Occasional Short Circuit


Old 05-18-04, 07:59 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 15
Unhappy Occasional Short Circuit

My basement bathroom is has a light and an exhaust fan which are fed through a GFCI. The light and fan are separately switched but are both powered from the load side of the GFCI. SOMETIMES, when the light and fan are both switched on and the fan is then switched off, the GFCI will trip. This doesn't happen every time, and never happens when only the fan is on and is then turned off. Do I have a short/How can I fix it?

Help - it's a dark room without windows!!
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Old 05-18-04, 08:12 PM
ampz's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 536
Shorts cannot be detected by GFCIs.GFCIs detect any imbalance in the current that travels between the hot & the neutral.Your GFCI is defective,sorry I didnt come right to the point,just needed to clarify.
Old 05-18-04, 09:25 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Replacing the GFCI might fix it. But it might not. Cheap bathroom exhaust fans, especially as they age, often have enough leakage in the windings to trip a GFCI. After trying the new GFCI, you could also try a better fan. But you might need to put the fan on the line side of the GFCI.
Old 05-19-04, 05:41 AM
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 15
Smile Here's Hoping!!

Thanks. Both the fan and GFI are new, but I have a spare GFI and will try it. What had puzzled me was that the GFCI only tripped at the instant the fan switch was turned off.
Old 05-22-04, 05:10 AM
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 15
Problem Solved!!

Thanks again for the advice! I replaced the GFCI and the problem disappeared!

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