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Old 01-28-2011, 06:52 PM   #1
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Help with GFI breaker

I am stumped with this problem so maybe somebody here has the solution. 06 Itasca Meridian. This problem just started about 2 weeks ago. The problem: everytime we turn off a fan & ceramic heater that is plugged into our salon GFI it trips the breaker. Does not trip when you turn them on, only off. I replaced the GFI with a new one and it still does it. It has not done this in the past only within the past two weeks. No moisture is anywhere near it or any of the other receptacles that it controls. Any thoughts on where to look? Thanks
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:21 PM   #2
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The GFI senses a difference between the input voltage and the return leg. This is not necessary limited to but can be the result of a short or loose ground, I would check each receptacle on the GFI circuit for a loose screw or wire clamp.

Also since it happens when you are turning off those devices it could be some oddity in one of them that is the cause.

Good luck.
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:14 PM   #3
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Just to clarify - the GFCI measures the current going through the white wire amd also the current going through the black wire. If they are the same, everybody's happy. If they are NOT, it is assumed somebody (or something) is passing current to ground, and the GFCI shuts down the power. Thus, if it were YOU that was passing current to ground, you won't get bit. I have a few times tripped a GFCI without ever feeling any shock. the presense or absence of a ground wire has no effect on the operation of a GFCI. I have wired a number of circuits where there was no ground wire, just black & white. You can buy GFI devices that have no ground wire. If you had damp hands when turning the devices off, you just might be tripping them yourself and never know it. Try two things : turn off one at a time with 30 seconds between, and see what happens and also thoroughly dry your hands before turning each one off.
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Old 01-29-2011, 03:26 AM   #4
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The problem is not your GFCI circuit as already mention but the fan/heater itself. I would first clean the fan/heater of any dust or dirt and retry. If you continue to have it trip the GFCI it will need repair or replacement. It has a current leakage and the GFCI sees this leakage and interrupts the voltage for the sake of safety.
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:43 AM   #5
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Faulty switch on the heater. It is briefly arcing to ground as the switch opens, tripping the GFCI. If you can't find a replacement switch for it, get another heater. Sooner or later that switch will fail in a more serious manner. If you aren't on a GFCI circuit when that happens, it could be really serious.
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:36 PM   #6
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Thanks guys for the replies and excellent information. Let me bring you up to date and clarify a few things that I may not have made clear in my original post. I can take both the heater and fan and plug it in another area of the coach that has a different circuit and GFI and it does not trip it. That leads me to believe it is not the heater or fan but something else. I will check all the other receptacles that are on the problem GFI for loose grounds etc. tomorrow. This really has me stumped so if anyone else wants to jump in here I could sure use your advice.
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:59 PM   #7
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Even a new GFI could be faulty. You could try changing the teo and see if problem follows
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Old 01-30-2011, 06:15 AM   #8
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Are you positive the other receptacle is GFCI protected? Take it into the house and plug it into a kitchen, bathroom or outside receptacle and let us know what you find.
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:25 PM   #9
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RV Wizard, this is just to funny but you know me because I bought the new GFI from you!!!! You are located in Englewood right? I also bought the 5.7 water pump from you. Wow, what a small world. Yes, I am positive the other receptacle is a GFI protected and it did not trip so today I started pulling out each receptacle that is off the problem GFI. Only was able to get to one so far and all the contacts were tight and looked just fine. Voltages also checked out fine as did resistance. Will try to pull out the rest tomorrow. Just for the record RV Wizard has a very good reputation in our park and from what I have seen does excellent service. Just an FYI for all of you that are wintering here in Fl.
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