Cheater on GFCI?

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  #1  
Old 08-05-14, 06:59 PM
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Cheater on GFCI?

I picked up 4 cheap fluorescent fixtures for my garage. They each have a cord with a 3-prong plug. I installed them using the ceiling outlet, but they were randomly tripping the gfci outlet in the garage when being switched on.

I've read that its common for cheap fixtures to leak minor current through the ground plug. To test, I used a cheater adapter to take the ground out of the equation. Sure enough, the gfci hasn't tripped while the cheater 2-prong adapter has been in use.

Since the circuit is still protected behind the gfci outlet, what would be the implication(s) of leaving the cheater adapter in place?
 
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Old 08-05-14, 07:11 PM
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You are effectively defeating the safety the GFI is providing and possibly creating a shock hazard.
 
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Old 08-05-14, 07:14 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I don't recommend running fluorescent lights on a GFCI circuit but they do need to be grounded.
 
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Old 08-05-14, 07:19 PM
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You are kind of in a catch 22. All receptacles is a garage are required to be GFCI protected, but the lights are tripping the GFCI. The best suggestion I can give you is to buy better fixtures, or buy fixtures that are designed to be hard wired. Either way you should be able to take the bad ones back.
 
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Old 08-05-14, 07:41 PM
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Do ceiling receptacles require GFCI in a garage?
 
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Old 08-05-14, 08:02 PM
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Under the newest codes even the ceiling mounted receptacles require GFI protection.
 
  #7  
Old 08-05-14, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
You are effectively defeating the safety the GFI is providing and possibly creating a shock hazard.
I thought a gfci still provides some level of safety even without a ground. That's why gfcis can be used to replace older 2 prong outlets. The equipment isn't safe, but the human is safe(r).

Is that not accurate?
 
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Old 08-05-14, 08:57 PM
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A GFI will/ function without a ground.

I would need to think about the other part.
 
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Old 08-05-14, 09:01 PM
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I wouldn't run them with the cheater plug. If the GFCI is tripping there's something wrong with them, period. I just had 6 8' T8 fixtures running all day today off my generator's GFI and not once did it trip.
 
  #10  
Old 08-06-14, 08:33 AM
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i did not know

its common for cheap fixtures to leak minor current through the ground plug.
i think its a great idea. I KNOW NOT TO TOUCH THE LIGHT FIXTURE. DOES THE WIFE..THE KID

YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY WILL HAVE FUN WITH THIS.


Since the circuit is still protected behind the gfci outlet, what would be the implication(s) of leaving the cheater adapter in place?
A VERY GOOD CHANCE FOR A Darwin Award AND

MAYBE loss of house and all your money.


go for it
 
  #11  
Old 08-06-14, 11:45 AM
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I think you are safer using the 2-prong adaptor with a GFCI than using a non-GFCI outlet, the GFCI trips when there is a current imbalance between hot and neutral (i.e. a current path from the light to a person or to ground).

The GFCI trip could occur due to the ballast charging (not necessarily leaking to ground), although I would think that would fail even with the 2-prong adaptor from time to time.

If you want to further troubleshoot see if you can narrow down the exact shop light(s) responsible and maybe return/replace just that one(s), try a different brand GFCI that may be less sensitive, make sure the grounds on the lights and in the GFCI outlet are in good shape. Otherwise I wouldn't worry about it.
 
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