GFI Outlet

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I just installed a GFI outlet for my Washer & Dryer. Twice in the last week the outlet was tripped when i went to use the Washer. I pushed the Reset & it worked fine for the whole load. I never had any problems with the Regular outlet i replaced with the GFI outlet. Can it be a defective GFI ?
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desgnr wrote:

Hi, Take it out. GFI is not for that kind of application. Motor creates surge current when starts. It'll trip like that on and off driving you nuts. Also you don't plug in fridge into GFI for the same reason.
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wrote:

Current code requires a GFCI within 5' of the laundry sink so I hope you are wrong.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Not if it's a dedicated SINGLE (as opposed to duplex) outlet.
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On Thu, 10 Sep 2009 11:25:18 -0500, Steve Barker

Not true at all. (7)     Laundry, utility, and wet bar sinks where the receptacles are installed within 1.8 m (6 ft) of the outside edge of the sink (with no exceptions)
Same for basements, crawl spaces and garages now too
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No, he's right. Laundry sink is different situation. They just don't work on heavy inductive or loads (larger electric motors) for reasons already stated.
Twayne`
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Not quite.
"Motor surges" don't cause GFCI trips in either washers (including dishwashers) or fridges.
But what does cause GFCI tripping is water getting on exposed current carrying conductors.
In a fridge, this sometimes happens when the defrost heater causes water to run over the heater leads. If your fridge is "ice logged" you can get water onto the lamp circuit.
In a washer (dish or clothes) it's because of a small LEAK which let some water go onto the wiring.
My clothes washer(s) (twice replaced) have never tripped the GFCI.
Because the bad consequences of a trip while you are gone for a time, it's not a good idea to have the ice box on a GFCI but for the washers a tripping GFCI is a warning that you have some water where it should not be. A word to the wish should be sufficient.
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The appliances should be on a 20A circuit. If you grabbed a 15A GFI off the shelf it will trip on every motor surge. Better stick with a 20A receptacle (look for the T-shaped slot) and use a AFCI in your panel.
Joe
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That may be true, but the OP said it did NOT trip when the washer was being used. I recommend the OP pay attention to when it DOES trip. When the dryer is used? When alother appliance in the house is used? When the ham radio transmitter in the next room is used? That kind of investigation should lead to the real solution. It is possible the GFCI is bad, but it is also very possible it is not. Perhaps another wiring error incorrectly cross wiring another circuit is the cause.
Also, are there any children around the house who may press the "test" button?
Pat
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snipped-for-privacy@neo.rr.com wrote:

Hi, Actually washer and dryer should be fed by different circuit. 20A for washer and 30A for dryer. I'd use GFCI breaker at the panel.
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wrote:

I think he's referring to a "gas" dryer
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I can get my wife's china closet "puck" lights to go on when I key my transmitter. Also causes the paper shredder to fire up..
73 /paul W3FIS
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On 9/10/2009 8:37 AM professorpaul spake thus:

Remote control, eh?
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Hi Paul; Something sort of resonant at that frequency eh; wiring is probably some multiple or sub-multiple of the metres of wavelength being transmitted? e.g. A quarter wavelength at say 20 metres (14 mhz.) is approx 16 feet!
Also there are so many electronic gadgets around these days; for example. When I am away my neighbour turns on at night, (and off each morning) my house lights from across the street, using a 'key-fob' device (probably around 350 mhz?). But once or twice we have found the lights switched off; we don't know how; possibly by some radio/taxi etc. going down the road late at night keying their radio?
Which leads me to a story about a radio amateur who was being checked out to ensure his equipment was transmitting on only the frequencies it was supposed to.
It was. And complied completely with the regulatory authority's (FCC etc.) technical requirements.
The problem was that it was an older housing area with numerous 'dodgy' wiring, older appliances, self hooked up TV sets and what have you and was these that were picking up the radio signals.
Finally after investigating many of the 'complaints' and recommending the fixing of many problems, they visited an elderly lady who said; "Oh yes I often listen in. It's very interesting I can hear his conversation 'ON MY ELCTRIC HEATER'.
Apparently there was a slight 'bad joint' in one of the connections which acted as rectifier (just like a crystal set detector), the coiled heater element was an inductance and the metal frame of the heater acted as a sound box. It all adding up to a suitable 'receiver' for waht was a relatively powerful radio signal nearby. She declined to have anything done to the heater!
Also there were a lot of problems with early TV sets because they could/would not properly reject signals outside the TV bands. Again no fault of the radio transmitters.
And I have a cheap hand held, none rechargeable shaver that creates chaos on any nearby radio! Shouldn't be allowed to be sold in my opinion!
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professorpaul wrote:

Hmmm, Is your SWR low and have good station ground? I have wireless thermostat, garage door opener, all kind wireless gadgets around house. If I key my TX nothing happens on any thing. 73, VE6CGX HAM since '60
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Joe wrote:

that has nothing to do with it.
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desgnr wrote:

Washers should not be on a gfCi. Actually , nothing with a motor should be.
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This is out of date information. If a non-defective GFCI trips, it is because there is over 5ma of current imbalance between the hot and neutral conductors. Any appliance should have way less than 5ma of leakage from hot to ground, even motors. If an appliance has over 5ma of leakage current, it's defective. For example, the motor winding insulation may be degraded, so that on startup (when current is highest), the leakge current exceeds 5ma.
Cheers, Wayne
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While this may be true it has frequently been mentioned here on these pages that any 115 volt motor equipped domestic appliance, fridge, freezer, washer etc. should NOT be plugged into a GFCI equipped circuit. Too much chance of a momentary unbalance! And they can't all have defective winding insualtion? Especially those all-enclosed fridge compressor units?
GFCI (So called Ground Fault ...... ) operate when there is a 'slight imbalance' of a few milliamps (thousandths of amps) between the live and neutral current flow.
During motor starting of any AC induction or other types of motors, due to capacitance of motor windings to the grounded appliance framework etc. there 'might' be a momentary slight current unbalance which is quite normal and OK.
GFCI are designed to protect humans against a fault such as a wire inside touching the metal frame of an appliance especially in damp/wet conditions; such as an operating but faulty electric lawn mower, or electric drill. (But they both have electric motors! So what gives?) The human touching the defective appliance can provide a path to ground and get a potentially lethal shock. The faulty path to ground (through the human) unbalances the current and 'trips' the GFCI for safety.
Can somebody make a reference to an electrical code that confirms the above?
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Again, that is outdated information--current generation GFCIs and current generation appliances should work together OK. In certain situations, the 2008 NEC will require a GFCI, e.g. in a kitchen outside of a dwelling unit, all 120V 20A and 15A receptacles require GFCI protection, even refrigerators. While in a residential kitchen, the refrigerator need not be on a GFCI.

An appliance will be built to a standard that allows some small amount of leakage current (there is always a little). Perhaps older appliances were built to looser standards. Plus in any motor, as the insulation ages due to the heat generated by using the motor, the leakage current will increase.
Cheers, Wayne
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