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geraldlanc

GFCI Fault

12 posts in this topic

Just thinking about electrical problems makes my head hurt, so bear with me.

I have three 110v outlets connected to a gfci outlet. When I turn on the ice maker, it trips the gfci. Other things like the phone charger, electric fan, etc work normally on this circuit. When I plug in the ice maker to a different gfci circuit, it works normally. Will replacing the gfci outlet solve this problem and can I get a replacement at Lowe's or Home Depot?

Now I am going to lie down and take an aspirin.

Gerald

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Gerald,

Can GFI outlets wear out-- yes.

And, yes a GFI outlet from a box store will work assuming its dimension are the same as your current outlet.

That is not to say that there isn't a problem with the ice maker. But as you suggest, replacing the GFI is a reasonable first step if the ice maker works on another GFI protected outlet.

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You could start by swapping two GFCIs. See if the problem moves with the outlet or stays in the same place. But, GFCIs are not that expensive so maybe just changing the suspected bad GFCI is the easiest thing to do. Most of the big box stores will give refund if you return the outlet with box and paperwork.

Good luck.

Jack

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Box stores usually carry 15 amp, and 20 amp gfci outlet/breakers. Be sure to not put a 20 amp on number 14 wire. Also, some gfci outlets are wired so that there can be other outlets downstream from them, which could mean that there is too much current draw on that receptacle. Check to see if other appliances are also affected when the breaker is thrown.

Good luck troubleshooting

Kay

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Box stores usually carry 15 amp, and 20 amp gfci outlet/breakers. Be sure to not put a 20 amp on number 14 wire. Also, some gfci outlets are wired so that there can be other outlets downstream from them, which could mean that there is too much current draw on that receptacle. Check to see if other appliances are also affected when the breaker is thrown.

Good luck troubleshooting

Kay

You could start by swapping two GFCIs. See if the problem moves with the outlet or stays in the same place. But, GFCIs are not that expensive so maybe just changing the suspected bad GFCI is the easiest thing to do. Most of the big box stores will give refund if you return the outlet with box and paperwork.

Good luck.

Jack

Why would you do that?-- makes no sense to me. Simply plug device into a different GFI protected circuit. If that one blows, its the device demand causing problem (assuming your not simply overloading circuit). If the GFI is OK and does not blow its most likely a weak/sensitive GFI. Using a store to experiment is unethical in my opinion.

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Kay a gfi is not a fuse. it senses any leak to the grounding conductor. so your remark about being over loaded doesnt work

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Sorry your having a hard time understanding this, but a GFCI recepticle only trips when there is unbalance between the the ungrounded conductor (hot as you guys call it) and the grounded conductor (neutral) if there is 1 amp flowing in the circuit exactly 1 amp has to return on the neutral. if it goes somehwere else say from you to ground it trips. That is a ground fault. A GFI breaker does two things. Trips if there is an overload, or short, and also protects against against ground fault, but in this case the OP is talking about a GFI plug

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The GFI tripped on his circuit when he plugged in the ice maker. When its not on (ice maker) the GFI works normally.That to me says the Icemaker is OVERLOADING the circuit and tripping the breaker. Now it may just be a weak GFI. That said its not the ice maker because it does not trip the next GFI circuit he plugs it into. If there was moisture in the circuit(example) the GFI should be tripping with any load

SO when a GFI trips it may be a unbalance as you describe or a overloaded circuit as I describe.

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The GFI tripped on his circuit when he plugged in the ice maker. When its not on (ice maker) the GFI works normally.That to me says the Icemaker is OVERLOADING the circuit and tripping the breaker. Now it may just be a weak GFI. That said its not the ice maker because it does not trip the next GFI circuit he plugs it into. If there was moisture in the circuit(example) the GFI should be tripping with any load

SO when a GFI trips it may be a unbalance as you describe or a overloaded circuit as I describe.

Wrong... You obviously do not understand GFCI receptacles. They are NOT load sensitive, they detect leakeage between return and ground.

It is obvious to me that the ice maker has a short (or partial short) from neutral to ground, probably at the heater element that loosens the cubes. This condition often occurs in water heater elements.

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Onaquest...You are absolutely correct.....GFCI receptacles are NOT load sensitive!!!!! They only detect a leakage between the ground and the return !!!

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You guys are right about a GFCI, it does not sense overload. Sorry you experts got so offended. An RCBO is the correct device that both detects leakage, and also will trip on overload. Was merely trying to answer the original post with my reply. I have worked with electricity for many years and actually know the difference.

RCBO is an abbreviation for Residual Current circuit Breaker with integral Overcurrent
protection. Basically is a combination of two products, namely a MCB-Miniature Circuit
Breaker and RCCB- residual Current Circuit Breaker.

Thanks for reminding me.

Kay

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