I am having a problem with my GFI circuit breaker. It trips. Now
perhaps it is working correctly, but I'm not sure. The circuit controls
the central vac in the garage (and a couple of outlets in the garage and
exterior of the house.)
I was told by a reliable electrician that one problem might be leakage
due to build up of dust in the vacuum, or in the outlet boxes. I
removed them all and blew the dust out, and took the vacuum apart and
cleaned it well.
The problem may have gotten better, but it is still there.
A new breaker is pretty expensive and may not be the problem. How can I
troubleshoot this? Is there anything that I can plug in to an outlet to
determine if 'this one is the problem'?
I agree with Doug, whenever I've had intermittent tripping of GFCI breakers,
its always turned out to be an outside outlet with water getting in. Also
I'd question a central vac that's not on a dedicated circuit. The ones I've
wired require a 20 amp circuit by themselves
BTW ...Is the problem more common after it rains?
Classic t/s is to divide and conquer. Disconnect central vac and observe.
Perhaps disconnect all load lines from GFCI c/b ... and observe.
That's what I thought too, and the code here probably requires it. I
didn't install the vac though, and it might have been ok all those years
ago. I'm not positive about the exterior outlets and I didn't remove
them to check because they are sealed with caulk. The seal looks good
but I guess this summer I know what I'll have to do.
From painful experience: Sometimes GFI breakers just go bad. (The pain came
when it tripped when I was shaving and the electric shaver grabbed a few
gazillion whiskers when it stopped). Replaced the GFI breaker and no further
problems. (Also switched to a rechargable razor )
wrote in message
BTW, a good electrician should have had a gfci tester, not the $7 job,
but the one where you can dial in the 'leakage' to see if it's
tripping at the right set point.
Now GFCI's are suppose to trip so we need to also know what is also
occuring when it trips(example, running the vacuum, or plugging in
tom @ www.ChopURL.com
Good points. The circuit trips sometimes when the vac is running and
other times when it's not. Central vacs in the garage must have this
problem all the time because when you don't change the can dust blows
into the motor housing and in a garage in Canada (cold, wet 11 months of
the year, 40C 100% humidity the other month) that dust gets pretty wet
and stringy and probably conducts pretty well.
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