Do newer GFCI receptacles still trip due to inductive load from motors?


Quick answer: Unless your disposal leaks current via ground or via the water/sewer line, you won't have any problems.

More details: GFCI is really great for appliances that interface with water during the cource of their normal duties. Sumps, washers, disposals, sprinkler systems. As they degrade, they are especially able to cause dangerous leakage current that can hurt people nearby.

I hate answers that make decisions for the asker. But this is one of the cases where its really pretty clear. Even if it was a nuisance, it would be worth it.

If you want an EASY way to gain confidence that it won't be a nuisance, wire the outlet to an old computer power cord for a few days and run the disposal a few times to see if it ever trips. If it does you should check resistance between hot and ground, neutral and ground, hot and your sink, and neutral and your sink. They ought to all be infinite resistance. If not, then you have a significant safety problem with your...

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There are often special looking electrical receptacles in bathrooms or kitchens that have "Test" and "Reset" buttons -- often black and red -- on them. Video. These are ground-fault circuit interrupters -- GFCIs or GFIs. Their purpose is to protect people from electrocution. They do not prevent shock altogether, only deadly shock. And they do not prevent overloads on the circuit. That is the job of a circuit breaker at the main panel. See my GFCI article. (What is the little light on some GFIs?)

Why Can't I Reset? Is GFCI Bad or Is There a Ground-Fault?
GFI Outlet Diagram -- Hooking Up
Is an Unknown GFCI the Cause of an Outage?
Finding a Tripped GFCI Receptacle
Confusing Terms: GFCI, GFI, Load, etc.

Bad GFCI or a Ground-Fault? -- Troubleshooting

Is a GFI tripping for a ground-fault? If you are pretty sure you need to troubleshoot a ground-fault itself, you may want to go to

Tripped GFI -- Why?


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I have an issue with my air compressor tripping the GFCI. I thought since the motor isn't all that different from a tablesaw motor and many of you have tablesaws in your garage where GFCI outlets are installed, maybe you've run into a similar situation?

I have a small 4 year old Ingersoll 110v 15A 20 gallon air compressor. It's been connected downstream of a GFCI outlet (both within 10 feet of my panel) and plugged directly into the wall for 4 years and has operated flawlessly (until now). The unit has no more than 50 hours of run time on it. The motor and pump are made in asia to Ingersoll's specs. Last weekend the compressor tripped the GFCI outlet for the first time. After a little testing I have determined that it will no longer run on a GFCI outlet at all. It trips upon start up. I have two separate GFCI circuits in the garage and it failed to run on either of them. I've also tested it on a regular circuit and it runs fine and brought the tank up to normal pressure...

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I'm extremely certain all wiring is good. All fresh wiring from the main box to a new GFCI box and all new wiring in fresh PVC cable. The wiring is connected to a spa where the majority of the circuits are 240 volt. However, there are other 120 volt circuits within the cabinet which are working fine (i.e.: blower, prime pump, stereo, etc...). These all run off the same 120 volt circuit. It is a random's not consistent. I did remove the light housing, disassembled it, isolated everthing and found that when I remove the bulbs, no tripping occurs. As soon as I put the bulbs back in, it trips. I went to lower wattage bulbs and it only trips sometimes, but still too often than desired. Thus, my thinking is the sudden current draw sends a signal to the GFCI that there is leakage current, but in my opinion it's just that the GFCI is too sensitive.

To the first gentleman's point, no, I am not a certified electricion. However, I've been working in the electrical industry for a...

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Many times, as you go to replace the heating element, it will look perfectly fine, but, as you found by the test, it is not. Other times, it will look charred or burnt, this is called a "dry fire" and can be caused by a few different things. Mainly, they are caused from slow water flow or a lack of flow, through the system,There are 5 things to check: 1) The filter, if it is old, clogged, or dirty, will restrict the water flow. (Replace it). 2) The shut-off valves? Did you reopen them after you cleaned the filter or drained the spa water? 3) Are all the jets open? Closing one or two for more pressure on other jets is ok, but, if they all get closed; this could cause a flow issue. 4) Check the heater contactor (see figure below) inside the control box to make sure that it has not arced shut by chattering (the spring-loaded bridges moving up and down at a rapid speed). If the picture above does not help in locating the heater contactor, then follow the wires ...

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I added a 20 amp circuit to the basement. The circuit breaker is 20 amp, the NM cable is 12 gauge (yellow), and it goes straight to a GFCI outlet. There is one regular outlet past the GFCI, connected to the GFCI’s load terminals. Both outlets are 20 amp (i.e., they have the notch in them). After connecting everything, a circuit tester reads okay in all four outlets.

Things seemed fine with the following items plugged in: 37” LCD television, 100W receiver, cable box, and an 8.8 cubic foot freezer chest. There was no problem merely plugging in a treadmill, but as soon as its motor started the GFCI tripped. Nothing changed on the circuit breaker — it didn’t trip at all.

The treadmill is over ten years old, and worked regularly as recently as a month ago. This is the first time it has been plugged into a GFCI outlet.

How likely is it that the items on the circuit are overloading it? How does an overload relate to the GFCI outlet? If there is an overload,...

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It is perfectly posible for the fridge to pop the GFI without having any ground leaks.....

