Buying Condo, GFCI Problems

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Were you able to negotiate the price downward as a result of the work you had to do and costs of parts? A ballpark number is close enough, we would just like to know if it is a workable negotiating tactic.
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On Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 9:50:09 PM UTC-6, snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrot e:

Before closing, the seller did agree to credit me $700 credit for the hot w ater heater, my time with the GFCI, and the non-functioning microwave turnt able, so yes.
About the Harbor Freight GFCIs: I have been in the condo townhome for five months now. About once a month I plug something into each of the two Harbor Freight GFCI outlets. About half the time I find them tripped and have to push the reset button. I figure either the Harbor Freight GFCIs are indeed inferior quality, or the house has some wiring fault. I see about 25% of th e reviews at the Harbor Freight site say similar. I'll replace them sometim e in the next couple years with one of the super slim versions from Lowe's or Home Depot.
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On Mon, 7 Sep 2015 07:38:05 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Check the manufacturer. You can buy a lot of inferior junk at Lowes and Home Despot as well.
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On 9/7/2015 7:38 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

A wee stale thread, eh?

You "find them tripped" suggests they were tripped *before* you had plugged in "something"? Or, do you mean you found that they trip as a *result* of your plugging in that something?
What sort of "somethings" are we talking about? E.g., plugging in something that is SWITCHED OFF should have no effect on the GFCI. OTOH, plugging in an electric frying pan that happened to be "on" at the time can present a significant load!
[BTW, are you sure you shouldn't have been installing AFCI's, instead?]

So, these are GFCI *outlets* and not a GFCI *circuit*. Do you, perhaps, have more than one ON EACH CIRCUIT? Or, are they on separate circuits? "Daisy chaining" the nonGFCI outlets off the "master" GFCI? If so, are you plugging into the master or one of the daisy chained outlets?

Assuming you've installed them properly, GFCI outlets are notoriously troublesome. Exposure to moisture, vermin, etc. can compromise their performance. Long wire runs can sometimes lead to faulty operation.

As these are usually required on *dedicated* circuits (i.e., bathroom, garage, outdoor, two counter top, etc.), consider looking into using a GFCI *breaker*, instead. This allows all of the outlets to "look" the same (one or two don't stand out as having funny "buttons"). I've opted for GFCI *breakers*, here, as the breaker seems to be of higher manufactured quality than the (disposable) GFCI outlets.
There is a *potential* downside/lack of convenience with the GFCI function being present in the electrical panel instead of *AT* the outlet (i.e., when the GFCI trips, I have to make a trip outside to reset it). OTOH, these things shouldn't be tripping in normal use! Would you complain about the hassle of having to go outside to replace a *fuse* (instead of having it handily present *in* the outlet)? Ans: you wouldn't EXPECT the fuse to be blowing!!
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On Monday, September 7, 2015 at 11:45:10 AM UTC-6, Don Y wrote:

I find them tripped before I plug in my vacuum cleaner whose switch is off.

Only one GFCI is on each circuit. The earlier posts discuss this more. I have been plugging in my vacuum cleaner into the GFCI outlet itself (not one daisy chained downstream from the GFCI outlet).
Given the reviews at the Harbor Freight site, I am fine with remedying the situation sometime in the future by trying Home Depot or Lowe's GFCIs.
My only intention was to post an update on the Harbor Freight GFCIs, as I wrote a few months ago that I would.
Tony, I have not heard of problems with other condo units.
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Don Y wrote:

===================snipped==========================>

I use a GFCI breaker for the one circuit that feeds both of my bathrooms on the second floor. I'm about to buy a GFCI tester to make sure that my GFCI receptacles turn off when I push the "Test" button. This should trip the GFCI breaker in the breaker box located in the basement. Have you ever tried using a GFCI tester on a GFCI circuit? I assume that the breaker should trip after holding the Test button for a couple of seconds.
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On 9/8/2015 6:48 PM, Arnie Goetchius wrote:

