GFI Problem...Any Ideas?


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Old 08-02-09, 04:13 PM
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GFI Problem...Any Ideas?

I have a 15 amp GFI on a circuit containing the light in our pool and a small fountain in the adoining flower bed. The GFI trips when neither the light or the fountain are on. I have isolated both the light and the pool and it still trips, no matter which one is hooked up and no matter if either are on or off. If I unhook the light and pump so that there is nothing connected to the circuit, the breaker will not trip. Any ideas?
 
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Old 08-02-09, 05:38 PM
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Some GFI's trip if the power supply to them is turned off, especially the older ones. I would also suspect that the box the GFI is in may be full of bugs dead or alive and the moisture from them may be causing enough of a fault to trip the recepticle. Then the real simple reason my be that the device is getting wet by a sprinkler or rain causing it to trip. May require a new gasket and bubble cover to prevent the tripping.

Gene
 
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Old 08-02-09, 06:09 PM
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Are you protecting the light in your pool and the fountain on the load side of the gfci? When, exactly, does it trip? If the light nor the fountain are on, you turn on the breaker and the gfci trips? Are you using UF cable or are you using THWN in conduit?
 
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Old 08-03-09, 08:29 AM
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I have a small breaker box outside which is serviced by the main breaker box in the garage. The GFI in on the breaker (BTW..I've replaced the GFI breaker and the result is the same) with UF ran underground to a junction box at the end of the pool. In the junctions box is the swx for the light and this is where I tie another UF run from this junction box to a box with the receptacle for the fountain. The outside breaker box has 3 breakers....the GFI breaker and two 30 amp breakers for the pool pum and the Polaris pump. There are no problems with the pump breakers. They do not trip under any circumstances. The GFI trips.....1. When there is not a load on it. 2. When nothing is hooked to it at all. 3. When either the light and/or fountain is hooked up (whether on or not). I had thought maybe I had a nick in the wire somewhere and was about to replace the underground run when I tried it 2 nights ago and the light ran over 3.5 hours until I turned it off. When I went back the next day, the breaker was thrown and it has not ran since. The breaker trips within 10 seconds of being reset. SOmething to note, it did rain after I turned off the light. Confused. Thanks for your help!
 
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Old 08-03-09, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by WallaceH View Post
I have a small breaker box outside which is serviced by the main breaker box in the garage. The GFI in on the breaker (BTW..I've replaced the GFI breaker and the result is the same) with UF ran underground to a junction box at the end of the pool. In the junctions box is the swx for the light and this is where I tie another UF run from this junction box to a box with the receptacle for the fountain. The outside breaker box has 3 breakers....the GFI breaker and two 30 amp breakers for the pool pum and the Polaris pump. There are no problems with the pump breakers. They do not trip under any circumstances. The GFI trips.....1. When there is not a load on it. 2. When nothing is hooked to it at all. 3. When either the light and/or fountain is hooked up (whether on or not). I had thought maybe I had a nick in the wire somewhere and was about to replace the underground run when I tried it 2 nights ago and the light ran over 3.5 hours until I turned it off. When I went back the next day, the breaker was thrown and it has not ran since. The breaker trips within 10 seconds of being reset. SOmething to note, it did rain after I turned off the light. Confused. Thanks for your help!
It sounds like you may have another nick somewhere in the wire or you may have not fixed the first one correct. So from the GFCI breaker to your first box or feed, unhook you wires and cap them off. Now you have nothing on the circuit but the wire. Turn on the breaker and see if it trips. If it does then you most likely have a short in that UF wire feed.
Jim
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Old 08-03-09, 01:46 PM
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If it trips with nothing connected to it at all, you either have it wired incorrectly or it is a bad breaker. The pigtail should be connected to your neutral bar in the panel. The neutral from your UF should be attached to the breaker in the neutral hole. The hot, likewise should be attached to the line screw.
 
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Old 08-03-09, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
If it trips with nothing connected to it at all, you either have it wired incorrectly or it is a bad breaker. The pigtail should be connected to your neutral bar in the panel. The neutral from your UF should be attached to the breaker in the neutral hole. The hot, likewise should be attached to the line screw.
I beleive he said he changed out with a new breaker already and did the same thing. After he did a repair it worked for 3.5 hrs. I think he has it wired correct.
Jim
 
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Old 08-03-09, 06:00 PM
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You're right. I re-read the post. I fail to understand how the breaker can trip without a load on it, just sitting in the panel.
 
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Old 08-04-09, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
You're right. I re-read the post. I fail to understand how the breaker can trip without a load on it, just sitting in the panel.
A short between either the neutral or ground to the hot in the UF wire.
Jim
 
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Old 08-04-09, 01:01 PM
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Not if there is no wire connected to the breaker. "2. When nothing is hooked to it at all. " That is what I am understanding. Could be wrong.
 
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Old 08-05-09, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
Not if there is no wire connected to the breaker. "2. When nothing is hooked to it at all. " That is what I am understanding. Could be wrong.
I beleive he was saying that nothing was hooked on the load side. The breaker was still wired up. He could have another nick in the UF wire or water in a switch or receptable causing the breaker to trip.
Jim
 
 

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