Sprinkler Pump triggers GFI

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  #1  
Old 08-21-01, 06:38 PM
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I installed a power line to the side of my barn and put a GFI receptacle in it. From there, I put another line down to the lake and also put a GFI there. The lake receptacle works fine except when I try to plug my sprinker pump in. Then it triggers both GFI's. So I took the one out by the lake figuring that the one on the barn will protect anything after it in the circuit. Put in just a regular receptacle. It works fine for everything but the Sprinkler pump. It is a 3/4 horse pump and a 20 amp GFI. Should I install a GFI rated for more amps? Do they make such a thing? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-22-01, 07:20 AM
jn
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I wouldn't think the GFCI is breaking because you are pulling to much power (amps). I would tend to think that it is triggering because the sprinkler pump has some kind of wiring problem....such as the neutral shorted to the case...or some other kind of grounding problem. I would inspect the wiring where it attaches to the motor and make sure that the ground wiring and neutral wiring aren't shorted together. (If neutral is touching the case, the motor would operate on a normal unprotected circuit...but this will trigger the GFCI circuit)
 
  #3  
Old 08-22-01, 04:17 PM
Wgoodrich
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If this sprinkler pump is a submersible type pump, then I would suspect that pump may be leaking moisture into the pump area that the GFI is picking up.

You might try to leave the pump submerged then unplug the pump and take a sensitive continuity sweep style meter and touch one of the prongs of the cord of that pump and touch the other test lead to the water or the metal case of the pump. If you show continuity then you have a leakage in that pump where the seals have failed causing the GFI to react reading the leakage in that motor. If you don't have a tester then you can run an extension cord from that pump to you home and plug into a GFI protected receptacle that you know is working fine in you home. I suspect that GFI will also trip. If I am right this would prove the leakage. You will have to dry out the pump, repair the seals, then reinstall that pump or replace that pump.

Hope this helps

Wg
 
  #4  
Old 08-22-01, 05:12 PM
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sprinkler pump triggers gfi

GFI'S DO NOT WORK ESPECIALLY WELL WITH MOTORS THAT IS WHY IN A KITCHEN IT IS NOT REQUIRED YOU PROTECT THE FRIDGE BECAUSE THIS WILL CAUSE WHAT IS KNOWN AS NUISANCE TRIPPING. THIS SOUNDS LIKE WHAT YOU ARE ENCOUNTERING.TRY HOOKING UP THE PUMP TO THE LINE SIDE OF THE GFI OR BUYING A GFI BREAKER.THIS SHOULD REMEDY YOUR PROBLEM
 
  #5  
Old 08-22-01, 06:55 PM
Wgoodrich
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If this sprinkler pump is in a residential setting, and if this pump is with a cord and plug connection then that receptacle must be GFI protected if located outdoors. If this sprinkler pump is direct connected then a GFI is not required however a form of disconnect is required to be within sight of that sprinkler pump. If this sprinkler pump is plug and cord connected then this cord is designed to be plugged in unattended and a bubble lid must be installed so that plug can be plugged in yet protected from the weather while plugged in unattended.

Wg
 
  #6  
Old 08-22-01, 08:00 PM
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I appreciate your guidance. The pump in not in water. It is on a concrete slab next to the lake and is used to draw water for the garden. It worked fine previously with a non-GFI protected line, connected directly to the electrical line. I installed a plug and want to use a GFI receptacle. That's when the problem began.

Found something interesting when I pulled the cover on the box. Seems that when I ground my test light, it lights upon touching everything: the neutral, the hot wire, both motor terminals. In fact, if I put the test light clip on one flat prong of the plug, it lights when touching the other prong. Makes me think that something is causing the entire system to be open. Yet the pump seems to work fine when connected to a not-GFI protected line. Any clues?
 
  #7  
Old 08-22-01, 08:13 PM
Wgoodrich
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Winky, it is my belief that you have a voltage leakage to the frame of this motor. I strongly believe your motor has a shock hazard present. This is what your GFI is trying to tell you. I would have that motor checked out by a motor repair shop. I suspect you will find it to be hazardous as it is in its present condition.

Be Careful

Wg
 
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