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Jim Elbrecht
 
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Default GFCI & radio static

I put a new GFI outlet in my basement for a sump pump. There was
already an outlet there, I just replaced it with a GFCI.

When I flipped the power back on there was a flash, and the GFCI
tripped. [I don't think the breaker did-- but I'm not sure.]

I took it apart & examined the GFCI. There was some carbon on one
end but I couldn't see anything that looked like it had arced.
Other than smoke residue I couldn't see anything wrong inside the
box-- so I wrote it off as a bad GFI & replaced it.

A few weeks later the GFCI tripped while I wasn't there. I reset it &
it was fine. . . until that night when it tripped again. It
tripped one more time in the next 24 hours-- so I bought yet another
GFI but it hasn't tripped again in several weeks.

Yesterday I unplugged the sump pump to do some work & noticed the
cheap clock radio that I was listening to go significantly noisier.
Plug in the sump, the radio clears up. It was repeatable several
times. Whether or not the pump is running doesn't matter. If it
is plugged in the radio quiets down. [the switch mechanism on the
pump is one of those diaphragm types that has no visible moving parts]

I've plugged one of those cheap circuit checkers [that plug in with
the 3 lights] & it didn't complain. I also had a Kill-O-Watt plugged
in to the outlet for a week or two & it wasn't indicating any leakage.

Any ideas what I'm looking for? Why would an appliance that is
[apparently] working properly and not running have any affect on a
circuit?

Thanks,
Jim
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Pop
 
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Default

Did you check using the ckt checker with the sump unplugged? It
almost sounds like the sump is providing the neutral/earth for
the ckt. There might be a problem with the wiring so check it
with nothing else plugged into it.
BTW, that's a very dangerous place to work if there are any
exposed voltages anywhere. Even neutral CAN be hot under some
circumstances.

Pop


Jim Elbrecht wrote:
I put a new GFI outlet in my basement for a sump pump.
There was
already an outlet there, I just replaced it with a GFCI.

When I flipped the power back on there was a flash, and the
GFCI
tripped. [I don't think the breaker did-- but I'm not sure.]

I took it apart & examined the GFCI. There was some carbon
on one
end but I couldn't see anything that looked like it had arced.
Other than smoke residue I couldn't see anything wrong inside
the
box-- so I wrote it off as a bad GFI & replaced it.

A few weeks later the GFCI tripped while I wasn't there. I
reset it
& it was fine. . . until that night when it tripped again.
It
tripped one more time in the next 24 hours-- so I bought yet
another
GFI but it hasn't tripped again in several weeks.

Yesterday I unplugged the sump pump to do some work & noticed
the
cheap clock radio that I was listening to go significantly
noisier.
Plug in the sump, the radio clears up. It was repeatable
several
times. Whether or not the pump is running doesn't matter.
If it
is plugged in the radio quiets down. [the switch mechanism
on the
pump is one of those diaphragm types that has no visible
moving
parts]

I've plugged one of those cheap circuit checkers [that plug in
with
the 3 lights] & it didn't complain. I also had a Kill-O-Watt
plugged in to the outlet for a week or two & it wasn't
indicating
any leakage.

Any ideas what I'm looking for? Why would an appliance that
is
[apparently] working properly and not running have any affect
on a
circuit?

Thanks,
Jim



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John Grabowski
 
Posts: n/a
Default

A sump pump receptacle is not required to be GFI protected. It fact it
would be better if it wasn't. You wouldn't want that GFI tripping while
water was coming into your basement. You have already experienced nuisance
tripping. Your problem is not bad GFI's, It is lack the of experience of
the installer. Just install a single receptacle (Not duplex) and you will
be compliant and can rest easy.

I suspect that the flash that you experienced was a result of one of the
wires being shorted from you pushing the GFI into the box.

John Grabowski
http://www.mrelectrician.tv


"Jim Elbrecht" wrote in message
...
I put a new GFI outlet in my basement for a sump pump. There was
already an outlet there, I just replaced it with a GFCI.

When I flipped the power back on there was a flash, and the GFCI
tripped. [I don't think the breaker did-- but I'm not sure.]

I took it apart & examined the GFCI. There was some carbon on one
end but I couldn't see anything that looked like it had arced.
Other than smoke residue I couldn't see anything wrong inside the
box-- so I wrote it off as a bad GFI & replaced it.

A few weeks later the GFCI tripped while I wasn't there. I reset it &
it was fine. . . until that night when it tripped again. It
tripped one more time in the next 24 hours-- so I bought yet another
GFI but it hasn't tripped again in several weeks.

Yesterday I unplugged the sump pump to do some work & noticed the
cheap clock radio that I was listening to go significantly noisier.
Plug in the sump, the radio clears up. It was repeatable several
times. Whether or not the pump is running doesn't matter. If it
is plugged in the radio quiets down. [the switch mechanism on the
pump is one of those diaphragm types that has no visible moving parts]

I've plugged one of those cheap circuit checkers [that plug in with
the 3 lights] & it didn't complain. I also had a Kill-O-Watt plugged
in to the outlet for a week or two & it wasn't indicating any leakage.

Any ideas what I'm looking for? Why would an appliance that is
[apparently] working properly and not running have any affect on a
circuit?

Thanks,
Jim


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