GFI tripping

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Old 09-26-05, 06:37 AM
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GFI tripping

We just had our basement finished and one of the GFIs keeps tripping. This is what we have on the circuit:

1) a beermeister. Only 1.5 amps.

2) home entertainment system. we had this same exact system in our old basement and never sa problem.

i know a gfi will trip when the load is too high or maybe when there's a leak? what else? also, my contractor installed "double" breakers throughout our electric panel b/c we were out of space. he installed twin 15 and 20 amp twin or double breakers.

any ideas? is it a peice of equipment thats possible surging? or could it be bad wiring?
 
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Old 09-26-05, 06:49 AM
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A GFCI does not trip when the "load is too high". A GFCI trips when there is an imbalance between the current on the hot wire and the neutral wire. The extra current is going somewhere else, possibly through someone's body.

Does the GFCI trip when these devices are not plugged in? Not plugged in does not mean turned off. Test with the devices completely unplugged. If the GFCI still trips with no load, then you may have a defective GFCI. try replacing it.

If the GFCI does not trip with the devices unplugged then determine which one is tripping the GFCI. That device is either defective or may simply be wearing out.

Some devices with motors, such as refrigerators, freezers, sump pumps, etc., wear out over time and there is a small amount of leakage current which may trip a GFCI. This is why GFCI are not recommended for circuits serving certain devices like refrigerators, etc.

One other point. GFCIs are not required for finished basements. While you can certainly install them and use them, they are not required by code. If you do determine that the beermeister is the culprit, and it is simply because it is getting old, then you may want to eliminate the GFCI.
 
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Old 09-26-05, 07:29 AM
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Wow, interesting stuff. so far its only tripped two times in two weeks. Both times everything was plugged in. And both times the beermeister was running but none of the home entertainment stuff was turned on.

Ok, since its not recommended for refigertator type appliances, I think there's an alternate outlet without a GFI and see if it still trips.

Thanks!
 
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Old 09-26-05, 07:44 AM
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That other receptacle may still be GFCI protected. To check, press the test button on the GFCI (to trip it) and see if the other receptacle has power.

Based on what you are saying, I would suspect the beermeister.
 
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Old 09-26-05, 08:35 AM
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Thank you so much for the heads up. My wife wanted me to call our contractor but I wanted to investigate more before accusing him (he's very sensitive!). So, I'll do what you mentioned above and see what happens.

I'll post the outcome on the forum here for others' benefit!
 
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Old 09-26-05, 09:34 AM
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No matter what, your contractor is not going to take responsibility here, and it's far from clear that he should. He's going to claim that you have an appliance with a ground fault, and he'll probably be correct.
 
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Old 09-26-05, 10:38 AM
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Great. Thats what I originally thought. My wife wanted me to bug the guy. I wont until I've figured this out.

Thanks all
 
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Old 09-26-05, 10:51 AM
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In addition to the experiment of plugging the beermeister into a non-GFCI receptacle in the basement, another experiment would be to plug the beermeister to a GFCI receptacle upstairs. If it trips the upstairs GFCI too, then the contractor must be held blameless.
 
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Old 09-26-05, 11:13 AM
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ah, good idea! thx
 
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Old 09-28-05, 09:45 AM
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Since that beermeister is faulty, I will gladly take it off your hands and give it a thorough inspection.
 
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