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Old 09-14-2022, 06:53 PM   #1
3x5
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GFI Shore Receptacle Trips

We have a 2005 Alpine Coach 36 FDDS. Whenever I plug our power chord into a 15 amp GFI shore receptacle, the receptacle trips. This happens every time, right after the 2 minute 15 second waiting period for the surge protector to kick in.

We have a 50 amp system with a permanently installed Surge Guard model 34560 made by TRC (Technology Research Corp), which is now Southwire. I have tried their website and calling their tech support and can't get a return call from them. I also tried Progressive Industries tech support (that makes a competitive surge protector), and can't get a return call from them either.

I tried turning absolutely everything in the coach off before plugging in, including shutting down all of the breakers, and it still trips.

So what could it be? Is it worth trying to find and fix? I asked a repair shop, and they didn't want to do it. They said that GFI doesn't like RVs.
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Old 09-14-2022, 07:11 PM   #2
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My first 3 RVs wouldn't trip a GFCI , my last 5er and current coach will .

There are numerous possible causes ; first could be the surge guard cycle , others include water heater and fridge electric elements .

But if the GFCI trips with the main 50 amp breakers off , and you can't by pass the surge guard .

Other members have had success tracking the issue down , my last 5er was brand new and tripped GFCI from day one after going through the 120 volt system and replacing the converter , with no resolution in sight I learned to live with the situation .

Any way to run your extension cord to a non GFCI circuit outlet .
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Old 09-14-2022, 08:00 PM   #3
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Any way to run your extension cord to a non GFCI circuit outlet?

Or just replace the GFCI with a standard non-GFCI receptacle.
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Old 09-14-2022, 08:08 PM   #4
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Had similar experiences at a storage facility. They replaced the gfci with a non gfci and that corrected the problem. I cannot explain the reason it trips but have heard of it several times.
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Old 09-14-2022, 08:19 PM   #5
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Instead of switching off the breaker, you could try unplugging the fridge. That takes both wires out of the circuit.

To really seek out the issue, removing the neutral wire for each corresponding circuit breaker will help find the fault.

Water heaters and inverter/chargers would be first on the list.
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Old 09-16-2022, 02:04 PM   #6
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I have a main panel and a subpanel. I turned off the main breaker, and all of the other breakers including in the subpanel for good measure. Then I planned to turn on one circuit at a time to narrow down finding the problem. But it still tripped the gfci with all of the breakers off.

Shouldn't turning off all the breakers have isolated everything downline from tripping the gfci? Am I missing something here? Or is the ground fault be between the main panel and the Surge Guard?

Like you suggest, I may have to just live with this.

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 09-16-2022, 02:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Instead of switching off the breaker, you could try unplugging the fridge. That takes both wires out of the circuit.

To really seek out the issue, removing the neutral wire for each corresponding circuit breaker will help find the fault.

Water heaters and inverter/chargers would be first on the list.

Twinboat. I just read your post more carefully. So switching off the breaker doesn't isolate the ground fault. The gfi is looking at the neutral, and it is not shut off by the breaker?
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Old 09-16-2022, 02:59 PM   #8
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Twinboat. I just read your post more carefully. So switching off the breaker doesn't isolate the ground fault. The gfi is looking at the neutral, and it is not shut off by the breaker?
The GFCI monitors both hot and neutral for equal current flow.

If current is leaking from neutral to ground, that current isn't going back thru the device and the GFCI will trip.

Water heaters have a resistance wire inside a grounded core. If the wire gets to hot ( powered up with no water surrounding it ), it can burn thru the insulation and touch the core. That causes a ground fault.
I believe fridge heaters are built the same way.
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Old 09-16-2022, 10:41 PM   #9
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Twinboat:

You did it! Wow! You are the Master! You are a Wizard!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

BOTTOM LINE: I pulled the white neutral wire for the electric half of the water heater off the neutral bar and now the gfci receptacle for shore power does not trip. Just a screw driver and couple of minutes to test, and all solved. It was easier than running an extension cord to another outlet.

How did you know my electric water heater didn't work? I just had the breaker off. I didn't realize that I had to pull the neutral too.

Thanks so much again.
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Old 09-16-2022, 10:50 PM   #10
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Twinboat:

You did it! Wow! You are the Master! You are a Wizard!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

BOTTOM LINE: I pulled the white neutral wire for the electric half of the water heater off the neutral bar and now the gfci receptacle for shore power does not trip. Just a screw driver and couple of minutes to test, and all solved. It was easier than running an extension cord to another outlet.

How did you know my electric water heater didn't work? I just had the breaker off. I didn't realize that I had to pull the neutral too.

Thanks so much again.
So, you are going to remove that white wire everytime you plug in at home?
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Old 09-17-2022, 03:08 AM   #11
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No. I will leave it taped up, and disconnected from the neutral bar. I don't need it to run the water heater on propane. I will replace the electric heating element in a few weeks, and that should take care of the ground fault. Then I will try to put it back on the neutral bar.
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Old 09-17-2022, 09:26 AM   #12
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After 15+ years in a storage stall without a GFCI outlet and zero problems, we recently moved in a new storage facility that requires the GFCI, we've found that the residential refrigerator will trip the outlet. We've since turned the fridge breaker off to solve our issue.


See this thread for our experience: https://www.irv2.com/forums/f53/stor...ra-592217.html
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Old 09-19-2022, 02:01 PM   #13
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I apologise for the hijack but I just brought home a 2005 36 MDDS and it does the same thing, only different. It plugs in fine, inverter charger running some overhead 110 lights, tv. Plug a vacuum in and switch it on and the gfci trips. Not the box breaker just the gfci.

Any ideas? Water heater too?
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Old 09-19-2022, 02:16 PM   #14
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I apologise for the hijack but I just brought home a 2005 36 MDDS and it does the same thing, only different. It plugs in fine, inverter charger running some overhead 110 lights, tv. Plug a vacuum in and switch it on and the gfci trips. Not the box breaker just the gfci.

Any ideas? Water heater too?
No, its not the water heater, its the vacuum !

GFCIs sense electrical leakage to your body, which can kill you but won't trip a circuit breaker.
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