Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Ground Fault Circuit Problem

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Ground Fault Circuit Problem

    We have a fountain in our yard that uses an electric pump. It has operated since 2007. The first pump stopped working and we replaced it with one from Lowe's. Last week, we unplugged the pump from the outlet on the porch (same one we've used since 2007) to clean the fountain. When we plugged it back in, it tripped the GFI outlet in the basement.

    I pulled the electrical cable from the conduit leading to the pump and checked it - no problems found. I can plug a lamp, power tools, etc into the porch outlet and it works fine. However, when I plug in the pump, it trips the GFI outlet on the circuit. I thought about replacing the pump, but that's an expensive test if it doesn't work. Any idea what's wrong?

    Steve

  • #2
    Re: Ground Fault Circuit Problem

    do you have a second GFCI to try the pump on? my guess is the cord or pump is leaking electricity and some how when the pond was cleaned it reveled it, but I really have no idea what is wrong, If the pump trips a second GFCI then I would think it is the pump, but if it does not then I may suspect the GFCI unit.
    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
    attributed to Samuel Johnson
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Ground Fault Circuit Problem

      I will not say anything about the electrical side even though it may be very easy. I will say to totally disconnect the pump and check for something in the impeller or wrapped around the shaft.
      AllurePlumbing.com
      • leak detection
      • drain cleaning
      • utility locating
      • conductor fault locating
      • and other specialties.

      Greensboro NC, Winston-Salem NC, High Point NC, Thomasville NC, Kernersville NC

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Ground Fault Circuit Problem

        Thanks for the replies. I only have one GFI circuit, so I can't try the first suggestion. However, I did replace the GFI socket, but it still trips when I plug in the pump. I'll remove the outer housing and take a close look at the pump. If nothing is apparent or if everything tests OK electrically, I have an idea "mama" will insist that we get a new pump! Thanks for the responses.

        Steve

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Ground Fault Circuit Problem

          I have found wires nearby in the ground with a ground fault and trip breakers when connected to equipment that is laying on the ground. Last one was a space heater at a restaurant. Plug in a light or drill, no problem, because the Electrician was holding it. That was a fun one to figure out.
          AllurePlumbing.com
          • leak detection
          • drain cleaning
          • utility locating
          • conductor fault locating
          • and other specialties.

          Greensboro NC, Winston-Salem NC, High Point NC, Thomasville NC, Kernersville NC

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Ground Fault Circuit Problem

            Originally posted by INTELLICON View Post
            We have a fountain in our yard that uses an electric pump. It has operated since 2007. The first pump stopped working and we replaced it with one from Lowe's. Last week, we unplugged the pump from the outlet on the porch (same one we've used since 2007) to clean the fountain. When we plugged it back in, it tripped the GFI outlet in the basement.

            I pulled the electrical cable from the conduit leading to the pump and checked it - no problems found. I can plug a lamp, power tools, etc into the porch outlet and it works fine. However, when I plug in the pump, it trips the GFI outlet on the circuit. I thought about replacing the pump, but that's an expensive test if it doesn't work. Any idea what's wrong?

            Steve
            Yes, you have a ground fault. Water must have infiltrated somewhere. I trust the plug was not wet when you plugged it in? You can try plugging it in at the house gfci to isolate if its the pump or the underground circuit. If it still trips at the house you know The fault is with the pump. The gf problem can be verified by checking internal insulation with a megger or a good meter (measures well into the Mohm range)

            It does not take but the slightest leakage to trip a gfci. If the problem is the pump, replace it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Ground Fault Circuit Problem

              What solvents/soaps did you use to clean the fountain, did any get into the pump housing? A little bit of soap in a water solution can make your fountain much more conductive than it was before. Consider that the pump had a ground fault and the fountain water is acting as a conductive ground, or the pump has a new ground fault as a result of the solution.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Ground Fault Circuit Problem

                I spoke too quickly earlier since we do have other GFI circuits - the bathrooms, kitchen! I used an extension cord this morning and connected the pump to a GFI in the kitchen and the pump worked fine and did not trip the GFI. Soooo, I think I might consider running new Romex to the plug on the porch. Maybe there is a fault in the Romex (manufacturing, drywall screw, etc). I've already replaced the plug.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Ground Fault Circuit Problem

                  Originally posted by INTELLICON View Post
                  I spoke too quickly earlier since we do have other GFI circuits - the bathrooms, kitchen! I used an extension cord this morning and connected the pump to a GFI in the kitchen and the pump worked fine and did not trip the GFI. Soooo, I think I might consider running new Romex to the plug on the porch. Maybe there is a fault in the Romex (manufacturing, drywall screw, etc). I've already replaced the plug.
                  Often the insulation is cracked on the conductors in the box causing the fault, if your lucky there is enough slack in the wire in the box to just cut it back a little and resplice. Note; if this is a wet location (outside, even in conduit)you cant use romex. Also, make sure you have an in-use cover (domed cover over receptacle)to keep the weather out.(if the cord is plugged in all the time)
                  Problems like this are often the result of the weather getting into the box because they did not use silicone around the cover.

                  Good luck.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Ground Fault Circuit Problem

                    Don't stab the receptacles use the screw terminals.
                    AllurePlumbing.com
                    • leak detection
                    • drain cleaning
                    • utility locating
                    • conductor fault locating
                    • and other specialties.

                    Greensboro NC, Winston-Salem NC, High Point NC, Thomasville NC, Kernersville NC

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X