GFI Keeps Tripping, Even New One

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  #1  
Old 09-22-06, 09:20 AM
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GFI Keeps Tripping, Even New One

Hi!

Been surfing the forums here at dyi hoping to find an answer to my question. I've found that it's not reccommended for dishwashers to be on a gfi circuit. But my neighbor's dishwasher is on a 20 amp dedicated circuit with a 20 amp gfi recepticle.

In order to help my neighbor out I had to do some research. First I needed to know how a gfi works. So I now understand that a gfi is comparing the current on the hot side with the current on the neutral side of the outlet. I also found while researching this problem that major appliance manufactures don't reccommend gfi circuits.

This recepticle is located under the sink and not in the space the dishwasher occupies. I'm a carpenter so I know this isn't how things are normally set up. However, this house is in a city with funky codes. My neighbor told me that the city made them put gfi's under the sink for both the dishwasher and garbage disposal when she remodled her kitchen about 15 years ago. I've called the city to find if this is still code and am waiting for his return call.

I'm thinking that the gfi for the dishwasher is due to the recepticle being under the sink.

So in order to troubleshoot her problem, I first plugged her dishwasher into the garbage disposal recepticle. After a while this gfi also tripped. So I wasn't sold on the notion that the gfi was bad.

But I contacted a guy on a local radio show, the Appliance Doctor. He suggested I change the gfi and if the gfi still trips to call an electrician. And if everything checks out to call him back. Guess he want's to make sure the electrical circuit is ok before diving into the dishwasher.

So now I've changed both gfi's, disposal & dishwasher. The gfi is still tripping for the dishwasher. Funny tho, with the old gfi's it would take maybe 8 times before the gfi would trip. With the new one it took 2 times hehe.

So now I need to know what I check the circuit for to determine there's nothing wrong with the wiring. Any suggestions?

The dishwasher does trip at the same point in the wash cycle. When the pump comes on for teh rinse cycle. This is why I believe it's something with the dishwasher. But I can't ask the appliance guy until I check the electrical circuit.

This problem just started a couple months ago. She's had no work on her house for years. So nothing has been done that could have caused this. Everything worked fine for around 15 years.

Thanks!!
 
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  #2  
Old 09-22-06, 09:47 AM
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Replace the dishwasher, or at least the pump.
 
  #3  
Old 09-22-06, 09:51 AM
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Smile

This is what I would do if it were my dishwasher. I would check (with a ohm meter) for continuity between the ground prong on the cord and the metal frame of the dishwasher. You want continuity here as it assures that the ground wire of the cord is attached to the frame of the dishwasher.
I would also check to see if there was any continuity between the ground and neutral prong and with the knob on the dishwasher turned to the off position, I would check for continuity between the hot and neutral (and ground) prong. If I didn't have any continuity between any of the prongs (which is good), I would run a extension cord from a non-gfi receptacle and plug in the dishwasher. At that point, I would turn the dishwasher on and check the running amperage with a amp meter. If the amperage was within the range on the nameplate, I would replace the GFCI receptacle with a grounded, non-GFI receptacle and the problem would most likely disappear. Of course, that's unless it was against local code not to have the dishwasher on a GFI circuit.
The National Electrical Code only requires that (kitchen) receptacles that serve the kitchen countertop surfaces be GFI protected, not dedicated receptacles for fixed appliances.
This is what I would do, what you do is up to you, so I won't be responsible for any problems you may encounter if you follow this advice.
steve

Edit: Just read the rest of your post (I missed the end the last time), and it sounds like you probably have a problem with the motor. In this case, I recommend you call a appliance repairman.
 
  #4  
Old 09-22-06, 11:52 AM
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Location: welland ontario
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I would say the dishwasher has a problem. Measure the ohms on the highest scale from hot to ground and from neutral to ground. If you get any reading then the dishwasher is leaking current and you have found the problem.
 
  #5  
Old 09-23-06, 08:41 AM
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Thanks for the feedback!

One more question. If I'm using the ohm meter to measure the resistance of the dishwasher, then I should have the switch set to the place it trips the gfi correct?

Another question. If the dishwasher is leaking, and it's not hooked to a gfi, then how would any one know somethings wrong?

I'm trying to help my neighbor out so she can forego the appliance repair house call charge to tell her she needs a new dishwasher. Or if the pump is expensive, would a new dishwasher be the best route.

Thanks again!!
 
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