GFCI circuit breaker problem


  #1  
Old 06-17-04, 02:58 PM
avalcour
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GFCI circuit breaker problem

I have a GFCI circuit breaker that is about 5 years old and has just started tripping in the last few days...I am not sure if the problem is in the circuit or the circuit breaker, is there a way to troubleshoot this to isolate the problem?
 
  #2  
Old 06-17-04, 03:08 PM
J
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First of all, let's make sure we have the right terminology. When you say "GFCI circuit breaker", you are talking about a breaker in your main electrical panel, right? You are not talking about a GFCI receptacle, right?

One problem with troubleshooting a GFCI breaker is that it can be difficult to tell if the breaker is tripping because of an overload, a short, or a ground fault. Start by unplugging everything on the circuit and turning the breaker back on.

Does it trip immediately, in seconds, in hours, or in days after you reset it?
 
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Old 06-17-04, 03:09 PM
R
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Disconnect the circuit wires (hot and neutral) from the breaker and see if the breaker still trips. Connect a different circuit to the breaker and see if it still trips.
 
  #4  
Old 06-17-04, 03:59 PM
avalcour
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Originally Posted by John Nelson
First of all, let's make sure we have the right terminology. When you say "GFCI circuit breaker", you are talking about a breaker in your main electrical panel, right? You are not talking about a GFCI receptacle, right?

One problem with troubleshooting a GFCI breaker is that it can be difficult to tell if the breaker is tripping because of an overload, a short, or a ground fault. Start by unplugging everything on the circuit and turning the breaker back on.

Does it trip immediately, in seconds, in hours, or in days after you reset it?
Thanks very much for the quick response.
Yes it is a GFCI circuit breaker in the panel. The circuit it is on is for the Kitchen. this circuit has a florecent task light over the sink, garbage dispsoal and two recpticals.

When I reset it only lasts for less than a minute.
 
  #5  
Old 06-17-04, 04:33 PM
J
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There are many possible explanations, so anything is just a guess, but here are a couple of likely causes: (1) somebody spashed some water in one of the two receptacles, or (2) there is an overload (you didn't say what might be plugged into these two receptacles).

Unplug the garbage disposal, and anything plugged in elsewhere, turn off the light, and try to reset the breaker again.

Bob's experiment is a good one too if you have the skills to execute it.
 
 

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