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ajmuntz 07-21-2011 07:04 PM

Breaker trips, CGFI doesn't
A couple of times during the past few weeks, my wife has been using the hair dryer in the bathroom when the dryer suddenly stops operating and then, maybe 5 or 10 seconds later, the circuit goes out. The bathroom is on a CGFI circuit. When I check it, the circuit breaker has tripped on the breaker panel but the reset button on the CGFI outlet has not popped out. What might be causing that? I thought the CGFI would always trip before the circuit breaker because it is more sensitive to faults.

JTGP 07-21-2011 07:20 PM


Ground fault circuit interrupter.

Is the GFCI old? Is it on a GCFI breaker? Does both plugs on the GFCI work?

nealtw 07-21-2011 07:24 PM

The dryer is not ground faulting, it is drawing to many amps. The fact that the dryer quits first might be a hint.

ajmuntz 07-21-2011 07:58 PM

Thanks for your help!!

GFCI ... Sorry. The GFCI outlet is about a year old. I don't know whether the circuit breaker is GFCI, but I assume it is, since it was installed by a electrician. Yes, both plugs on the GFCI outlet work.

If the dryer is not ground faulting, does that mean the problem it with the dryer and not the electric system in the house? Is it time to pitch the hair dryer and get a new one?

kok328 07-21-2011 08:31 PM

A non-GFI breaker is designed to trip if too many amps are ran through it.
This over amperage can be caused by a short or to high a current.
The GFI outlet does not trip in the even of over amperage.
Conclusion would be that the GFI outlet is working but the hair dryer is pulling too many amps and the breaker is doing it's job.

JTGP 07-22-2011 04:42 PM

Most hair dryers come protected (AFCI). Have you seen if another hair dryer does the same thing?

Blue Jay 07-22-2011 07:26 PM

I have seen a weak breaker, try on another circuit of same rating and see what happens.

ajmuntz 07-22-2011 11:44 PM

Thanks for your continued advice. The problem doesn't occur every time. While the hair dryer is used every day, the problem has only happened twice in the past two or three weeks. My wife purchased a new hair dryer today. We'll see if that solves the problem. If not, then I guess we'll know it's somewhere in the home's electric system.

JTGP 07-23-2011 08:25 PM

Could be a sensitive GFCI, I have seen to many of those!

nealtw 07-28-2011 10:44 PM

Check other things running on the same breaker. turn off the breaker and see what else has no power, hood fan in kitchen or?

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