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Old 01-21-2013, 03:51 PM   #15
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Sky Boss,

In your icemaker there is a heater used to release the frozen cubes from the forms. I think that heater is probably the source of the ground fault current. JM2...
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:10 PM   #16
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i have had this problem with heavy equipment and block heaters. as soon as you plug in the block heater it trips the gfi. my buddy is an equipment mechanic and he sees it all the time . he told me to cut off the ground plug on the end of the cord and i havent had a problem since.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:13 PM   #17
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i have had this problem with heavy equipment and block heaters. as soon as you plug in the block heater it trips the gfi. my buddy is an equipment mechanic and he sees it all the time . he told me to cut off the ground plug on the end of the cord and i havent had a problem since.
NO !!!!!!! Danger, danger !!!
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:21 PM   #18
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The problem with removing the ground pin is it leaves the fault on the chassis of the vehicle. Since there is a earth/neutral tie at the power source's service entrance, the chassis will be hot to the earth. Touching any metal on the vehicle & the earth will result in a shock.

How severe? Depends on the fault. If it is small you may not even feel it, however if it is more than around 30ma (that's .030 amps) it is enough to cause a fatal shock. The ground connection will do one of two things - carry most of the fault current, reducing the likelihood of a fatal shock or, if the current is high enough, trip the breaker. Without the ground pin you become the wire...
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:22 PM   #19
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Just some reading: When My RV Is Plugged Into a GFCI Outlet The Power Converter Is Tripping The GFCI
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:26 PM   #20
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here is a scenario for the experts. if you have a drill without a ground prong on the plug in, (as 90 percent of hand power tools do) ie. drills, small grinders,circular saws ect, how is a gfi recepticle going to protect you when there is no ground for the gfi to detect. my mechanic friend who advised me to remove the ground from my extension cord says he has this arguement all the time with electrical inspectors. he is licienced to work on generators large enough to run a hospital. i cant personally argue with him as he has far more knowledge than i. he says gfi plugs give people a false sense of security that doesnt really exist in most situations. not trying to advise people to do dangerous things but i have not found any other way to plug in our block heaters other than to remove the gfi and replace them with standard plugs. kind of defeats the purpose of the gfi. any thoughts on this.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:52 PM   #21
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I remember some of the older houses not having and ground pin hole in outlets and only two wires hooking to elect outlet with only two slots to plug in appliances , lamps, a TV .

But the service breaker panel or fuse panel was always grounded with an earth ground rod drove into the ground.

When you would plug in a TV that was shorted to ground it would trip breaker or blow fuse .

There was no GFI outlets even at the sink.

I agree with a previous statement that a GFI outlet gives a false sense of safety, you always have your breakers, that I trust more.

Happy,RVing
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:55 PM   #22
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here is a scenario for the experts. if you have a drill without a ground prong on the plug in, (as 90 percent of hand power tools do) ie. drills, small grinders,circular saws ect, how is a gfi recepticle going to protect you when there is no ground for the gfi to detect. my mechanic friend who advised me to remove the ground from my extension cord says he has this arguement all the time with electrical inspectors. he is licienced to work on generators large enough to run a hospital. i cant personally argue with him as he has far more knowledge than i. he says gfi plugs give people a false sense of security that doesnt really exist in most situations. not trying to advise people to do dangerous things but i have not found any other way to plug in our block heaters other than to remove the gfi and replace them with standard plugs. kind of defeats the purpose of the gfi. any thoughts on this.
Most 120VAC appliances that have plastic cases with insulated exposed metal parts do not have the grounding plug in the appliance cord because the 120VAC potential can not readily engerize the casing or the exposed metal parts. When metal is exposed, that can become energized, a grounding plug shunts the potentail to the ground lead. Then the GFCI can actuate to de-energize the circuit. Here are four EXTREME examples to illustrate this argument, using water as the grounding agent (this could also be metal sinks, etc.): (1) If you are standing in water with a metal cased drill that is ungrounded, if a fault should occur, your hand to your feet passes a deadly current flow - REAL BAD; or (2) If you are standing in water with a metal cased drill that is grounded, if a fault should occur, your hand to your feet COULD still pass current flow, but hopefully the grounding plug will shunt the cuurent away from your body - still BAD; (3) If you are standing in water with a metal cased drill that is grounded thru a GFCI, if a fault should occur, the GFCI would de-energize the circuit before your hand to your feet passes the current flow capable of killing you - GOOD; (4) If you are standing in water with an insulated cased drill, and a fault occurs, the case can not become energized, therefore you are protected - GOOD. It is easy to say that one would not stand in water, but it is difficult to say that about metal. Hope this helps! JM2...
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:58 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winniman View Post
here is a scenario for the experts. if you have a drill without a ground prong on the plug in, (as 90 percent of hand power tools do) ie. drills, small grinders,circular saws ect, how is a gfi recepticle going to protect you when there is no ground for the gfi to detect. my mechanic friend who advised me to remove the ground from my extension cord says he has this arguement all the time with electrical inspectors. he is licienced to work on generators large enough to run a hospital. i cant personally argue with him as he has far more knowledge than i. he says gfi plugs give people a false sense of security that doesnt really exist in most situations. not trying to advise people to do dangerous things but i have not found any other way to plug in our block heaters other than to remove the gfi and replace them with standard plugs. kind of defeats the purpose of the gfi. any thoughts on this.
First, the hand tools that are designed to have a 2 wire plug, ie no ground pin, are double insulated. That means it is unlikely there will be a connection between the internal electrics & the case of the device. In fact, most of them have plastic cases and plastic gears isolating the chuck or blade from the armature.

