Dishwasher kicks off GFI

Our dishwasher is connected downstream from a GFI outlet on the wall about 4 feet away. I don't know why, it's been that way ever since we moved in 8 years ago. We've never had any trouble...
...until about a month ago. The dishwasher would 'pop' the GFI partway through the cycle. Wait 10 minutes, reset the GFI, it would complete the cycle.
It happened a few more times, *usually at a different part of the cycle*. Now it happens, and it won't reset.
I've opened the bottom panel, there's no leakage that I can see. I did find some black gunk in the bottom of the washer which could have been blocking the water draining out, but I've cleaned that out and it hasn't helped. Looked like a black rubber gasket could have been chewed up and swirled around, except I can't find anything missing anywhere. Not that I would know, necessarily.
I'm reluctant to bypass the GFI now, in case it's a motor overheat or something, but I'm stumped.
Any thoughts or suggestions appreciated. Thanks!
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Could be the GFI is shot. It is also possible the GFI is not the proper rating for the current draw of the DW. Could also be the DW motor is getting old and pulling more amps at startup that is should.
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Let the word go forth, from this time and place:
1) GFCI's do NOT trip based just on excessive current. That's what a circuit breaker or fuse does. Therefore, if a breaker is tripping, you check for possible excessive current reasons like, a stalled or overloaded motor, shorted windings, locked up compressor, etc.
2) A GFCI compares the current flowing in the supply line (usually black or red wire) with the current flowing in the ground line (always white) of a circuit. If any difference is detected, it trips because it indicates that some current is flowing through the neutral (a ground fault and a potentially unsafe condition). The infamous analogy: Monitoring the amount of water being pumped INTO a bucket and comparing that to the amount being pumped OUT. (Assume water level remains the same). If the two measurements don't agree, there must be a leak!
3) Therefore, if a GFCI trips, "look for a leak". Insulation failure, excessive moisture affecting the electrical components in the appliance, etc.
4) Keep in mind, an old GFCI, like an old electrician, has been known to trip for no good reason.

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On Tue, 19 Oct 2004 08:33:12 -0400 "Joe Fabeitz" used 47 lines of text to write in newsgroup: alt.home.repair

You SURE about that?????
-Graham
Remove the 'snails' from my email
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I think "G. Morgan" is quite correct. Most GFCI's use a differential transformer the measure the current difference between the hot and neutral wires. Both wires go through a small torroid core. If the current is exactly the same, they will cancel the flux in the core - if there is a difference in two currents, the magnetic fields don't precisely cancel, and some flux will exist in the core. A sensor winding measures this flux and trips the GFCI. The specification I beleive is that it has to trip at 6 milliamps or less. The TEST button on the GFCI creates 6 mA of leakage, so it should trip the GFCI.
-- Tom

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G. Morgan wrote:

It was a good explanation except terms Ground and Neutral were 'transposed'
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Update from the original poster:
I changed out the GFI for another, no difference, it still popped.
After removing the lower panels and lying on my back through an ENTIRE cycle (ugh), I found that there was a very tiny water leak coming one of the holes where the heat-ring is secured. When I say "very tiny" I mean almost imperceptible, less than a drop per minute - and it only showed up when the machine was in 'rinse' cycle. You could see it only by the "gleam" from a flashlight, not by actual "drips" of water.
That water flowed down the nut and onto the push connector for the electricity to the heat-ring, which I guess was the source of the problem.
Since the heat ring was not engaged (not for "heat boost" nor for "heat dry") I don't know why that should have mattered - and I would think if there were going to be an electrical "leak" it would have to leak TO "somewhere", but who knows.
Anyway, I removed the nut from underneath, replaced the "O" ring on the inside of the tub, tightened it up and it's dry - and I have run 3 cycles without failure. (Actually, I overcrushed the "O" ring on the first try and it leaked worse! Just hand tight plus about 1/4 turn. The original "O" ring had deformed by crushing after 8+ years.)
The "black crud" which I found at the bottom of the pan appears to be a foam insulator strip from the bottom of the door, mutilated and munged up after many washings. I have cleaned it up, reordered that part, and will install when it arrives. There is also a minor leak at the bottom of the door along the length of the intersection of door and lower panel, not enough to produce water drips at the moment (but wetness inside the panel), however I can see if unattended it will get worse.
Thanks for the discussion. I think I'll leave it on the GFI. It alerted me to a water leak, which is good, since the last owner put in parquait floors in the kitchen, and water and wood aren't a good combo.
Thanks again.
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The GFCI senses a cross between the NEUTRAL and GROUND as well as between NEUTRAL and HOT.
In our previous place, I ended up bypassing the GFCI for the dishwasher connection. Dishwashers just have too much water splashing about and the thing would trip.

That's was a lot of trouble for a few drops of water.
I would bypass the GFCI for the drop to the dishwasher. IF the ground connection to the applance is sound, there just isn't any safety issue. But the unnecessary triipping of the GFCI under "load" will reduce it's life.
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This is true up to a point. However, water leakage can also lead to things like corroding out the ground connection, in which case the whole case could become live. Short of that happening, without the GFI, you wouldn't notice your DW was leaking until it rusted out or something worse happen.
I'd prefer to fix the leaks to potentially shortening the lifetime of DW or possibly not know about more drastic problems (like the drywall ceiling in the basement collapsing).
Think of a GFI on a DW as a leak detector protecting your investment in the DW.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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GFCI's do not protect against overcurrent, so I can rule about the above two theories. Try replacing or bypassing the GFCI. I'm reasonably sure that you aren't required to have appliances on GFCI's even if they are in a kitchen or unfinished basement or garage areas. Too many nusiance trips.
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Childfree Scott wrote:

controlled outside outlets on the same circuit as some of the wall outlets inside my garage. Whenever the outside outlet gets wet from rain or water spray, it trips the GFI which also takes out my power garage door, extra refrigerator, chest freezer, and work bench outlets. If I don't happen to use the outside outlet, or walk into the garage to get something from the fridge, or try to open the garage door with the remote, it could be out for days.
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willshak wrote:

