oversensitive gfi?

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  #1  
Old 06-15-07, 09:28 AM
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oversensitive gfi?

i have a waterfall pump plugged into a gfi. recently, the gfi started tripping out after the pump was running - sometimes, a second after i reset the gfi; sometimes, after several hours of operation. the pump works when plugged directly into a standard grounded outlet. so, questions: do gfi's "age" and become more sensitive? do motors "age" and develop leakage paths that can cause the gfi to trip? is there a way to avoid replacing the motor? is there a way to avoid getting electrocuted? if i have a ground fault, does this mean that the waterfall and pond (assuming they are electrically isolated from the earth) could be at 115 volts relative to earth - (which i realize is not the same thing at all as the circuit's ground terminal). thanks, your glow-in-the-dark correspondent Bruce.
 
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Old 06-15-07, 09:35 AM
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"Do motors "age" and develop leakage paths that can cause the gfi to trip?" - Yep, a definite posibility, especially when wet.
 
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Old 06-15-07, 09:40 AM
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> do gfi's "age" and become more sensitive?
> do motors "age" and develop leakage paths that can cause the gfi to trip?

Yes on both accounts; the GFCI doesn't really age mechanically in the same way a motor does, but it can malfunction over time. The motor can also introduce noise which can cause an older GFCI to trip. Modern GFCI receptacles (newer than 2002) are much better with motors than earlier units. Try replacing the GFCI first.
 
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Old 06-15-07, 01:11 PM
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the gfci should be newer than 2002, but the one i brought home this afternoon is 2007! we will see over the weekend...
 
  #5  
Old 06-15-07, 02:02 PM
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Is the pump submerged or above the water level? Can you inspect the pump to make sure that no water has gotten into the motor compartment? A loose cord grommet or failing mechanical seal could allow some water leakage into the motor. Also a break or crack in the submerged cord could be causing the trips.
 
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