GFI Receptacle Keeps Tripping

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  #1  
Old 06-27-04, 07:25 PM
Bflanakin
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GFI Receptacle Keeps Tripping

I have a GFI garage receptacle that begin to randomly trip 2 weeks ago (3 to 4 times in one week) however it did not trip once last week. This afternoon it tripped again and I can no longer reset the GFI. I unplugged the refrigerator which seems to be the only appliance on that particular circuit (all applicances are working). The other 3 GFI receptacles were triggered by pressing the test button and reset.

I first though the refrigerator was the problem until I unplugged it and still could not reset the garage GFI receptacle.

I did notice one occurrence which I cannot explain. I was able to reset the garage GFI once however it caused the bathroom GFI to fault. When I reset the bathroom GFI it caused the garage GFI to fault.

This is where my very limited knowledge comes in to play.

Questions for the experts:

1. Is each GFI on its own circuit?

2. Does this problem sound like a GFI receptacle just gone bad? Its 5 years
old and read on other postings where this is a common occurrence.

3. Are all the GFI receptacles wired to GFI circuit breaker?

4. If the answer to question 3 is yes, then if the GFI circuit is bad wouln't all
the GFI receptacles fail?

Thanks for the help and insight for I have very limited knowledge with home electrical wiring

TIA
 
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  #2  
Old 06-27-04, 07:38 PM
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No each GFCI isn't necessarily on its own circuit.
5 yrs is about average for a GFCIs age I would change it and see what happens.
GFCI receptacle do not have to be wired to a GFCI breaker.In fact its redundant and doesn't make sense.GFCI breakers protect an entire circuit where a GFCI receptacle protects everything down the line from it.
No even if they're on the same circuit
 
  #3  
Old 06-27-04, 07:43 PM
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1. Impossible to tell for sure with the information you've provided. But they are probably on the same circuit. It should be easy to find out by flipping the circuit breaker and seeing what goes dead. If they are on the same circuit, then it's silly to have more than one GFCI receptacle on this circuit.

2. Could be a bad GFCI. It'll cost you $15 to find out.

3. By "GFCI circuit breaker" do you mean a real GFCI circuit breaker, or just an ordinary breaker that is labeled GFCI in the panel? Normally you do not use both a GFCI breaker and a GFCI receptacle.

4. A circuit doesn't go "bad" (run around with the wrong crowd?).

It is not recommended to put a refrigerator or freezer on a GFCI. As both the refrigerator and GFCI age, it makes false tripping more likely.

Do some more experimenting and provide more information. We'll keep poking at this.
 
  #4  
Old 07-02-04, 06:34 AM
Bflanakin
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A Spiderweb was the problem

Sorry for the delay. The day after my last post I found an outside receptacle by the front door. I verified that receptacle is one the same ciruit.

I found a small spider decided to build a spiderweb inside one of the prong receptacles. During the last two week we have had a high moisture content which caused the GFI to fault.

The web has been cleared and the refrigerator in the garage is cold again

Thanks for all the help.
 
  #5  
Old 07-02-04, 06:49 AM
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I would still move that refidgerator to a non GFCI receptacle. You don't want it tripping and not be noticed for several days.
 
  #6  
Old 07-04-04, 08:56 AM
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I disagree with one of John's statements.

I do not believe that it is silly to have more than one GFCI on a circuit. I like to have the GFCI reset point (ie the GFCI receptacle outlet) in the general vicinity of the outlets it protects.

For example, if my house were wired with unfinished basement outlets and garage outlets on the same circuit, then I would want at least one GFCI in each location protecting the downstream outlets in the same location (and only those outlets). I would not want to have to go to the basement to reset a tripped GFCI if I am working in the garage.
 
  #7  
Old 07-04-04, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by racraft
I disagree with one of John's statements.

I do not believe that it is silly to have more than one GFCI on a circuit. I like to have the GFCI reset point (ie the GFCI receptacle outlet) in the general vicinity of the outlets it protects.

For example, if my house were wired with unfinished basement outlets and garage outlets on the same circuit, then I would want at least one GFCI in each location protecting the downstream outlets in the same location (and only those outlets). I would not want to have to go to the basement to reset a tripped GFCI if I am working in the garage.
I personally think it would be silly to put the basement and garage outlets on the same circuit.
 
  #8  
Old 07-04-04, 02:58 PM
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If you have to go down to the basement more than once a year to reset a GFCI, then you should fix the root cause of the problem.
 
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