Many GFIs will open if there is arcing or pulsing of the current draw. This may be due to an internal issue of component tolerances in the GFI, or it may be due to "false leakage" due to high frequency content of the arcing. I have never tried to determine that, it probably depends on brand and type.

In any case, if that is the case, and there is sometimes an arc in the relay etc when the fridge turns on, that can cause your problem.

In that case, the GFI will be opening as the fridge pulls start current. And the start current may be significantly over the rated 15A or 20A current rating of the GFI.

I do not think most GFIs (non CB type) are rated for repeated opening on fault currents, just for their rated carry current.

Naturally, that will cause an eventual failure, either welding shut, or burning the contacts to the point they don't close and make contact, or...

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The washer tripped the breaker once and OR after the breaker was reset it ran additional loads with no problem then it tripped the breaker again.

Intermittent problems are always difficult to diagnose because the problem usually doesn't occur when you're making the checks.

If the washer ran additional loads the problem will not be an electrical short with one of the washer parts. If the lid switch had a short it wouldn't run the additional loads.

You don't say if the additional loads used the same cycle as previously. A timer can have an internal short that might trip the breaker in heavy duty cycle but not the permanent press cycle.

If you have access to a clamp on amp meter, see the image below, then you can check the amp draw of the washer. The washer normally will draw about 10-15 amps at start up and about 5-8 amps while running. The house breaker for you washer should be rated at 20 amps.

If the washer is running and drawing less than 20...

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A ground fault circuit interrupter is an electrical device installed to protect against severe electric shocks. GFCI’s could also reduce electrocutions and minimize electrical burns and shock injuries. A GFCI, not to be confused with an AFCI, integrates a ground fault protection in receptacles where electrical equipment is near water or might be in contact with water.

Ground fault circuit interrupter also detects ground faults and interrupts the flow of electric current.

A GFCI is not and might not be used to replace a fuse and does NOT protect against circuit overloads, short circuits, or shocks.

How a GFCI Works?

A normal 120-volt outlet has two vertical slots and a round hole just below them or to the sides. Usually, the left slot is larger than the right, and it corresponds to the neutral while, the right slot is called hot. The round hole is the ‘ground’. When the outlet is working properly the electricity is flowing from hot to neutral, and...

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Couple things:

Look at ALL outlets on circuit before starting, as a GFCI may be earlier in the circuit. If a non-GFCI outlet is protected by a GFCI upstream, there should be labels on the cover plate to indicate this, but rarely are. (I have had inspectors ask me what the labels are…..)

A non-GFCI outlet may also be protected by a GFCI at the panel or a dead-front GFCI unit (not an outlet. Looks kind of like a decora light switch, and must be mounted in the room where the controlled outlets are). In a residence BR or kitchen, it is rarely in the panel, and isn’t permitted to be in some places, but should always be checked for. Lighting in a shower is often protected by a dead-front unit, even though not always required, as a careful installer will anticipate that people do dumb things, like fiddle with a blown bulb while the water is running. The fixture over or near a bath or shower must be rated for the location, but, if greater than a certain height and water...

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Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)

At home or outside, there is no way can we do without electricity and electrical devices. These are the indispensible necessities of our modern day lives. But sometimes their accidental “touch” can give a painful shock resulting in serious injuries which at times, sadly enough can have fatal consequences.

Do you know?

Thousands of children and adults are critically injured and electrocuted annually from electrical hazards in their own homes. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), home electrical problems account for more than 51,000 fires each year, resulting in more than 490 deaths, 1,400 injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage in the United States (US). Of the over 400 electrocutions in the US each year, approximately 180 are related to consumer products. A fewer than 200 people die annually from household electrocutions. Electricity is the cause of over 140,000 fires each year, resulting in...
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I just installed a replacement GFCI on my outdoor low voltage lighting system because my old one shorted out due to a driving rain storm. (GFCI shorted out but did not trip breaker.) The new GFCI is a Leviton model with an indicator light.

The indicator light is illuminated, but neon voltage testing showed no voltage at the receptacle. (Also tried plugging in a radio - no luck.) Leviton instructions state that when the indicator light is on, there is power to the GFCI. Pushed in "Test" and "Reset" with no resolution. Checked wiring; white, black and ground are properly connected. The original GFCI was wired by a professional electrician April, 2008 as a dedicated circuit with only this one receptacle. It goes directly into the breaker box and has its own breaker.

Does anyone know why the indicator light would be illuminated with no voltage at the receptacle, and what to do to correct the...

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A GFCI is a receptacle or circuit breaker and is used to increase safety in areas that are prone to the risk of electric shock. They will trip when current from the GFCI line side does not return through the neutral side. The GFCI measures the current from the line, through a load, and back to the neutral. This current needs to be the same. If current from the line does not return to the neutral (i.e. goes to ground instead), the GFCI will trip (power will be turned off coming out of the GFCI). It takes a mismatch of about 5 mA of current (5 milliamps or .005 A) to trip a GFCI.

GFCI receptacles can provide protection to standard receptacles connected to the load side of the GFCI.

BathroomsGarages and accessory buildingsOutdoorsCrawl spaces

Testing and Resetting a GFCI

When the test button is pushed or if the GFCI trips, power is shut off to the GFCI and protected receptacles. Pushing the reset button should restore power to the GFCI and receptacles...

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