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Old 02-11-2017, 08:29 AM   #1
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GFI Failing

Over the last few months, we have found our GFI tripping more and more frequently. Do the resettable GFI outlets give out over time or do should I be looking at an overall wiring problem in our rig?

If we should be looking at a wiring problem in our rig, any suggested resources for debugging this?

We have a 2003 Allegro Bus.

Thank you in advance for your responses! :-)

Safe travels everyone!
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:45 AM   #2
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It is conceivable that a GFCI outlet can fail, but you should really be looking for a ground fault. Assuming a safety device is failing when it tries to warn you strikes me as rather foolish.

A GFCI works by measuring the current flow out and back, via a tiny circuit board in the outlet or breaker. A failure is almost surely going to be a solid one, not intermittent tripping. It won't measure correctly for awhile, then suddenly count the amps wrong, then later start counting right again.

Intermittent GFCI trips are likely to be cause by moisture or corrosion in an outlet or switch downstream from the GFCI itself. That intermittently allows some current (amps) to flow to ground instead of back to the source via the neutral wire, tripping the GFCI.
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:11 AM   #3
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Thank you so much for your input. I will work on evaluating the outlets one at a time. If I disconnect the 'load' side from the GFI outlet and it still trips, would that indicate a problem with the outlet, or a problem 'Up stream'?

Thanks in advance!

Eric
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:25 AM   #4
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Before I would get too involved I would replace the GFI. Turn off ALL POWER remove and replace, most tools needed are a screw driver and a needle nose pliers. Breakers get weak if continually popping. If that doesn't cure the problem then go searching the remaining plugins in the chain for an appliance that could cause an issue. Could also have a plugin with loose wires, again with power off tighten the wires. I'm betting on the GFI itself.

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Old 02-11-2017, 09:25 AM   #5
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If you disconnect the load side and it still trips then you have a GFCI failing. There is not any way for it to measure up stream from its location.
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:47 AM   #6
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A common issue with RV's is the patio outlet.. over time the caulking they seal the cover with cracks, the outlet box starts filling up with rain, and .. Well Click goes the GFCI. You might check it first, also everything that plugs into a GFCI outlet. Unplug it and see if it still clicks.
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:59 AM   #7
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Also, Does it trip with nothing plugged into the circuit ?
If not then when using something. Try different things. Find out if it is common to the circuit or the thing plugged it. GFI's will trip if it has a loose connection too, not just a GF. just another idea.
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:37 AM   #8
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I have had several GFI outlets fail, power serge will kill one in a second.First thing is replace outlet.
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Old 02-11-2017, 05:01 PM   #9
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Hi everyone,

I have inspected all of the outlets, and found that the ones on the interior side of the 'Exterior' walls are getting condensation in them. We live full time in our rig and it's been really cold and rainy the last couple months. I can replace the outlets, but I would like to know what anyone has successfully done to prevent the condensation from re-occurring if they have experienced this in the past. there are no outlets on the exterior of the coach.

Thank you in advance for your advice!

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Old 02-11-2017, 05:27 PM   #10
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Get a decent dehumidifier and reduce the humidity in the MH! You and the dogs are putting on the order of 12 or more pints of water into the air per day. More if it's rainy and the dogs come in wet. You will lose some of that with air exchanges but it's a fair planning number when looking for a dehumidifier.

If it was not for the humidity my first move would have been a new GFI. They fail.
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:27 AM   #11
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Luvdoggiez,

There is a good chance you have found your problem.

You could try preventing the warm moist air from getting to the outlets. Pull the covers off each outlet and dry them out with a hair dryer. The before replacing the covers place a sheet of plastic food wrap over the outlet. Now replace the covers.

If the covers fit close to the wall, this should prevent the warm moist interior air from condensing on the outlets. If it works, then you could try the dehumidifier mentioned earlier or figure out how to insulate your outlets better.
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:46 AM   #12
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Condensing moisture in the electrical boxes is the tip of the iceberg. Think mold and rot from the moisture getting condensed out in all the voids is the walls. If that is addressed then the electrical side will take care of itself.
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