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Bath room gfci circuit tripping when exhaust fan is turned off

Bath room gfci circuit tripping when exhaust fan is turned off

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  #1  
Old 03-21-15, 08:01 AM
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Bath room gfci circuit tripping when exhaust fan is turned off

I'm completing a bath room remodel and added a new dedicated 20A circuit for a receptacle and fan. The light circuit remains on its original shared circuit with other rooms.

My understanding was that code allows for an exhaust fan and receptacle to be on the same dedicated circuit so here is what I installed.

The new circuit enters into a jb in the attic. There the circuit is split and one leg goes directly to the receptacle which contains the gfci. The other leg of the circuit goes to a wall switch controlling an exhaust fan. The fan is only rated at a couple amps and is grounded to the circuit. Occasionally the gfci trips when the fan is turned off. No other devices on that circuit are being used when that occurs.

Any ideas on why the gfci is tripping?
 
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  #2  
Old 03-21-15, 08:10 AM
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Unless the fan is within the footprint of the tub or shower or the manufacturer requires it best practice is to connect the fan before the GFCI or put it on the lighting circuit if a separate lighting circuit.
Occasionally the gfci trips when the fan is turned off.
Then it is unlikely the fan is the cause. What else is in use when it trips? Maybe a hairdryer or curling iron?
 
  #3  
Old 03-21-15, 08:54 AM
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The fan is not within the footprint of the tub/shower. Maybe I'm not describing it clearly, but the fan is not after the gfci in the circuit. The circuit splits in the attic, one direction to the switch/fan the other to the gfci receptacle.

It's definitely something with the fan as the gfci only trips when the fan switch is turned off. There are no other devices being used on that circuit when it occurs.
 
  #4  
Old 03-21-15, 09:09 AM
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It's definitely something with the fan as the gfci only trips when the fan switch is turned off.
Then check the wiring of the fan and fan switch but really that doesn't sound right.
 
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Old 03-21-15, 09:23 AM
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It sounds like the spike from the motor shutting off is affecting it but that's a pretty rare occurrence. You may want to try a different brand GFI receptacle.
 
  #6  
Old 03-22-15, 04:13 AM
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Possible??

If the GFCI is not meant (wired) to protect anything in the way of protecting a "load" downline which would mean that only conductors should be attached to the "line" side then the GFCI should not trip unless there is actually something plugged into the GFCI receptacle causing a ground fault should be the only time that the GFCI should trip then.

However, check the back of the GFCI, be sure that if GFCI is not supposed to monitor for a ground fault that no conductor is connected to the "load" side neutral. If there is a neutral connected to the GFCI "load" and no "hot" to the "load" side it is possible that it may trip due to an imbalance of amperage.
 
  #7  
Old 03-22-15, 08:12 AM
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AFJES, The fan is not connected to the load side of the gfci, the circuit is split at a junction box prior with one feed going to the gfci and the other to the switch/fan. There is nothing connected to the load side of the gfci.

If the problem becomes overly annoying I'll try a different gfci. Thanks
 
  #8  
Old 03-22-15, 11:06 AM
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ednu99: Although you mentioned the circuit was split at the attic in the jbox you did not mention prior to your last post that nothing was connected to the load side of the GFCI. Now I know. Sometimes people use the load side in error to be able to connect another conductor to instead of using wire nuts if needed and connecting to the line side.

If there is no hot or neutral conductors connected to the load side then in reality the only time the GFCI should trip is if there is something plugged into it and that something is causing a ground fault. It should not even know the fan is there.

Also make sure your connections are solid on the line side.

GFCI may be faulty.
 
  #9  
Old 03-22-15, 12:57 PM
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Does it seem to trip after a shower? Maybe you're getting a bit of moisture on your motor and it is causing a bit of leakage to ground.
Is it possible to feed your fan off the lighting circuit?
Your GFCI might be junk too. You definitely get what you pay for with electrical devices.
I worked at a hotel where they had makeup mirrors installed off the load side of the bathroom GFCIs. After 20 some years, the GFCIs were so sensitive that the little christmas light bulb in the mirrors was enough to trip the GFCI.
 
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