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GFCI tripping now and then - wouldn't reset last night, but does in morning???

GFCI tripping now and then - wouldn't reset last night, but does in morning???

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  #1  
Old 10-15-13, 07:18 AM
C
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GFCI tripping now and then - wouldn't reset last night, but does in morning???

This GFCI outlet in my garage is driving me nuts. The wiring is from 2004.

- This outlet has about 8 outlets connected to it
- only 4 of the outlets are being used
- 2 of them are outdoor outlets (the line goes to an outdoor outlet, and then from that outlet, through a conduit to my koi pond - there it has a shutoff box, and a covered outdoor outlet) a simple air pump is hooked up to this outlet
- There is a small under sink water heater (2011 model) connected to another outlet
- and a small chest freezer (2011 model) connected to another outlet
- Final outlet has a led night light and a circuit alarm

Well - about a year ago the gfci would keep tripping about once a week - I would hit 'reset' and everything would run fine until it tripped again (about a week or two later).

about a year ago I went out and bought a new GFCI outlet (matched it up to the amps '30') and replaced the outlet. No problems for about a good 10-12 months.

Last month it tripped and would not reset. I unplugged everything, flipped breaker on and off, and was able to reset the outlet - and then plugged everything back in one at a time and it did not trip again.

I speculated that it might be the outlet by my koi pond so I made sure that the outlets were dry / clean (blew some compressed air into the receptacle) and made sure the cover was secure.

Well last night the alarm went off:
1) the reset button would not not stay depressed. it kept tripping
2) unplugged everything
3) turned off the breaker - the reset button would stay depressed (so I guess the outlet is not faulty)
4) the minute I turned back on the breaker - the outlet would trip
5) went out to pond and turned the power box to "OFF" - repeated steps 3&4 still would not reset
6) damn thing would not stay reset even with nothing connected.
7) got out extension cords for freezer and koi fish

(it has been nice and dry where I live - we have not had rain in 2 weeks)

This morning - I turned back on the power at the breaker, and hit the 'reset' button and it worked!! I plugged back in my small water heater to see if it trips again today.

Any ideas??

I hate this thing - and am this close to just replacing it with a regular outlet. I travel a lot and I can't afford to come home to a melted freezer and dead fish.

Thanks guys
 
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  #2  
Old 10-15-13, 08:39 AM
W
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There's a lot of reasons this could be happening.

I would lean more towards one of the receptacles outside because of moisture although, any motor operated appliances can caused nuisance trips.

My suggestion would be to put a GFI receptacle in each location so, when there's an issue, that particular one trips and not everything else downstream.

It will cost you a bit but, it may be worth it.
 
  #3  
Old 10-15-13, 09:20 AM
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Wirenut has a good suggestion. Just remember all GFCIs must be from the line side of the previous GFC. Best practice pigtail the wires at each box.
 
  #4  
Old 10-15-13, 02:57 PM
C
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That is a good idea - just put a gfci on each outlet and try to isolate where the problem is.

Got to get stripping some pig tail wires and buy a these damn outlets in bulk
 
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