Sump Tripping GFCI

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Old 10-27-19, 08:01 PM
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Sump Tripping GFCI

I wasn't sure if I should put this in electrical or here.

I installed a Zoeller M53 sump pump at the back of my yard. We got a lot of rain this past weekend. The drain system worked great, except I had to reset the GFCI a couple of times.

The sump operates off of a 20 amp breaker. Years ago, I ran a 12/2 line back to my storage barn at the rear of my yard. The line runs about 85 feet from the breaker box to a GFCI outlet inside the storage barn. I ran another 25 feet of 12/2 along the inside of the barn out the back to another GFCI outlet for the pump. The pump itself has a 9' cord. So I'm looking at approximately 120' from breaker to pump.

I don't know that this matters, but there's a GFCI outlet just below my breaker box on the line that runs to the storage barn.

I looked at the specs. If I recall, the max amp is 9.66. I'm guessing I'm running the 12/2 too far? Nothing else was running on this circuit when the GFCI tripped. Maybe a 10 gauge run to the barn will be the fix?
 
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Old 10-28-19, 07:35 AM
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Long runs have been known to increase random ground fault circuit interrupter trips. Current leakage due to capacitance between juxtaposed conductors in cables can occur.

Is the outlet box where the sump pump is plugged in close to the ground outdoors where it could get a little wet?

If there is a GFCI out at the barn, the line going out there should not be connected to the load terminals of the GFCI unit at the panel but may be tied to the line side terminals of said GFCI using pigtails.

The above are general principles. There is no easy way to find out the exact reason your GFCI is tripping.
 
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Old 10-28-19, 08:36 AM
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Thank you, Alan. The outlet where the sump plugs in is one that is totally enclosed and not too close to the ground. It's possible I have the connections incorrect at the GFCI outlet at the panel. I'm guessing I have the line to the barn GFCI on the load side of the panel GFCI.
 
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Old 10-28-19, 08:50 AM
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I've done exactly what you said is incorrect, Alan. I have my GFCIs connected to the load side of the panel GFCI. I also have the outdoor GFCI connected to the load side of the barn GFCI, LOL. Looks like I have some work to do.
 
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Old 12-09-19, 09:59 AM
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Well, the GFCI is tripping again. It doesn't seem to be tripping as often as it was before. I've removed the multiple GFCI outlets down the line and only have 1 just under my breaker box. Any other ideas about why the GFCI might be tripping? The sump does cycle often when it's raining. Maybe I need to run a 10 gauge line back to the storage barn? Maybe a bad GFCI outlet?
 

Last edited by WilliamH4; 12-09-19 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 12-09-19, 08:01 PM
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I was going to edit my last post but I'm apparently beyond the edit window. I'm just throwing ideas out hoping something makes sense to someone here.

The cable I ran back to my storage unit is the kind that can be buried, but I didn't run it through conduit. I think I read somewhere, maybe here, if not run through conduit, the ground can affect the line? Is that possible? I mean a saturated ground? The more I think about it, I don't think the sump is taxing the circuit. I have run circular saws, table saws, and a few other machines on that circuit from the storage barn. Shortly after the rain stopped, I went to the garage and reset the GFCI outlet. The circuit would lasted about 3-4 minutes before I had to reset. Just went out to the garage again and reset and it has stayed on this time. The only thing I can thinks that's different is the ground isn't as wet. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Back again 30 minutes after my comments immediately above. I don't think it's my cable running out to the storage barn. This cable has been in the ground for at least 15 years and I only had the GFCI trip once in the garage in all that time. We've had plenty of rain many times before. The only difference now is the sump at the storage barn and changed out the GFCI just under my breaker box. I don't recall if the one I changed to is new or not. Think I'll replace the GFCI outlet and see if that makes a difference.
 

Last edited by WilliamH4; 12-09-19 at 08:43 PM.
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