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Old 08-25-2013, 01:12 PM   #1
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ground fault receptacle.

My GFI, in the trailer, trips AFTER I turn OFF the portable fan that is plugged into it, or any plug on the line. . It does NOT trip when I turn ON the portable fan. The fans works [ON/OFF], in the house GFI' circuits.. Does not trip. So, fan should be OK, right ?? I plugged another fan into the GFI, In the trailer, and it did not trip. So, fan must bet he problem ??????? Or is it??? GFI is sensing something about fan #1 that it does not like. But fan #2 does not , evidently, send the same signal, so GFI does not trip. BUT... Why does it trip only when I turn the fan OFF ????

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Old 08-25-2013, 01:30 PM   #2
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A GFIC works by comparing the current on the hot wire with the current on the nuetral wire. When that difference is as small as 6ma the breaker trips. I suppose it's possible for the fan motor to actually produce a slight voltage while spinning but with power off. Or the fan's start capacitor is discharging when powered off.

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Old 08-25-2013, 03:48 PM   #3
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Throw out fan # 1 Use fan #2
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:45 AM   #4
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Thanks. Fan #1 has been retired. Demoted. Replaced. I was just wondering about the oddity of it all.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:00 AM   #5
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It has something to do with the 2 prong plug and a small voltage created when it is shut off. My hair cutting shears do the same thing. Not every time I shut it off but occasionally. There is nothing wrong with the my shears or the fan.
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:49 PM   #6
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GFCIs devices just suck, theres alot going on inside and they make them as cheap as possible. Occasional hiccups from varied devices can be expected and false trips are not indicative of a bad outlet or a bad device.

The major manufacturers all have seats on the board at the NEC. They dream up things that can be set into a "standard" and imposed on the public for profit regardless of their onerous implications.
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Fl_Richard View Post
GFCIs devices just suck, theres alot going on inside and they make them as cheap as possible. Occasional hiccups from varied devices can be expected and false trips are not indicative of a bad outlet or a bad device.

The major manufacturers all have seats on the board at the NEC. They dream up things that can be set into a "standard" and imposed on the public for profit regardless of their onerous implications.

Electrical devices, including GFCI receptacles are manufactured to design and testing standards that are separate from the NEC and have nothing to do with NEC as far as how they are built goes. The NEC simply regulates where they are required and what they are supposed to do and what manufacturing standard they must meet. GFCI receptacles are built to an extremely high standard of quality and safety.

Take a look at the rear of one and you will see "CSA" or "UL" stamped on it. CSA and UL standards are extremely stringent and getting certification and getting it "listed" is a difficult and costly process and you won't see it on any old product out there because of this. Certification means it has gone through a long and very rigorous inspection and testing process. If you ever see an electrical product without CSA or UL, it's probably gray market and is illegal.

If a GFCI trips, it's because it's doing what it's supposed to do. I remember a TV ad many years ago when they first came out where a guy held onto a live 120 volt wire connected to a GFCI. He jumped into a swimming pool to prove how safe it was.

Don't forget that GFCIs should be tested monthly but I imagine not many do. They *can* be damaged by lightning or high surges.

Having industry and manufacturing reps on boards and committees for national codes like the NEC or CEC is a good thing. Nothing underhanded about it if that is what is being implied. They serve on boards or committees to help advance and improve safety standards in order to better protect the public. It's a continual improvement process. Technology changes, new materials are invented and lot of other things change in the world that affect electrical products and installation. For example, this is one way we have advanced from knob & tube wiring and ungrounded receptacles of yesteryear to romex and GFCIs used in houses today. I'm pretty sure that's a good thing. New and improved products don't get invented by bureaucrats. Somebody has to make the stuff and they deserve to make a profit. There are typically multiple manufacturers making the same item, resulting in competitive prices.

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Old 08-28-2013, 02:49 PM   #8
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OK - Just so your aware I have shepherded several products through the UL and ETL process. I'm very aware. However because it has a UL sticker does not mean it's a perfect product. Certification means that it has passed the tests that pertain to whichever UL spec its designed for and that UL or ETL has the ability to audit the production process and re-test devices upon demand.

It does not mean that it cannot false trip. And CSA is meaningless unless your a Canadian.

And yes I personally feel that doing everything regardless of cost all in the name of safety is onerous. It most simply drive up cost without any real safety gains.

Here we have pools - County/State mandate pool alarms that are so onerous almost everyone disables them. For example you cannot leave a door going to the pool open for more than 60 sec or an ear piercing 110 db siren rings. Also mandated are any screened windows leading onto the deck. So in your new South Florida pool home you cannot protect the pool while having windows or doors open. (Not that they dont exist but because the devices that work in that environment are not approved) This gem alone has driven up the raw cost of new home ownership at least $600 per home and has not affected the drowning death rate a single percentage point.

If the governing body (NEC) didn't mandate the installation of the "protective device" it would not exist. When Square D came out with it's first ArcFault braker they cost just south of $120. Now there down around $40. All to replace a breaker that is $5.00 and reliable. Do you feel safer because your outlet is incapable of creating a "spark"? I'd love to lobby to get the NEC to adopt a new $400 breaker that guarantees you cant get shocked. Once they adopt it manufacturers will build it. Do you really think that GE is not involved with lobbying to make 20 breakers that used to cost $100 now cost $800.00?? Come on.... The breaker didn't come first the requirement did.

So yea I take all the crap shoved down my throat by the guberment with a grain of salt. I dont drink the tea. Do you?

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