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Old 06-21-2019, 08:55 AM   #1
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GFCI tripping

My 15 has a GFCI outlet in the dinette/bed area which apparently controls the other two (or maybe 3, haven't looked at the one in the microwave area) 110 outlets. I tripped it a couple of times with coffee pot on, but now it seems to trip daily with nothing more than a computer charger drawing current. (Coffee pot plugged in but completely off with power button off.) What do I need to check/fix?

When I reset it I can run the coffee maker and it doesn't trip (that's at a remote outlet). The computer charger also plugs into a remote outlet, the only thing ever plugged into the GFCI is a USB charger.

I'm guessing the GFCI has gone bad.
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Old 06-21-2019, 09:58 AM   #2
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GFCI tripping

There are two distinct possibilities (maybe more): there’s a problem with your wiring, or there’s something wrong with your outlet. A wiring problem could be lots of things and in lots of places. Easy for an electrician to trace such things but harder for non-electricians. As a non-electrician, were it me, I’d try the easiest thing first, which would be replacing the outlet, because GFCI’s don’t last forever and do occasionally go bad.

Also, ahoy across the water there from PT!
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:12 AM   #3
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Do you have an outside receptacle ?
Is the outside receptacle on the same circuit as the GFCI ?
The WP covers on outside receptacles are notorious for letting water in but not letting it out
It may be nothing more than a bad outside receptacle
I am making an educated guess cause I don’t know how your Escape is wired
GFCI receptacles trip due to leakage current to ground and not from overload
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbie54 View Post
My 15 has a GFCI outlet in the dinette/bed area which apparently controls the other two (or maybe 3, haven't looked at the one in the microwave area) 110 outlets. I tripped it a couple of times with coffee pot on, but now it seems to trip daily with nothing more than a computer charger drawing current. (Coffee pot plugged in but completely off with power button off.) What do I need to check/fix?

When I reset it I can run the coffee maker and it doesn't trip (that's at a remote outlet). The computer charger also plugs into a remote outlet, the only thing ever plugged into the GFCI is a USB charger.

I'm guessing the GFCI has gone bad.
Don't guess. I highly recommend that you get a GFCI tester like this one.

I can't count the money and time I have saved diagnosing problems with this very simple tester over the years.
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:30 AM   #5
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No outside receptacle. The tester sounds like a good idea and inexpensive, thanks!
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:43 AM   #6
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Telescopist View Post
Don't guess. I highly recommend that you get a GFCI tester like this one.

I can't count the money and time I have saved diagnosing problems with this very simple tester over the years.
The meter will tell you if the GFCI trips at the proper leakage current
When you press the button on the tester it will simulate a fault and the GFCI should trip
If the GFCI does not trip when testing then the GFCI is bad or there is no power to the GFCI
The meter you pictured will not indicate if the problem is in the wiring or down stream from the GFCI.
Disconnect the wires on the load side of the GFCI and then try powering your coffee pot / computer off the GFCI receptacle . If the GFCI does not trip then the problem is probably with the down stream wiring
The plugin tester has limited value when troubleshooting , a multi meter is the tool of choice
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:43 AM   #7
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Also, ahoy across the water there from PT!
Actually on your side (sort of) right now, out at the coast.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:11 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
The meter will tell you if the GFCI trips at the proper leakage current
When you press the button on the tester it will simulate a fault and the GFCI should trip
If the GFCI does not trip when testing then the GFCI is bad or there is no power to the GFCI
The meter you pictured will not indicate if the problem is in the wiring or down stream from the GFCI.
Disconnect the wires on the load side of the GFCI and then try powering your coffee pot / computer off the GFCI receptacle . If the GFCI does not trip then the problem is probably with the down stream wiring
The plugin tester has limited value when troubleshooting , a multi meter is the tool of choice
The GFCI tester can indicate if the problem is in the wiring/downstream. I had a nagging recurring problem with an outlet in a 3rd floor apartment. I assumed it was the outlet. I shut off the breaker in the basement and replaced the outlet. The problem persisted. I did a 'simple' test with the GFCI tester. The tester indicated that I had an open neutral. I trudged back down to the basement and located the offending neutral. It needed to be tightened up in the neutral bus. The multi tester never came out of my electrician satchel.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:45 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Telescopist View Post
The GFCI tester can indicate if the problem is in the wiring/downstream. I had a nagging recurring problem with an outlet in a 3rd floor apartment. I assumed it was the outlet. I shut off the breaker in the basement and replaced the outlet. The problem persisted. I did a 'simple' test with the GFCI tester. The tester indicated that I had an open neutral. I trudged back down to the basement and located the offending neutral. It needed to be tightened up in the neutral bus. The multi tester never came out of my electrician satchel.
Try finding an unintended neutral to equipment ground connection with the plug in meter and let me know how it works . Water in a receptacle will trip the GFCI but will not show up on the meter you pictured. An open neutral or equipment ground or hot will not cause a GFCI to trip . Turn the breaker off feeding the GFCI and your tester will show an open hot but it will not cause the GFCI to trip
The tester you reference is a highly useful tool in certain instances . If you plug your tester into a tripped GFCI receptacle it will not tell you why the GFCI tripped but only that the receptacle is dead.
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Old 06-21-2019, 12:38 PM   #10
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All I want to know is whether the GFCI is bad because anything else is going to require someone with more electrical knowledge than I have.
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