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Unread 03-17-2007, 01:52 PM   #1
Dave Taylor
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Electrical question

Will a residential 110/120 dual GFI indoor outlet go bad order all on it's own..... just keep popping.

It's about 25 years old.

Any of you folks seen this? Common, not common?

Thanks
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Unread 03-17-2007, 02:01 PM   #2
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Dave

Yes, like any mechanical device it can wear out. My electrician replaces quite a few on our jobs because the homeowners usually have a list of other electrical problems to deal with while he is there. Bad GFI's are on most of those lists.
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Unread 03-17-2007, 02:04 PM   #3
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OTOH, since this problem occured after heavy rains, consider that you may in fact have a grounding issue causing the GFI to trip (such as a wet outlet in the circuit). Maybe one of them boating moles bit through a wire somewheres.
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Unread 03-17-2007, 02:15 PM   #4
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Thanks guys.... I start by replacin' it.
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Unread 03-17-2007, 02:47 PM   #5
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You got a refrigerator or freezer someplace, maybe even in the garage that's plugged into that circuit? If so, unplug same and see what happens.

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Unread 03-17-2007, 03:06 PM   #6
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What Rob & Bob & Mike said.
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Unread 03-17-2007, 03:36 PM   #7
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Bad GFI it was........

Thanks Bob, Bob, Mile/Mike, Kurt.
An' after I had already pulled half of both baths apart.... see.... I shoulda' checked here at TYW first.

Ol' Mikey had me excited.... that I may find some frig I didn't know about which.... may have had some warm beer in it I didn't know about (seein' hows' I already drank all my known stock preparin' fer' St. Patty's day).... which I did know about. :---)

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Unread 03-17-2007, 03:42 PM   #8
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For the record, it's not recommended to plug refrigerators into GFCI outlets.
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Unread 03-18-2007, 09:35 AM   #9
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ddmoit: For the record, it's not recommended to plug refrigerators into GFCI outlets.

Why not?

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Unread 03-18-2007, 09:43 AM   #10
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For the record...

Highly inductive loads (like a fridge) can cause nuisance tripping of the Ground Fault Circuit Interupter.
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Unread 03-18-2007, 09:47 AM   #11
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.....which in turn kin' spoil yer' beer supply...
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Unread 03-18-2007, 09:47 AM   #12
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What Tonto said.

They're about a hunnert times better than they were 20 years ago, but some of the little somebitches still just don't seem to wanna do right sometimes, especially with inductive loads.
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Unread 03-18-2007, 11:49 AM   #13
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Kelly,

You know more about this than I do, but I think my sparky told me one time that the GFI's are calibrated to trip with as little as 0.004 amp imbalance from the hot to the neutral (not sure if I have to terminology correct)...ie: they are quite delicate by design, and thus are affected by the surge of a compressor kicking on.

Does this sound correct?
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Unread 03-18-2007, 01:23 PM   #14
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Anything with a big coil could cause problems. boy, it's been a long time, but a gfci is looking for the same current going out the neutral as is coming in from the hot side - this means that none leaked into something, maybe you. With an inductive load, there is a shift between the current and the voltage until the coil is stable, so a gfci could interpret that as a leak, either when first starting, or immediately after when the spike makes it through. The level and duration of this imbalance varies some, but there are specs that define the maximum. Too sensitive, and it trips often, too much, and you could get hurt before it trips.
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