GFCI Outlet in Garage Keeps Tripping

So I have a GFCI outlet in my garage that keeps tripping. It first happened 2
days ago. When I hit the reset button, everything turned back on and worked fine
for a while. It tripped again yesterday, and same thing. I reset it and
everything was good. Today when I first noticed it tripped, I reset it and it
stayed on for about 5 minutes before it tripped again. Now every time I reset
it, it lasts for less than a minute before tripping again. During the 30 minutes
or so that I was just playing with it, there was about a minute where hitting
the reset button would not do anything and it would just immediately pop back
out but then went back to staying on for ~ 30 seconds before tripping again. Any
clue on what could be causing this?
The outlet is on a wall inside my garage but the other side of the wall is the
exterior of the house. There are a few other normal(no reset button) outlets in
the garage that are connected to this GFCI as one of them had a refrigerator
plugged in it and this and anything else plugged into any of them will not work
when the main GFCI is tripped. Also, the lights in one room of my basement are
also connected to it as well.
I disconnected the fridge and plugged it into an extension cord that I then
plugged into a different outlet inside the house and it worked no problem so I
know it's not the fridge. There are also no circuit breakers that are popped and
I still turned all of them off and back on again and the problem still persists.
We have had a lot of rain the last few days and it now is worse than the last 2
days which coincides with the fact that today, we probably had the most rain.
Excuse me for my lack of electrical knowledge but I'm not sure if that circuit
is connected anywhere else, or if it has a connection to an outdoor outlet. All
I know is that when it is tripped, one single room of my basement lights won't
work and all the outlets in the garage won't work however the lights in the
garage are still on and it seems like all other outlets and lights in the house
are still working fine even when it's tripped. Could water be getting in somehow
since it is on the interior side of a wall that also faces the exterior of the
house or could it just be a coincidence that it happened during rainy days and
there is something else wrong with the GFCI? Any help is much appreciated!
Reply to
Ryanallen11
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Could be moisture. Rain, condensation. Could be any one of the plugs causing it. Check the grounds for good contact.
Refrigerators should not be on a GFCI for the reason you are experiencing. Would suck to have it trip while you are on vacation.
Reply to
Ed Pawlowski
Power off the circuit. open all of the boxes on that circuit. Make sure the wires are away from the sides of the box, no wires are nicked and make sure all wire nuts are pointed up. That fixes about 99 % of these things. Boxes in wet locations get wet inside. Eliminate the ground paths made by the water.
Reply to
gfretwell
Use a trouble light or small lamp to trace the circuit. Plug it in at different spots, then flip the gfci off and on to see if the light goes off and on with it. The problem could still be the fridge. A gfci is more sensitive than a regular circuit breaker.
Reply to
Dean Hoffman
I'd start by finding out if there is an outside receptacle on it. Very common for a garage GFCI to also be used for a receptacle outside. That could have water in it. Or it could have an extension cord in it that's left laying out or powering something. If all the receptacles and anything else on it seem OK, then next replace the GFCI.
Reply to
trader_4
or an outside post lamp fed by an underground wire.
m
Reply to
makolber
She said she already eliminated the fridge. Trader is right an out side box is likely on that circuit but that is where my previous advice is most important.Keep your wires away from the inside of the box as much as possible, keep them off the bottom of ther box and your wire nuts pointing up so they won't fill with moisture. Ants in the boxes will get you every time.
Reply to
gfretwell
In article , Ryanallen11 wrote:
Others have given you good advice. Most likely you have leakage via moisture.
Another thing to consider is that the GFCI outlet may have failed. Do you have another you could swap with it?
Fred
Reply to
Fred McKenzie
...
..."make sure all wire nuts are pointed up."
Hadn't ever thought of that one -- makes some sense if there is really heavy condensation problem or the box actually does take on water, though. Altho in SW KS unless it's outside in a downpour, such issues are pretty-much a non-issue, I could see in those swampy places to live like Houston.
Reply to
dpb
I had a GFCI in my kitchen (also on an exterior wall) with that problem. The electrical box was full of dead ants.
[snip]
Reply to
Mark Lloyd
Motor junction boxes on irrigation systems. Crews are supposed to do that.
Reply to
Dean Hoffman
If you would use paragraphs, it would make your post 10x as readable. That is their purpose.
So I didn't read your post but I'm going to suggest that the the outlet or the breaker, whichever it is, might be bad. I had a GFI breaker that came with the house and was 4 years old and was already tripping for no reason. Replaced it and 30 years later the new one is still good.
Reply to
micky
On Thu, 20 Jun 2019 20:22:29 -0400, micky wrote in
+1
Reply to
CRNG
When you say " I disconnected the fridge and plugged it into an extension cord that I then plugged into a different outlet inside the house and it worked no problem so I know it's not the fridge. " Are you saying the frig worked fine but did the gfi still trip ? If the gfi stopped tripping then it is the frig.
Reply to
Mark
Warning the grammar police have arrived on the scene 😂🚨
Reply to
PoPo
How do you know that the new one isn't bad and hasn't been tripping when it was supposed to?
Reply to
Marilyn Manson
On Sat, 12 Jun 2021 16:01:07 -0700 (PDT), Marilyn Manson posted for all of us to digest...
Mickey (sic) has a lot of posters in his killfile. He only replies to his 'crew' so don't feel slighted. His mind is made up and don't confuse him with facts.
Reply to
Tekkie©

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