GFI breaker trips intermittently


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Old 03-24-15, 05:12 PM
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GFI breaker trips intermittently

The main breaker in my house has GFI circuitry. It trips now and then for reasons that are unclear. Usually simply resetting it is all that is necessary. There are no other GFI devices in the house. I live in rural Thailand.

Last night it tripped at 3:00 AM. I reset it. It tripped again and again.

So, I turned off all the individual circuit breakers and reset the main breaker. It stayed on.

I then turned each individual circuit back on with a ten minute interval between each. After all the circuits were back on, the main breaker did not trip.

It's been four hours now.

How can I figure out what's causing the main breaker to trip?
 
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Old 03-24-15, 05:21 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

How can I figure out what's causing the main breaker to trip?
Trial and error just like you are doing.

It could also be a defective main breaker.
You need to look at each circuit and visualize what the problem could be. Things like outdoor receptacles, items with heating elements, items in wet or damp areas, etc.
 
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Old 03-24-15, 08:00 PM
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Thanks. My wife reminds me of a few things I should add that might lend a clue:
  • This only happens three or four times a year
  • it only happens at night, never during the day
  • Last night was the first time that a single reset didnt work

I do have outdoor receptacles, but they've never caused the breaker trip during a tremendous tropical downpour. Last night was cool and dry.

Nothing with a heating element was turned on last night. The only things running were the fridge and two air cons. Of course, we have lots of electronics that draw small amounts of power at night.

Could a small gecko (lizard) somehow cause a short that would cause the breaker to trip?
 
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Old 03-25-15, 04:24 PM
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The main breaker in my house has GFI circuitry.
That would not be a common residential item in the U.S., but GFCI protection is available and used on larger main breakers in commercial and industrial applications. Usually the higher amperage GFCI breakers in this country have sensitivity adjustments on them. If yours has an adjustment, I'd contact the manufacturer to find out exactly how it should be set. I suspect yours may be set to be too sensitive.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 04:50 PM
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Breakers that have GFI sensitivity adjustments are available here, but mine doesn't have one. I'm thinking of replacing it with one that does.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 05:21 PM
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Breakers that have GFI sensitivity adjustments are available here, but mine doesn't have one. I'm thinking of replacing it with one that does.
If you do, the sensitivity should be set correctly from the factory. Note that I said it SHOULD be set correctly, that doesn't mean it will be set correctly. I always point at the manufacturer to tell me where the adjustment should be set.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 05:51 PM
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Thanks. I'll keep that in mind when buying.
 
 

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