. Could the water have done it? Sure, that is a possibility.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
    River Oaks's Avatar
    River Oaks Guest

    Default Re: GFCI tripping

    Thanks Scott. The Amana is 21yrs old and never had any service issues. My home is 2.5 years old. It just tripped again and to restart it I once agaon tuned the unit off, reset the GFCI, and had to manually turn the defrost timer to get it to come on. Could the timer be the issue?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Santa Rosa, CA
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    Default Re: GFCI tripping

    I think you posted your own answer. 21 year old. Might be time to think about a new appliance. More efficient too.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  6. #6
    MARVIN TOWNSEN's Avatar
    MARVIN TOWNSEN Guest

    Default Re: GFCI tripping

    I have run into this with my freezer when i thaw it out, the motor works harder to bring it down to temp, i have to reset several times. once its up to temp its fine, and my freezer is only 5 years old.


  7. #7
    Michael Russell's Avatar
    Michael Russell Guest

    Default Re: GFCI tripping

    Hi all
    I am from Canada and am a Certified Electrical Journeyman (sorry for the intro)

    But can you tell me if this is code to have a motor on a GFI plug ,because it isn't in Canada.

    When restarting the fridge The compressor will be pulling peak current which will be over the gfi's capacity and it will trip just like a short circuit, which is done to protect life,equipment, circuits and so on.
    I do believe the two codes are the same about this point unless this is a municipal or state bylaw of some kind? could you possibly let me know

    Thanks


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
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    Default Re: GFCI tripping

    Michael

    The purpose of a GFI (GFCI) is NOT to protect the circuit, equipment or so on, but only to protect people.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  9. #9
    Michael Russell's Avatar
    Michael Russell Guest

    Default Re: GFCI tripping

    Thanks Rick i stand corrected the GFCI (GFI) is only used to protect persons from shock hazard


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    4,549

    Default Re: GFCI tripping

    Micheal , there are 100's of differences between the CEC and the NEC (US code). That is why I try to throw a Canadian comment in there now and then.
    Not counting bathrooms, which are all required to have GFCI's, the NEC rule I believe is for all garage circuits and all kitchen circuits to be GFCI protected.
    In Canada, GFCI's are only required in bathrooms, outdoors and within 1.5 meters of the kitchen sink, and that only since the 2006 rules came into use.

    So yeah, in the US, you can pack a handgun, but your fridge has to be on a GFCI.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  11. #11
    Michael Russell's Avatar
    Michael Russell Guest

    Default Re: GFCI tripping

    Thanks John

    Does The NEC indicate that the GFCI (GFI) has to be rated 5 ma and must be a GFCI outlet in the garage or can the fridge or Freezer be put on a regular outlet with a GFCI (GFI) breaker Rated at 30 MA which would most probably stop tripping because of the compressor and still prevent shock hazard?


    Canadian code also states pools,heat tracing,Laundry room(if your plug is above your washer you must install a GFCI + all areas where water or humidity,would be a problem
    And yes the CEC has since then moved in the right direction for the better but we can't change it all at once only a bit at a time


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