random gfci trips

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by McDousman, May 2, 2012.

  1. May 2, 2012 #1

    McDousman

    McDousman

    McDousman

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    The wiring in my house is 15 years old and stable. We have 5 GFCIs installed throughout. Recently early one morning, 3 GFCIs started tripping randomly. Nothing unusual was running. Not always the same GFCI. After about an hour of this, the problems went away and have not returned so far. My first suspect was utility brown out, surges or crews working in the area. The utility co. would not admit any outages or work nearby.

    Any other ideas to pursue ?
     
  2. May 2, 2012 #2

    kok328

    kok328

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    Check for loose wiring to the outlets and all outlets attached to the LOAD side of the GFI's. Also, check for loose lugs on the buss bars in the breaker panel. If the problems reoccurs after checking the wiring, replace the GFI's. You might start with just one to see if replacement is the remedy.
     
  3. May 3, 2012 #3

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Are they all on the same cercuit?
     
  4. May 8, 2012 #4

    McDousman

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    Each GFCI is on a separate circuit with it's own breaker. The GFCI is the first plug on each circuit with 5-6 regular plugs following it. I have had to replace GFCIs before but the problem was always obvious, wouldnt reset, etc. I don't think there is any tool to measure current on the ground available at a reasonable price. When I installed this wiring, I used 12ga wire so I had use the screws on the plugs, So I guess I will have open each box and tighten each one. Looks like a lotta work, but I might solve some future problems.
     
  5. May 9, 2012 #5

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    GFCIs can kick when lightning strikes add current to the gound.
     
  6. Jun 15, 2012 #6

    McDousman

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    I think I found the cause of those GFCI trips after they occurred one day last month, they did not occur again. Last week, I was installing another circuit in my main panel. As I took the cover off I was amazed to find a small field mouse wrapped in the maze of ground and hot wires. He was just a mummy when I removed him. I have to believe thats what the cause of the GFCIs since did not come back so far.
     
  7. Jun 15, 2012 #7

    CallMeVilla

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    Actually, THAT was my first instinct - - - rodent trouble in the house.

    Shocked to see I was right for a change!
     
  8. Jun 11, 2013 #8

    McDousman

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    The GFI trips are back again. One year later. We had about 4 incidents, all about a week apart. After the first one I looked in the main panel and this time I found a alligator lizard had crawled in ther and got fried. Took me two tries to get all of him out of there. This time I plugged all the main panel holes with foam. But we got one more trip, always the same 3 GFI plugs. 2 GFIs never trip. I went and bought 3 new GFIs to make the replacements. Then we noticed all the trips occurred at 6:30am everytime. My wife found a light timer that was set to go on at 6:30am. Maybe it arc'd. Anyway, it is removed and tossed. We will see.
     

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