The circuit will open *immediately* when the TEST button is pressed. The whole point of the GFCI is to interrupt the circuit before it can damage "tissue" (typically, cause the heart to stop).
The GFCI detects an imbalance of a few *milliamps* between the current being "supplied" by the hot and "sunk" by the neutral FOR THAT BRANCH CIRCUIT (this is why a GFCI breaker has a neutral wire connection!). This "imbalance" is current that is typically flowing through a human being's body (though it can exist for other reasons as well)
At 10 mA, you experience a severe shock; at 100mA you're pushing up daisies (if not attended to). Higher currents can actually *burn* tissue.
One adage when working with electricity is to keep one hand in your pocket; working with *both* hands tends to provide an easy path through the heart (of course, there are lots of other ways this can happen, but holding onto item A with one hand and item B with the other -- realizing an electric potential between them -- is a surefire way to tempt fate!)
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Does it mean all other condo units will have same issues? GFCI stuffs I purchased at whole sale outlet catering to trades people all work fine.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com posted for all of us...

in the next couple years with one of the super slim versions from Lowe's or Home Depot.
This gives me a lot of confidence in HF and you -- NOT. It can be a life safety item so if you want to cheap out. I'm glad I don't have to put the AED on your blue, lifeless body.
--
Tekkie

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On Tuesday, September 8, 2015 at 4:50:46 PM UTC-4, Tekkie® wrote:

wrote:

ot water heater, my time with the GFCI, and the non-functioning microwave t urntable, so yes.

ive months now. About once a month I plug something into each of the two Ha rbor Freight GFCI outlets. About half the time I find them tripped and have to push the reset button. I figure either the Harbor Freight GFCIs are ind eed inferior quality, or the house has some wiring fault. I see about 25% o f the reviews at the Harbor Freight site say similar. I'll replace them som etime

or Home Depot.



I have to agree. HF is a great place to buy socket wrench extensions or a random tool that you use once in 10 years. I bought a cheap <$10 VOM there to leave on my boat. In under a year, the voltage readings were off by 30% . I wouldn't buy a GFCI there, certainly not a no name Chinese one, which is almost all of what they sell.
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On 9/9/2015 4:58 AM, trader_4 wrote:

I'd be surprised at the 30% figure... but NOT surprised that it wasn't accurate (out-of-the-box *or* down-the-road). I have a couple of the "freebie" HF DMM's and they're worth little more than the battery inside! :>
Having said that, I keep one in the garage to check the voltage on (car) batteries I have out there. And often grab one when I need to check batteries on a UPS or even troubleshoot a failed TV, etc.
OTOH, if I ever get suspicious of the readings, I drag out a *real* DMM (I have a 6 digit Fluke but it requires AC power to operate).

IME, the troubles with GFCI outlets/receptacles are usually those of long term reliability -- they tend to crap out if they are "abused" in any way. And, folks tend to use them in the easiest way possible (e.g., NOT wrapping each conductor around a screw head but, instead, inserting in those "quick insert/seldom release" connections on the rear of the fixture).
With *anything* Chinese, I wonder as to the actual quality of the materials involved. Are the internal conductors *copper*? Aluminum? Some "blend" (impurities) of conductive materials?? Are they of sufficient dimension to carry the rated load currents? Or, are they effectively "fusible links"?
And, how can Joe Average verify these things for himself??
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On 9/9/2015 1:38 PM, Don Y wrote:

I wonder some times, if old fashioned quality can be had at ANY price now days?
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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On 9/9/2015 11:28 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I don't think so. OTOH, I'm The Cynic, so have a bias in that statement! :>
I've long stated that I would pay *double* (for many things) for the ASSURANCE (not "guarantee" because that just means you'll "make me whole" WHEN it craps out) that something WON'T fail and WILL perform AS EXPECTED for <some-period-of-time>. I.e., to KNOW with CERTAINTY that you won't have to worry about anything (other than theft, fire, etc.) causing you grief with that item in that time period.
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On Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 9:50:09 PM UTC-6, snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrot e:

Before closing, the seller did agree to credit me $700 for the hot water he ater, my time with the GFCI, and the non-functioning microwave turntable, s o yes.
About the Harbor Freight GFCIs: I have been in the condo townhome for five months now. About once a month I plug something into each of the two Harbor Freight GFCI outlets. About half the time I find them tripped and have to push the reset button. They reset fine and I am able to use the outlets wit hout further interruption. I figure either the Harbor Freight GFCIs are ind eed inferior quality, or the house has some wiring fault. I see about 25% o f the reviews at the Harbor Freight site say similar. I'll replace them som etime in the next couple years with the super slim versions from Lowe's or Home Depot.
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