GFI and breaker keeps tripping in kitchen

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Old 12-10-09, 09:33 AM
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GFI and breaker keeps tripping in kitchen

Hello,

I wired my kitchen with 12-2 wire and I have 5 outlets wired in series, the first in the series being a GFI receptacle. The circuit is on a 20 amp breaker. I only have a coffee maker, fridge, and microwave plugged in to the circuit. I've been having issues with the gfi tripping, but today when I woke up the gfi and the breaker were both tripped? Any ideas on whats going on or how I may be able to correct the issue would be awesome. Thanks Mike
 
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Old 12-10-09, 09:44 AM
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circuit

You are over loading the circuit. The fridge should be on a separate,dedicated, non-gfci circuit.
 
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Old 12-10-09, 09:56 AM
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Thanks wirepuller-

I guess i've never had a fridge on it's own circuit anywhere that I've lived. The gfi was actually tripping before i had the fridge in the house also if I had a shop vac plugged in at the same time as a work light. Could i use a 30 amp breaker? Thanks
 
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Old 12-10-09, 10:00 AM
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Breaker

You may not use a 30 amp breaker with 12 gauge wire.

What else is on this breaker? Does the circuit supply power to other rooms in the house?
 
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Old 12-10-09, 10:05 AM
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Nope there are only the 5 outlets in the circuit. I guess I'll have to find someway to run a new single dedicated circuit to the fridge- thanks for the help- Mike
 
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Old 12-10-09, 11:17 AM
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Old refrigerators may have some current leakage. That could cause a trip but it could also mean something is failing. You might want to get it checked out.

A microwave depending on size and a coffee make can draw quite a bit of juice. If there’s a built-in microwave not counter top it might be best to run a separate circuit. Note by current NEC you should have two 20a counter top circuits. Of course you may be grand fathered so your OK with one unless you keep having trips.
 
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Old 12-10-09, 11:40 AM
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Refrigerators do not need dedicated circuits. Most but very old or very large ones (IE: Subzero/Wolf) will draw around 8 amps. That said having the fridge, coffee pot and microwave on the same circuit will overload it. This, however, has nothing to do with the GFCI tripping. Something on the circuit is leaking to ground and tripping the GFCI or your GFCI is failing.

Split up your appliances to avoid the overload and replace the GFCI if it is old. If the new GFCI keeps tripping, then one of the appliances on the circuit will need to be replaced.
 
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Old 12-10-09, 12:09 PM
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If the fridge has a ground wire and more than ~3 mA is flowing through this ground wire for more than 30 mS [maybe when the compressor starts] then you've found your problem.
 
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Old 12-10-09, 09:37 PM
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If the GFCI AND the breaker tripped over night while nothing but the fridge was running, the problem is likely the fridge and it sounds like there's an intermittent short to ground. Possibly a problem with the defrost heater. Try plugging the fridge into another circuit and see if that circuit trips after a few hours too. If it doesn't, you may have a high resistance short between hot and ground somewhere in your wiring (one of the recepticals...).

Doug M.
 
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