Last week, I posted a message about the possibility of a GFI in my bathroom
caushing television interference just before it tripped. Now, two more GFI
outlets are acting strangely. There are two in the kitchen, both of which
tripped today. It's the middle of a work day, so I haven't investigated any
further. But, where's the next place to pick up the trail?
For what it's worth, I have one of those LED circuit testers. It says
grounding is correct at both outlets.
Experiencing any other TV or radio interference along with that?
It's not impossible that you are getting some strong rf signals on your
incoming power line which is somehow affecting the electronics in those
Do you know if the GFIs are all the same make and model? I'd find it
unlikely that different models would have similar rf succeptibilities.
Good GFIs should be RFI proof, but you never know what corners some
cheapo manufacturers might cut.
Not related to what I just said, but,
Item No.2 on this page mentions "ground trickle" from flourescent
ballasts and its effect on GFIs:
My name is Jeff Wisnia and I approved this message....
Based on responses I got last week about the TV interference, I'm assuming
the first GFI, in the bathroom, is at fault. I just haven't had a chance to
replace it. (sonofabitch....I spent 2 hours looking at exterior lights this
weekend, at a really fantastic electrical supply place - didn't even think
to buy a new one while I was there. This place sells no junk. Duh. Another
Now, I'm moving on to the reason the two in the kitchen have tripped on the
same day. Because I'm working with the computer, I can't start flipping
breakers yet, but I'm assuming they're on the same circuit. I'm wondering
what sort of short cuts someone took when installing these things. The house
was built in the 1950s, so these were not original equipment, so to speak.
Not impossible, but exceedingly unlikely. Pretty huge EMI I would think
required to do this, no matter how cheap the GFIs are, and it'd be obvious
on the radio or TV.
Are all the GFIs on the same circuit? I'd immediately suspect a moisture
induced hot-ground leak, especially if there are outlets outside. A single
outlet doing this could cause multiple GFIs on the same circuit to
trip erratically. Or, a loose connection _could_ do the same thing. Even
an intermittent neutral-ground short. None of which your outlet tester
is likely to find.
You should probably open all the boxes connected with this circuit and
check for loose wires and/or evidence of moisture, or bare ground
wires in proximity to screw terminals.
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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