110V trips the GFI on my garage? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-24-2013, 02:34 AM   #29
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If your Scamp already has a GFI you can't plug a separate GFI to it.

It sounds like this is what your doing it will trip every time as it should.

GFI's can not be plugged into each other be it your house circuits or trailer circuit's.

When I worked we had this issue with contractors showing up and plugging GFI cords into a GFI circuit it won't work.
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:30 AM   #30
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If your Scamp already has a GFI you can't plug a separate GFI to it.

It sounds like this is what your doing it will trip every time as it should.

GFI's can not be plugged into each other be it your house circuits or trailer circuit's.

When I worked we had this issue with contractors showing up and plugging GFI cords into a GFI circuit it won't work.

No 2nd GFI just the camper cord and a 25ft extension cord plugged in to my home/garage outlet.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:18 AM   #31
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Sounds like a tester as suggested by Roger CH in post #27 at less than $10 would be the way to go.

Once you know the GFI circuit at house tests OK it is eliminated as being the problem. Indicated by other trailers being able to use that outlet but good idea to confirm.

Other trailers work on GFI outlet, this one trips, ergo something is "different" about trailer. Testing is the only way to track down the what is different.

Maybe some safety minded person replaced the circuit breaker in the trailer with GFI circuit breaker to protect all outlets, maybe a plug is badly wired. Maybe a device such as converter is causing the problem. If the trailer outlets test OK then it's time to disconnect things that are hard wired into 110 AC until plugging into house GFI does not cause a trip.

Bottom line: Unless you know the "why" you can not assess the risk. Or remedy the problem. You just know you have an unknown problem, one you can work around (use non-GFI power source) without knowing if that is dangerous.

You might choose to ignore problem or put it on a to-do list to be remedied later knowing it is not an urgent safety problem. But the knowing why is key to making that decision. So test until you find it.
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:43 PM   #32
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..........GFI's can not be plugged into each other be it your house circuits or trailer circuit's............
I'm not so sure that this is true. As an example, most bathrooms have a GFCI protected outlet next to the sink. Most new hairdryers have a GFCI device built into the cord, at the plug. Routinely, the GFCI protected hair dryer is plugged into the GFCI outlet with no issues.
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:40 PM   #33
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Nuisance tripping

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Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
I'm not so sure that this is true. As an example, most bathrooms have a GFCI protected outlet next to the sink. Most new hairdryers have a GFCI device built into the cord, at the plug. Routinely, the GFCI protected hair dryer is plugged into the GFCI outlet with no issues.
Thomas : You both are correct Earlier GFCIs ,when 2 were placed on the same circuit would cause cross tripping . You would hit the test button on the second GFCI and the first GFCI in the circuit would trip . (One GFCI saw the other GFCI as a fault) That problem has been pretty well eliminated . I have 2 , 125 volt- 15 amp extension cords for my trailer (15 ft & 25 FT) both of which have a WP box with a standard GFCI receptacle at one end . I plug these cords into my trailer's outside GFCI outlet or the campground's GFCI outlet without any tripping problems .
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Old 08-24-2013, 02:32 PM   #34
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Quick troubleshooting steps for finding out what's causing your GFCI to trip.

1) Flip all the breakers in your trailer into the "off" position. If you don't have breakers, find all the things in your trailer that plug into a 110 circuit. (Refrigerator, your converter or battery charger, hot water heating element, and any and all plug-ins).

2) Plug your trailer in and wait a couple minutes. If the GFCI blows, the problem is in your wiring harness (or in your power converter, if you have a trailer which doesn't allow you to flip its breaker or otherwise turn it off).

3) Flip one breaker or plug in one appliance, then wait another minute. When the GFCI breaks, you have found your culprit.

Often the culprit will be a heating element, like a HottRod water heater element or the electric heating element in your refrigerator.
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:05 PM   #35
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Glad to have you back Peter, you always present sensible solutions.
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Old 08-24-2013, 04:38 PM   #36
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GFI works by comparing the current in the hot leg vs the current in neutral leg. Any differences and the it trips.
Nothing "consumes" charge, so the existence of a difference between hot and neutral current is evidence that some current is going to ground instead of neutral. The imbalance isn't the problem, just the detection method, used because it's not possible to directly measure leakage current through a path which shouldn't even exist; the problem is the Fault to Ground and the Circuit is Interrupted to protect the person who might be part of that path to ground.

