Mystery GFI Tripping
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Mystery GFI Tripping (by Ben [NH]) Mar 15, 2011 8:37 AM
       Mystery GFI Tripping (by CJBCPA [PA]) Mar 15, 2011 8:48 AM
       Mystery GFI Tripping (by John... [MI]) Mar 15, 2011 9:01 AM
       Mystery GFI Tripping (by ben [NH]) Mar 15, 2011 9:11 AM
       Mystery GFI Tripping (by Steve [MA]) Mar 15, 2011 9:42 AM
       Mystery GFI Tripping (by ben [NH]) Mar 15, 2011 9:47 AM
       Mystery GFI Tripping (by Opinionated [NC]) Mar 15, 2011 9:56 AM
       Mystery GFI Tripping (by John... [MI]) Mar 15, 2011 10:54 AM
       Mystery GFI Tripping (by RR78 [VA]) Mar 15, 2011 12:08 PM
       Mystery GFI Tripping (by Noel [OH]) Mar 15, 2011 1:28 PM
       Mystery GFI Tripping (by Phillip [MO]) Mar 15, 2011 2:09 PM
       Mystery GFI Tripping (by Virden [OH]) Mar 15, 2011 2:22 PM
       Mystery GFI Tripping (by Blue [IL]) Mar 15, 2011 5:49 PM
       Mystery GFI Tripping (by AllyM [NJ]) Mar 16, 2011 6:30 AM

Mystery GFI Tripping (by Ben [NH]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2011 8:37 AM

State Specific Question About: NEW HAMPSHIRE (NH)

I have a GFI outlet in my bathroom that keeps tripping, even when nothing is plugged into it. Sometimes it stays on for a while, others it wont stay on at all. I tested the GFI and all the outlets on that circut with a tester and they all test ok. I have read that there should be an open ground but I can't find one on THAT circut. However, I did find an open ground in the next room over but that is not on the same circut as the bathroom breaker. I also know the light switches on all three rooms ( on / off switches ) are on a third circut breaker, apparently not connected to anything else, as there is power to them when I shut off the 1st two breakers.

Is it possible the bathroom GFI is tripping because of an open ground on another seperate circut. Prehaps the three on/off switches on the 3rd circut are wrong somehow and that is it?

I'm lost. HELP.

Mystery GFI Tripping (by CJBCPA [PA]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2011 8:48 AM


for under $15 you could replace it yourself and cure or isolate the problem. --65.162.xx.xx

Mystery GFI Tripping (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2011 9:01 AM

I'd be searching for a short down-stream of that GFCI. That seems the most likely thing. Last time we had that happening, we discovered that a kitchen outlet that was downstream had a malfunctioning coffee maker plugged into it -- that, now and then, would randomly trip the upstream GFCI.

- John...

Mystery GFI Tripping (by ben [NH]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2011 9:11 AM

I did replace the GFI receptical. No help. I think it is hooked up correctly cause it test right.

Mystery GFI Tripping (by Steve [MA]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2011 9:42 AM

Unless someone has cross wired something, nothing on another circuit should cause this GFCI to trip.

You need to find out what is fed from this GFCI. Try pressing the test button then check to see what else shuts off. When you find the other outlets / lights which are on the load side of this GFCI check to be sure that all of their connections are tight. It's possible that a wire gets heated then loosens up resulting in an open ground.

Do you have a polarity / GFCI tester?

Mystery GFI Tripping (by ben [NH]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2011 9:47 AM

I do. I tested everything on that circut. All good. I can't find anything that is shuting off when I test/trip the GFI.

Mystery GFI Tripping (by Opinionated [NC]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2011 9:56 AM

Equipment grounds are not involved in GFCI operation. They work fine on ungrounded circuits.

Mystery GFI Tripping (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2011 10:54 AM

Ben: On the GFCI, are wires connected at the top and at the bottom (i.e. on both the LOAD and LINE connections)? If there are, then there IS something fed "downstream" from that GFCI -- and, if you can't find it, then you need to keep looking because it is likely your tripping source.

Note that it could be a light or something too -- not just other outlets.

- John...

Mystery GFI Tripping (by RR78 [VA]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2011 12:08 PM

Agree with John. Guessing you have the ground and 2 wires coming in ( marked line) and 2 wires going out ( marked load).

So best chance its whatever the load wires feed. Maybe the bath light and fan. Bath fans or motors sometimes cause problems with GFIs.

I actually dont put the fans on a GFI.

But disconnect the load wires and see if you can get it to trip, to confirm this.

Mystery GFI Tripping (by Noel [OH]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2011 1:28 PM

"INTERMITTENT" Elec issues can be a pain! Any momentary disruption or "imbalance" on the lines will shut it off. May have to ck every connection from breaker to the last "appliance" for secure tightness.

I'll be interested to hear how you finally fix it--sounds like you've done almost everything already!

Mystery GFI Tripping (by Phillip [MO]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2011 2:09 PM

I had a similar situation a few years ago, but with a gfci breaker, I thought the breaker was bad, replaced it and it still tripped.

I looked everywhere and finally found a central air a coil drip pan leaking water in the wall into an outlet.

Hope this helps

Mystery GFI Tripping (by Virden [OH]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2011 2:22 PM

My idea may not be the lowest cost, press the test button and go dig out the outlets that die when the GFCI is tripped, now add pigtails behind each of these to create a daisy chain of wire rather than a circuit of protected outlets, use a GFCI in each hole where there was previously a chain, in doing this you may accidently remove a wire that was not tightened properly and place it into wire nuts for the pigtail - avoid using a GFCI on a motor load, refrig and washing machines were exempt for a long time for the reason of high inrush of current causing the contacts to weld shut rendering the whole idea useless, the smart GFCI outlets that arrived in 2003 have improved contacts and this allegedly does not happen - when an inspector questions me on this I mention the welding trouble and am granted a variance for the conventional outlets. Lightning has been known to damage the sensor circuitry in GFCI outlets wired in any method, a direct hit is not needed just a 140 volt surge.

Mystery GFI Tripping (by Blue [IL]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2011 5:49 PM

Could the GFI itself be bad/defective?

Mystery GFI Tripping (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2011 6:30 AM

Sometimes they can trip if they are just bumped. Try a more expensive brand. You could go to an electrical store and get one. The hardware store and HD brands sometime are not so good.

Is anyone plugging something into it? Sometimes the jarring of plugging in will cause it to trip also. Sometimes a plug is large and hits the test button.

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