Anyone ever had florescent trip GFCI breaker?

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Old 09-21-06, 07:42 PM
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Anyone ever had florescent trip GFCI breaker?

I'm installing two new florescent lights in garage, replacing two incandescent lights. I hooked up one, flipped GFCI breaker back on, and it tripped. Tried second new florescent. Same result. Plugged one new florescent into an outlet on another circuit with a GFCI breaker and it worked fine. Suspect the first GFCI circuit breaker is bad, but don't want to buy another one considering price unless it's bad.

Anyone had a similar experience?


Thanks,
 
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Old 09-21-06, 08:48 PM
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REcheck all your connections in the lights.
If it worked on one GFCI, it should work on the other.
If the GFCI was good before, chances are it is still good.
Double check.
 
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Old 09-22-06, 03:20 AM
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lectriclee: There is another outlet in my garage that is on the same circuit as the GFCI that is tripping. I plugged one of the new florescents into it and as soon as I did it tripped. So, I don't think the wiring inside the light boxes is the problem.

Thanks for trying to help anyway.
 
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Old 09-22-06, 09:34 AM
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What type of light is this. Meaning the ballast.

Rapid start, etc.

What size. T8, T12, T5?
 
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Old 09-22-06, 05:08 PM
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Would that matter?
Or could there be a problem with this ckt., and the light is identifying it?
This fixture could be completeing the ckt.
 
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Old 09-22-06, 06:50 PM
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jwhite:

Thanks for trying to help.

The two new shop lights came from Wal-Mart ($8 each). On the box it says: Shop Light, electronic, Lights of America, model 8045E. It also says they use type T8 or T12 bulbs. I'm using two 48 inch 40 watt GE Ecolux florescent bulbs, model F40T12.

Hope this means something to you.
 
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Old 09-22-06, 08:21 PM
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T-8 OR? T-12 - I'm not familiar with either or.
It would be nice to know. I'll have to look.

Are there different connections for this either or?
 
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Old 09-23-06, 05:47 AM
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bigfred,
It has been hard to get concrete answers regarding your problem, but the one that makes the most sence has to do with the way a flourcent light works. Basicly when this type of light starts a small voltage is passed throught the glass to the fixture housing. The GFI is seeing this voltage on the ground wire and tripping.

The reccomended fixes where. Try a new gfi. Technology has gotten better and newer devices and breakers are less prone to the problem.

If the light does not NEED GFI protection, then remove it.

Sorry I do not have a better answer.

Jeff
 
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Old 09-23-06, 05:51 AM
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lectriclee, I was trying with my question to find out if this is a rapid start ballast or one of the older style with a starter. Remember the small cylender with two prongs that often had to be replaced seperately.

The starter would explain the problem as it would need to fill up causing current to flow on the hot while not returning on the neutral. The very thing that a gfi is looking for.

for sizing lamps a "T" is 1/8 of an inch. t8 is 1inch t12 is 1 1/2 inch in diameter.
 
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Old 09-23-06, 08:48 AM
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I'm familiar with the items listed and the old starter type.
I may have misread, I was thinking combination ballast (t-8/t12)
sorry for the confusion.
Can't beleive your telepathy wasn't working.
 
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Old 09-23-06, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by lectriclee
I'm familiar with the items listed and the old starter type.
I may have misread, I was thinking combination ballast (t-8/t12)
sorry for the confusion.
Can't beleive your telepathy wasn't working.
Come to think of it, you are right. It is odd to see a fixture that accepts both..... hmmm..

I knew that the tomb stones where the same size but I thought the ballasts were different.
 
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Old 09-23-06, 07:19 PM
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jwhite:

You gave me an idea. Why not replace the breaker with a regular breaker, and install GFCI receptacles where needed on the circuit. This appeals to me since most of the devices on the circuit don't seem to need GFCI protection (see below).

So, now I need some more advice.
- The 15 amp GFCI breaker should be replaced with the same size regular 15 amp breaker, right (just want to make sure)?
- The devices on this circuit that I should replace with GFCI receptacles are: two outlets in garage, one outlet at foot of stairs inside room over garage (it's 3 feet from there to door to deck so it probably needs a GFCI outlet for safety).
- The devices on this circuit that do NOT need GFCI protection are: outlet on ceiling used only by garage door opener, garage ceiling lights, two light fixtures in room over garage, two wall outlets in room over garage.
- There are also two outside light fixtures on this circuit. I suspect that these have to be GFCI protected; and, if so, then instead of doing what I said above, I guess my only choice is to replace the GFCI circuit breaker.

Thanks again for your input.
 
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Old 09-23-06, 09:24 PM
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Recepticales for the garage,outside need GFCI protection.
Find how this ckt is run. or you can replace the current rec. with GFCI as needed.

Tell us what you have.
 
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Old 09-24-06, 03:53 AM
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The outside lights do not need to be gfi protected.
 
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Old 09-27-06, 01:03 AM
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Thumbs up

Resolved: Replaced the GFCI circuit breaker and florescents now work. Concluded that the old GFCI breaker worked fine until I added the florescents.
 
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