Sump Pump tripping newly installed GFCI


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Old 03-09-11, 01:32 PM
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Sump Pump tripping newly installed GFCI

Long story short (kinda)...

I hired a plumber to reroute my sump discharge from the laundry tub/sanitary sewer to outside. Because of this, I ended up having to upgrade where the pump was plugged in from a standard duplex outlet to a GFCI. I actually ended up putting in a duplex GFCI with standard duplex off the GFCI. I have the washer, dryer and sump plugged in to this box.

I never had any issues with the electrical previously and within 2 hours of having the electrical done to code...the GFCI tripped. My troubleshooting was to plug each unit (washer/dryer/sump) in separately to find out which one was causing it to trip. Turns out it is for sure the pump.

I originally had this in the electrical forum (thinking it was related to the GFCI)...but one of the moderators suggested posting here and said he thinks the pump should be replaced. He said most likely deteriorating shaft seals or motor windings are causing a short and imbalance in the hot and neutral wires causing the trip.

Any thoughts from the plumbing experts? Thanks!
 
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Old 03-09-11, 04:29 PM
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Read this under dwelling units:
NEC requirements for ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI)

As a general rule we never recommend sump pumps to be on GFCI's. There is a chance that your pump has an electrical issue and probably should be checked to be sure, but pumps can cause nuissance tripping of the GFCI.
 
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Old 03-09-11, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by pumpguy View Post
As a general rule we never recommend sump pumps to be on GFCI's. There is a chance that your pump has an electrical issue and probably should be checked to be sure, but pumps can cause nuissance tripping of the GFCI.

This is also true with just about any type of pump that will be under water.
 
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Old 03-09-11, 08:55 PM
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OK...I'm confused. Based on comments from several people in the electrical forum, sump pumps must be GFCI protected based on the 2008 NEC. My pump was grandfathered in...but since I had to upgrade the pump..I lost my 'grandfathering' status.

PUMPGUY...the link you provided had the following info from NEC [210.8(5)]...

"the Code does note a few exceptions to these rules: GFCI protection is not required for receptacles that are not readily accessible or are located on a dedicated branch circuit and identified for a specific cord-and-plug-connected appliance, such as a sump pump."

The date on the article says 2002 so I'm guessing the 2008 NEC overrides the information from the link you provided?? I'll have to try and look it up in the 2008 NEC.

Anyhow...I appreciate the input. I don't know much but I've learned quite a bit through my forum posts and I should be a bit more educated when I have to get my contractor back out.
 
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Old 03-09-11, 10:58 PM
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From article 210 of the 2008 NEC
210.8 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for
Personnel.
FPN: See 215.9 for ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection
for personnel on feeders.
(A) Dwelling Units. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and
20-ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified in
(1) through (8) shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter
protection for personnel.
(1) Bathrooms
(2) Garages, and also accessory buildings that have a floor
located at or below grade level not intended as habitable
rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas,
and areas of similar use
(3) Outdoors
Exception to (3): Receptacles that are not readily accessible
and are supplied by a dedicated branch circuit for
electric snow-melting or deicing equipment shall be permitted
to be installed in accordance with 426.28.
(4) Crawl spaces at or below grade level
(5) Unfinished basements for purposes of this section,
unfinished basements are defined as portions or areas of
the basement not intended as habitable rooms and limited
to storage areas, work areas, and the like
Exception to (5): A receptacle supplying only a permanently
installed fire alarm or burglar alarm system shall
not be required to have ground-fault circuit-interrupter
protection.
FPN: See 760.41(B) and 760.121(B) for power supply
requirements for fire alarm systems.
Receptacles installed under the exception to
210.8(A)(5) shall not be considered as meeting the
requirements of 210.52(G).
(6) Kitchens where the receptacles are installed to serve
the countertop surfaces
(7) Laundry, utility, and wet bar sinks where the receptacles
are installed within 1.8 m (6 ft) of the outside
edge of the sink
(8) Boathouses
(B) Other Than Dwelling Units. All 125-volt, singlephase,
15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in the locations
specified in (1) through (5) shall have ground-fault
circuit-interrupter protection for personnel:
(1) Bathrooms
(2) Kitchens
(3) Rooftops
(4) Outdoors
Not a pro so I'm posting with out comment.
 
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Old 03-10-11, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by pumpguy View Post
Read this under dwelling units:
NEC requirements for ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI)

As a general rule we never recommend sump pumps to be on GFCI's. There is a chance that your pump has an electrical issue and probably should be checked to be sure, but pumps can cause nuissance tripping of the GFCI.
The UL allowable leakage current for a sump pump motor is about 1/10 of what a GFI is designed to trip at. It is not a nuisance trip. The pump is bad and needs to be repaired or replaced.
 
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Old 03-10-11, 06:22 AM
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Ray is correct. The exemption for receptacles in basements and crawlspaces has been eliminated from the 08 NEC. Those receptacles would now require GFI protection.

Reference the post in the electrical forum.

http://forum.doityourself.com/electr...-tripping.html
 
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Old 03-10-11, 01:44 PM
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All I can tell you is I would never have my sump pump on a GFCI circuit but it's your basement. Keep your boots handy.
 
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Old 03-11-11, 07:49 PM
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About five years ago we had this issue come up at a water system in the city. The pump had to be on a gfci.
The pump would not run when placed on the gfi.
We replaced the pump witch was only 6 months old with a new one. Within a week the same thing happened.
We have now learned the there is a gfi that is made for this type of environment. The of the shelf gfi, will not work with submersible pumps. 99% of subs have some leakage and will trip a gfi.
A (good) electrical supply store should know witch gfi will work on the water pump.
 
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Old 03-12-11, 06:14 AM
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When I installed my sump pump I put it on a dedicated GFI circuit even though at the time it was not mandated by code. I went on vacation and came home to a foot of water in my basement. It had been there for nearly 2 weeks. I had thousands of dollars worth of damage and the basement smelled musty for months. The sump GFI was tripped. There was nothing wrong with the pump. I am still using it nearly 15 years later.

I now have two sump pumps, neither of which is on a GFI. This is one instance where I think the code is 100% wrong. The code change was probably driven by the guys that make GFIs.
 
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Old 03-16-11, 10:35 PM
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All,

Thanks for the input, I do appreciate it. I ended up putting in a new pump myself and the GFCI has not tripped since I installed it. I realize many people have had issues with GFCI's but I do intend to adhere to code, especially since I have an inspection to pass. I do intend on putting it on a dedicated GFCI so we'll see what happens.

One last question...I had a gift card to Home Depot...so I used it to purchase a 1/2 HP Rigid pump. I have subsequently seen some really bad reviews about the switches failing on them pretty much out of the box. Does anyone have experience with them? Is there any specific brand that is accepted as the top of the line sump pump?

THANKS!
 
 

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