I have a problem with my microwave oven tripping the gfi outlet it's
plugged into. Once the gfi trips, it takes hours until the reset
button 'clicks' & I have restored power to the outlet. I have an
outlet tester with a button to press to trip a gfi outlet. When I use
this to test the outlet, the gfi trips immediately, & I can quickly
rest the gfi outlet.
So my question is, why this long delay in resetting the gfi outlet
when the microwave oven trips it (it trips when I turn on the oven),
versus a quick reset when using my handy dandy tester?
On 15 Oct 2004 01:26:38 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (John Bagdanoff)
You may be overloading the GFCI outlet. Microwave ovens pull quite a
bit of power. Check the wiring size and if adequate install a 20 amp
GFCI. They make them, they just cost more than the usual 15 amp rated
You don't say this, but I presume you have the microwave plugged into a 20a
kitchen circuit that complies with code by being protected by a GFCI.
Is that correct?
When you plug your tester in, the test button trips the GFCI instantly and
allows immediate reset.
When the microwave trips the GFCI, it takes an hour before you can reset.
Is that correct?
Do you leave the microwave plugged in for that hour, or do you unplug it?
If you leave it in, perhaps the microwave takes that long to resolve it's
fault. If you unplug it, you must have a defective GFCI.
There are 15a and 20a GFCI outlets, but afaik they are the same except for
the prong configuration.
Why would there be a GFI outlet in the kitchen? Is this a new code
requirement? When I built my house in the late 70s all that was needed
was the usual double 15 amp outlet, with seperate breakers for the
upper and the lower outlet in a duplex receptacle. I haven't heard of
That said, if a GFI breaker is not a code requirement, then replace it
with a regular 15 amp breaker.
You can try replacing the GFI, but I think you have a problem with your
microwave oven. Try plugging a different appliance into that GFI receptacle
to see what happens.
You don't mention whether other appliances on the circuit also have the
20 minute delay. Many appliances have their own internal safety breaker, and
some of those are temperature/time dependent. Perhaps the breaker that is
taking 20 minutes to reset is inside the microwave, and not the GFI. Does
the whole circuit go off for 20 minutes? When the microwave goes off, does
the GFI reset immediately if you disconnect the microwave? I suspect the
defect is inside the microwave, causing both the 20 minute delay and also
perhaps the GFI fault.
Microwaves are cheap, and a little dangerous to fiddle with. Consider
replacing the microwave.
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