It seems to me that a non-resistive load - anything that would cause a significantly far from unity power factor - has a good chance of confusing and falsely tripping a GFCI.
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:15 PM   #37
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What amperage are the GFI you are plugging into, you are plugging a 30 amp demand into GFI, most are either 15 or 20 amp, if you have a amp meter clamp see what surge amp is at plug in. By the way I do believe they recommend no GFI for refrigerator. Personally I would not use a GFI for my trailer, or any outside receptacle.
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:43 PM   #38
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What amperage are the GFI you are plugging into, you are plugging a 30 amp demand into GFI, most are either 15 or 20 amp, if you have a amp meter clamp see what surge amp is at plug in.
30 amps is the capacity of the trailer's system. This has nothing to do with how much current flows when nothing is turned on.

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By the way I do believe they recommend no GFI for refrigerator.
For what kind of refrigerator? A normal home refrigerator (or freezer) is run by an electric motor, and motors can be a problem for a GFCI. A traditional RV refrigerator is an absorption-cycle system driven by a heater; I don't know why that would be a problem.
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:15 AM   #39
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Here is what I mean by weird: My house has two bathrooms, an outside plug by the patio and two outlets in the garage. All are protected by ONE GFI breaker in the main bath. It seems strange to me that the electrician would run all that wire just to avoid using another breaker, but that is what they did.

An electical thingy will work perfectly fine if you have the neutral and not the hot line run through the switch to it But when you turn the switch off, you still have the thing having hot electricity to it and you can get a short by touching ground and the hot wire.

I heard of electricians checking if a light socket was live by sticking their finger in it. By not touching either contact, they could feel a "tingle". But this is not a good practice, especially if you are nervous, LOL.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:32 AM   #40
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depending on the year the house was built there are several scenarios for GFI protection.
Here(ontario canada)for a while the bathroom had to have GFI protection, and had to be on a circuit with something else. Ditto for a smoke detector, had to be with a bathroom fan ( everybody needs the fan to work!!), then the smoke had to be on it's own, GFCI were expensive little buggers, and since outside plugs had to be done, it made more sense to run the wire, it was cheaper. now kitchen counters need gfci, so we put in a 20 amp gfci breaker, and T -blade plugs in the kitchen because you can't buy a split duplex gfci
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:57 AM   #41
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Here is what I mean by weird: My house has two bathrooms, an outside plug by the patio and two outlets in the garage. All are protected by ONE GFI breaker in the main bath. It seems strange to me that the electrician would run all that wire just to avoid using another breaker, but that is what they did.

An electical thingy will work perfectly fine if you have the neutral and not the hot line run through the switch to it But when you turn the switch off, you still have the thing having hot electricity to it and you can get a short by touching ground and the hot wire.

I heard of electricians checking if a light socket was live by sticking their finger in it. By not touching either contact, they could feel a "tingle". But this is not a good practice, especially if you are nervous, LOL.
In the 1970's & 80s GFCI protection was provided normally by a GFCI breaker at a cost of $50 to $60 per breaker (1970 prices) . I remember feeding the bathroom GFI receptacle and then every other GFI required outlet in the house off of it, Scale was only about $5/hr so $60 was equal to 12 hrs labor. This was common practice back then ,now you can buy a good quality GFCI receptacle for $7 ( The total profit on wiring a home in the 70's or 80's was about $100 so you did not add anything extra or there was no profit)

The switching of the identified conductor (Neutral) is generally prohibited by the code and is only done in instances such as gasoline dispensing pumps "Switch the hot"

Testing voltage with your fingers is common in the trades but with a lot of caveats . The highest voltage I used the finger method on was 240 VAC
One of the problems is on a dry day and if you have calloused hands you may not feel 120 VAC or lower voltages so you have to lick your fingers so you can feel the tingle . I only used this method when I was too lazy to walk to my truck and find my meter . Only use one hand when using this method (Put the other in your pocket), the right hand farther from your heart
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:39 AM   #42
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Smile Thanks, Steven

I know this is a bit tardy, but thanks for answering my statements.

The single GFI conundrum was nicely answered and it does make sense.

I know switching the neutral is not code, but I owned an old house before this one and I wouldn't have put it past the builder or PO to do anything. He even made a pipe connection using about 12 elbows. The BX cable for the porch light was held in the switch box with a piece of wire. Now would you trust someone like that to ALWAYS switch the hot not the neutral? I wouldn't.

I heard the manual detection of electricity was used by a relative, I didn't know it was common practice. Familiarity breeds contempt, I guess.

Thanks for the comments!
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