In the case of a drill or other hand tool designed to have a 3 wire plug (one with a ground pin) the case is usually metal & connected directly to the ground pin. If a low current fault to the case develops in this type of device, the most of it will flow through the low resistance ground pin & wiring. If it is a high current fault, the circuit breaker or fuse protecting the receptacle the device is plugged into will trip or open.

If you remove the ground pin, you, at least if you are touching the earth or any already grounded item, will become the conductor & receive a shock.

Lastly, a GFCI does not need a ground to work. The name of the device Ground Fault Interrupter or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, leads to some confusion. It interrupts a fault to ground, but does not need to be connected to ground. It measures the current in the hot & neutral legs of the circuit. If the difference exceeds 5ma, it opens. If there is a current difference it is assumed that it is going to ground, however it would also protect if the fault was to another neutral or hot (for example, if you drilled into a wire)

In fact, the NEC allows a GFCI receptacle to be used as a replacement for ungrounded (2 wire) household receptacles. In that case, there would be no ground connection - the GFCI still works.

While there are cases where using an ungrounded system, particularly with small generators may actually be safer than grounding them, removing the ground pin from tools, extension cords, etc is dangerous and does not cure the problem of GFCIs tripping.

Here is an excellent article by an John "Grizzy" Grzywacz on grounding of portable generators & safety
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:00 PM   #24
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can you explain why removing the ground pin would allow us to plug in our block heaters without tripping the gfi. i am just trying to understand, not trying to be a smart a$$
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:19 PM   #25
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Without being there to take measurements I can only apply some long distances reasoning which can often be wrong.

Anyhow, I suspect that the block heaters have some leakage to the metal case. When the ground pin is connected, it provides a path so you get more than 5ma difference between the hot & neutral (going through the ground pin). With the pin disconnected, you still have the fault, but because the vehicle is on insulating tires, there is no path for the leakage current so the hot & neutral still carry the same current. There must be a fault to ground for the GFCI to trip.

The problem is if you touch the vehicle & are grounded, the leakage current will go through you if you have disconnected the ground pin.

If you want to test this, plug the block heater into a GFCI receptacle, and use a piece of wire to connect the vehicle chassis to a known building ground. If it trips the GFCI you have a dangerous amount of leakage. Again, if you make the connection through your body, the GFCI will trip & protect you. If you are plugged into a non GFCI receptacle, you will receive a shock.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:34 PM   #26
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thanks for your input . i will do some testing. by the way , do rv parks use gfi plugs
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:46 PM   #27
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Most new parks will have GFCIs on the 20 amp receptacles but none on the 30 amp & 50 amp ones. There are exceptions - I stayed at the Trail of Tears State Park in Missouri & they has GFCIs on their 30 amp receptacles. I've heard of others with 30 amp GFCIs, but no 50 amp...
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:08 PM   #28
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Probably because 50 amp GFI are so expensive...
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