You can change that "idiot's" work fairly easily by rewiring the box with the GFI so it serves only THAT receptacle. Then buy more GFI receptacles and put them individually in positions where you need/ want them. The only hinderance doing this is if your boxes are too small and have too many wires, but that is not too likely to be a problem. If you don't know how to do this kind of receptacle wiring, then you need to get help. --Phil
--
Phil Munro Dept of Electrical & Computer Engin
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@cc.ysu.edu Youngstown State University
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Phil Munro wrote:

I am sorry if you might have taken offense by my 'idiot' remark, but let me give you a little history. In my County in NY, there is no requirement that electricians get a permit to hire themselves out, except within the two cities in my County. Anyone can call themselves an electrician, buy a truck and put signs on the side, and work on anyone's house outside of those cities. All training is on-the-job. The only requirement is that an electrical inspector approve the job afterwards. The company that worked on mine all consisted of trainees. I did not hire the company, the GC did, and he had used them before, so I had no idea of their qualifications. I assumed he did. Another of the example of their work is that every room that had a TV cable outlet was wired in series rather than parallel. Instead of having a junction box at the cable intrance to the house and running separate cables from there to the individual rooms, they ran the cable to the first room, broke it at the outlet box, installed a T fitting, then ran it to the next room, and then the next, etc. The upshot is that some TVs got less of a signal than others due to all those breaks in the cable. I have rewired most of them by running the separate cables outside of the house under the vinyl siding. The County just south of me requires that every electrician be licensed, and even has a requirement that homeowners must apply for a temporary electrical permit to do work on their own house! I was not bashing professional electricians as 'idiots', just the OTJT idiots that wired my house. I do not want to spend the money to have a professional electrician come in and rewire the electric for my concrete slab garage from the electric box in the cellar at the opposite corner of the house, just to eliminate a nuisance, but I can bitch about it whenever it happens.
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willshak wrote:

carefully what I wrote above. You do NOT need to rewire anything EXCEPT to change the wiring to the GFI receptacle and other receptacles! This does not require getting inside your "electric entrance box." By the way, I am a DIYer myself when it comes to electrician things. Although my education helps me appreciate some of the things behind codes, etc. You didn't offend me; in fact that is hard to do. --Phil
--
Phil Munro Dept of Electrical & Computer Engin
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@cc.ysu.edu Youngstown State University
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i guess the "Idiot" must have been familiar with NEC 201.8 (A) (2) which says ......
Garages, and also buildings that have a floor located at or below grade level not intended as habitable rooms and limited to storage areas ,work areas, and areas of similar use.
So I guess that maybe why the "idiot" wired the garage receptacles on the GFCI circuit.
Since the Code required the use of GFCI protection (sometime in the seventies) in dweling units the unfinished basement and garage requirement has been in place.
So I wonder who the "IDIOT' really is?
Bill
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... ... wrote:

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When you assume...

Apparently this is par for your course.

I would call an unreliable, intermittant power supply for my fridge and freezer more than just a little nuisance.

Bitch all you want. It's your problem and you paid for it.
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Consider yourself lucky the bathroom outlets weren't wired onto that circuit as well, which would have been perfectly legal.
When you pay for minimum spec, you get minimum spec.

Shame on you for NOT having the garage freezer and fridge on a seperate, non-gfci'd circuit.
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By-passing does not eliminate the problem unless it is the GFCI itself. By-passing it is like cutting off your arm at the elbow because your finger hurts. It worked in the past but does not work now. What changed? Possibly the GFCI, but possibly something else. How would you determine that?
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The GFI most likely had started tripping because of a water in the electricals causing a hot-ground electrical leak.
Many DW's have small leaks. Especially in the door part. I've seen lots with completely rusted electricals.
The fact that it won't reset now _could_ be because the hot-ground electrical leak has become more permanent (ie: carbonization, hard water deposits).
However, once it starts tripping "often", it's more likely that the GFI has simply become worn out - overly sensitive, difficult/impossible to reset.
They're not rated for that many cycles. The catches, detents and contacts wear/burn, springs deform, etc.
The GFI wouldn't be tripping because of overcurrent. That's not what they do. They measure differences in hot vs neutral current _only_.
If it's a GFI outlet, just replace it and see what happens. Even if it _wasn't_ the GFI that started this whole mess, it's defective _now_, and they're cheap (<$10).
If you MUST try to diagnose the problem, do this:
- Wait for the GFI to start refusing to reset again. - Turn off power - Disconnect the DW and do whatever you have to to make sure that the loose feed ends of the feed wire aren't touching anything. (ie wirenuts). - Turn on the power again. - Try to reset the GFI.
But frankly, you're going to have to replace the GFI anyway.
So I'd reserve the GFI diagnosis procedure until _after_ you replace the GFI and if it still behaves funny. If the GFI refuses to reset at the end of that procedure, then you have a circuit fault that has nothing to do with the DW or GFI. If the GFI does reset, you have a problem in your DW. It might be as simple as a good cleaning of the electricals and door seals, and tightening a few screws is necessary.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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