GFI Power Cord for pellet stove


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Old 09-09-14, 01:54 PM
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GFI Power Cord for pellet stove

First start up of the season and my Whitfield did the same thing it has done for the last few years: It trips the power cord GFI, I turn off the stat unplug then replug the cord. Took 4 tries this year and usually it will work just fine for the winter. I don't know how to test the cord, tried with a GFI tester but could not get a good reading due to the connections and the way the cord is built.
My question: How many people use a cord with a built in GFI? This was a cord that Whitfield sent as a recall. I have the original and will probably just use it if I have any problems. Also I looked for a replacement cord and all they listed were the non GFI like the original, I could not find a cord with a GFI built in, which was puzzling.
 
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Old 09-09-14, 01:56 PM
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Why do you have it on a GFCI? Motors and the igniter could cause an imbalance that would trip a GFCI. Does the manufacturer require its use?
 
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Old 09-09-14, 02:25 PM
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They sent it to me after I bought the stove, they said it was a safety issue. Worked fine for 10 or 12 years. I think it has become sensitive plus the stove is getting older so the combination is causing it to do it's trip issue a few times at the beginning of each year. I tend to agree with you that a GFCI is more of a pain rather than a safety product, I have never like GFCI receptacles either. If I go back to the original cord I will put it on a surge suppressor.
 
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Old 09-09-14, 02:42 PM
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Post moved to Electrical Forum due to type of problem.
 
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Old 09-09-14, 03:13 PM
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Thanks, maybe someone there has some input. I was trying to find out if there were other pellet stove owners that had the same issue or used GFCI cords and wondered if they even made them anymore.
 
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Old 09-09-14, 03:37 PM
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I can move it back if you want but lets see what the sparkys have to say.

Is it plugged into a GFCI protected receptacle?
 
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Old 09-09-14, 04:05 PM
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Lets see if we get any input over there. It is not plugged into a GFCI recept, just the cord has a GFCI integral to the power cord. Thanks for the help.
 
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Old 09-09-14, 04:58 PM
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It's not likely that the cord is causing the problem. The GFCI cord is probably doing it's job and something in the stove has or goes leaky. Could be something like moisture in a motor.

I've never seen a GFCI cord on a heating device before. If the manufacturer supplied it then that tells me that there was a known problem with the unit.

Can you post the model number of that stove ?
 
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Old 09-10-14, 07:13 AM
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It is a Whitfield Profile-30 purchased about 12 - 15 years ago. Soon after we had it installed I received the GFCI power cord from Whitfield stating that it was a safety enhancement.
Update: Wife turned up the T-stat this morning and the stove worked properly. The issue seems to happen when the cord has been unplugged for a period of time and that is why I thought it may be the power cord.
Could the manufacturer have issued the cord to protect the circuit board? That seems to be the most critical electronic/electric part of this unit, I have replaced the main board two times.
 
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Old 09-11-14, 07:43 AM
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Day 3 and no issues, system working normally, really a head scratcher and there has to be more Whitfield owners that have a similar cord. Ray, since we are not getting too much action here you can move it back to the Sparky board and see if anyone over there has any ideas.
 
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Old 09-11-14, 09:05 AM
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you can move it back to the Sparky board
I doubt it would do much good. PJ has already replied and he's a master electrician who also does appliance repair.
 
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Old 09-11-14, 09:14 AM
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Okay, thanks for the help. I posted the model as pj requested but have not had any other response. It definitely came from Whitfield after installation so they must have had some reason. You would think there would be a lot of them out there, but like I posted earlier I can't even find one listed as a replacement part.
 
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Old 09-11-14, 12:21 PM
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I see nothing in their literature requiring a GFCI protection, only a "GROUNDED" circuit.

Power Supply Requirements – The power cord must be plugged into a standard, 120 Volt, 60 Hz grounded electrical outlet. The approximate power requirement is 362 Watts, and will peak up to 736 Watts for approximately 6 minutes when the self- igniter is operating (it will turn off 2 minutes after flame detection). The power cord must be routed to avoid contact with any of the hot or sharp exterior surface areas of the stove. When installed into a manufactured home, the appliance must be electrically grounded to the steel chassis (see Page 8, Manufactured Home Requirements). These requirements must be met unless otherwise specified by state or local authorities
 
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Old 09-11-14, 01:02 PM
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It was sent to me after the unit had been installed. Most of the stove guys I have contacted think a GFCI cord would be problematic with the motors and igniter. It worked good for 10 years so I guess I can't ask for much more. I have the original cord so will use that and a surge strip if I have any more problems but so far so good, have run it multiple times in the last 3 days.
 
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Old 09-12-14, 06:19 AM
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I've been doing research on your stove and have found no mention of anyone using a GFI cord. In looking at the parts list... the power cord is shown to have an IEC jack that fits the stove. Is that correct.... the cord plugs into the stove ?

Very little info at Lennox either. I'm still looking around.


Hearth has a good info base too. Whitfield profile 30 | Hearth.com
 
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Old 09-12-14, 07:55 AM
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Yes it is an IEC jack cord and I have also checked several parts outlets and none show a power cord with integrated GFCI, that is why I am so confused. Whitfield definitely sent me the cord. I will check the Hearth info base and see if I can find anything there.
Day 4 and system is functioning properly, used a bag of pellets and has gone through multiple cycles with no issues, strangest thing I have seen with an appliance.
 
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Old 09-15-14, 12:54 PM
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Thanks PJ, that is a good site and they seem to know their stuff. I went ahead and took the GFCI out and the stove seems to be working as designed, I also put a surge strip in.
 
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Old 09-15-14, 07:59 PM
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At least you can get information from others that have the same unit. Lennox doesn't seem to offer any real help for that unit.
 
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Old 09-16-14, 03:02 PM
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The consensus is that it is problematic using a GFCI power cord, even if Whitfield sent them to replace the original. I have an 18 gage, I could not remember if it was the original or an old computer cord, some pellet stove owners do have 18 gage cords. The GFCI cord is 14 gage, so I cut out the GFCI and spliced the cord and will replace it with a new 14 gage cable in the near future. What gage are your power cords and do you have an igniter? 18 seems light for an igniter but mine worked okay with the smaller gage cord.
 
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Old 09-16-14, 05:09 PM
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A #18 cord should probably work fine. You might want to increase it one size to #16 gauge.
 
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Old 09-17-14, 07:27 AM
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I will keep the 18 for a spare and will probably get a 14 the next time I do an Amazon order, they are very reasonable so not a bad investment. I am sure the spliced one is fine since I used crimps but a new one is cheap.
 
 

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