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Old 03-21-2023, 10:52 AM   #1
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Inverter GFCI and office equipment

My trailer has the Samlex 1500W inverter that came with it. The inverter's 120V outlet is a GFCI. I recently bought a Brother printer/scanner to use in the trailer. It trips the inverter's GFCI immediately. The printer/scanner will run on an outlet not protected by a GFCI (as in the store where I bought it).

(1) Is this the nature of this type of device, that they will not run on GFCI-protected circuits?

(2) Or is this printer/scanner defective?

(3) Or do I have a problem with the inverter? Otherwise the inverter works fine and will run my microwave.
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Old 03-21-2023, 11:27 AM   #2
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Printers are power hogs. I doubt that it's presenting a ground fault to the GFCI - more likely it's drawing too much current at startup.


Does this printer/scanner use a 3 prong plug (my laser printer does) or is it a 2 prong plug with a "brick" style power adapter (my inkjet printer did)?
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Old 03-21-2023, 11:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
....
(1) Is this the nature of this type of device, that they will not run on GFCI-protected circuits?
....
Your question piqued my curiosity, I can offer I just ran a test:

When I plug my home-use Brother printer / scanner (HL-2280DW with 3-prong plug, no external 'brick') into a GFCI outlet it does not 'trip' the outlet, everything functions just fine. The outlet is functioning properly as demonstrated by a plug-in outlet tester that can 'force' a GFCI trip-test (Klein RT-210).

Perhaps you can find another GFCI outlet where you're camping to test your Brother device there? I can't think of any reason why it should trip a GFCI by design, perhaps it is indeed a defective unit or you can at least eliminate the second question from consideration?

I would hope that if it's a starting-surge current issue that would manifest as some other alarm on the Samlex, not a GFCI 'trip'.

Good luck with the troubleshooting!
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Old 03-21-2023, 03:54 PM   #4
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Could be the inverter gfci is bad and tripping. I certainly have had gfcis do that in the past. However,, make sure your printer has not broken and has a ground fault
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Old 03-22-2023, 04:09 PM   #5
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I bought a GFCI tester. It tests to make sure a GFCI will trip, and my inverter GFCI does. I don't suppose it tests to see if a GFCI will trip when it shouldn't. I'm going to assume the fault is with the printer. At least I don't have to dismantle the inverter to change out its GFCI.
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Old 03-22-2023, 04:13 PM   #6
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I was playing a gig with an outdoor gfci that kep tripping and turning the sound system off. It was replaced and the gig continued. However that’s just anecdotal and with out scientific investigation. Electricians should chime in
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Old 04-01-2023, 08:45 PM   #7
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Addendum

I decided to split up the printer and scanner functions for my "trailer office". So forgetting all about what started this I bought a Brother HL-L2730DW printer, just like I have at home. It also trips the inverter's GFCI. It's going back tomorrow.

As for the scanner part, a few days ago I bought an Epson ES-50 "travel" scanner. This thing seems to work well, at least with Vuescan driving it. It scans receipts well, something my document scanner at home has problems doing because the small receipts jam its document feeder. It runs off USB power. And it is compact, so hopefully if I can find a printer that will work I can fit it and the scanner in the compartment beneath my cooktop.

Anybody have a compact laser printer they use with their Escape's inverter? I'd like to know something that works.
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Old 04-01-2023, 08:51 PM   #8
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We carry a battery powered canon inkjet
Itís not for lots of printing but it works well
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Old 04-05-2023, 09:38 AM   #9
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HP M209dwe

This small HP laser printer works with my inverter and its GFCI. It is small enough to fit in the space beneath the cooktop. It has both wifi and Ethernet connections so I can use it with my trailer's nascent Ethernet network. So the solution is to use two devices-- this printer and the Epson ES-50 scanner which is powered by USB.
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Old 04-05-2023, 10:29 AM   #10
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I'm not sure I grasp the "Works only with original HP toner; requires HP account, internet to operate" - what happens when you don't have an internet connection?
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Old 04-05-2023, 10:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
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This small HP laser printer [HP M209dwe] works with my inverter and its GFCI.
That's great and interesting. I wonder if the issue with the Brother was simply power-draw or something unique about it's 'electronics', but I suppose that's moot for you now. Anyway, congrats on finding a solution that works for you!

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I'm not sure I grasp the "Works only with original HP toner; requires HP account, internet to operate" - what happens when you don't have an internet connection?
That's for the "HP+" features (if you consider those 'features'), here's the pertinent FAQ.

It appears that one is not required to enable the HP+ 'features' on a capable printer, but once done it's done for 'life'.

Note that an equivalent "standard" printer without "HP+" is available.
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Old 04-05-2023, 01:45 PM   #12
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I'm not sure I grasp the "Works only with original HP toner; requires HP account, internet to operate" - what happens when you don't have an internet connection?

The printer still works; I tested that right away. I don't like the idea of needing an HP account but my choices seem limited. Also, one is not required to sign up for toner delivery.
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