GFCI keeps shutting down circuit

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Old 09-07-09, 06:41 AM
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GFCI keeps shutting down circuit

There is a GFCIed outlet near the door that connects my garage to my house. The GFCI controls the outlets in the garage and one outside. Two or times a week or so it shuts down the circuit.....even though nothing is in use. I discover this only when I enter the garage and try to turn on the light. Pressing the reset button restores power; the breaker on the main panel is never tripped. I live in a rural area that seems to be prone to power surges.

ISTM that if there was a loose connection in one of the outlets, the shutdowns would occur much more often. My three-light grounding tester indicates that everything's OK. So I figured I'd ask if any of you can offer advice on what might be wrong before I start opening and examining all of the outlets in the run, some of which are hard to get to.

Thanks
 
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Old 09-07-09, 07:01 AM
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The first thing I would do would be to remove the cover for the outside receptacle to check for moisture buildup.

You could also check to see if any of the ground wires are close to the screws on the sides of the receptacles.
 
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Old 09-07-09, 03:01 PM
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Will do. Thanks. If I don't find moisture or a screw that needs adjustment, does this merit calling an electrician? Given that the GFCI seems to be working and my tester showed no problem, are the power shutoffs really a safety issue as opposed to an annoyance?
 
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Old 09-07-09, 03:38 PM
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Probably more of an annoyance, but should not be happening and should be fixed.. You can probably figure this out yourself with some help.
 
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Old 09-07-09, 03:44 PM
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Older GFCIs are more susceptible to false trips and they can wear out. I have also seen them where just a bump in the right place will cause it to trip. Replacing the GFCI would be next if you don't find anything. Also it could be something you occasionally plug in especially if it has a motor.
 
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Old 09-08-09, 10:01 AM
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Some of you may not realize this, but you can get shocked by a GFCI!

I know first hand when I was nonchalantly washing the walls around one, figuring I could not be shocked - but I was!

I got quite the little jolt. But it immediately tripped the GFCI. Therefore, this stops the risk of a person getting 'stuck' on some object while being shocked, which is what the real killer is when getting shocked on 120.

Just thought some of you might like to know this about GFCI's.
 
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Old 09-08-09, 06:16 PM
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small shock

Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
Some of you may not realize this, but you can get shocked by a GFCI!


Oh I realize it.
Happend while grasping the rain-wet power cord of a submerged sewage pump. Reminds me of a question I've been meaning to post.
 

Last edited by mickblock; 09-08-09 at 06:20 PM. Reason: specifity
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