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Old 08-25-2010, 03:33 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2009 25' FB Flying Cloud
manitou springs , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 18
Sensitive GFI

I am a fulltimer for 6 weeks now. Going very well. Over the last 4 weeks I have been having regular tripping of the GFI circuit. My brainstorming... at about that time I installed my Imac computer mounted to wall, along with 2 extra terabyte drives, a modem, and a router. Surge protectors as well. However the GFI didn't trip until we had friends stay a couple of days with their VW bus and christmas lights plugged into my outdoor outlet. Heavy rainstorm that night... first trip of GFI. Since then, trips everytime it rains, storms, etc. No tripping otherwise??? Have meticulously searched all GFI outlets, no moisture (not in outisde either). What gives? Too much plugged in (though didn't trip at all first week of computer)? Are GFIs taht sensitive? Lightening cracks trip them, moisture in air with heavy rain? It is not a huge deal, though my Mac doesn't like gettin its power yanked regularly.

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Old 08-25-2010, 04:10 PM   #2
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2010 30' Classic
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South of the river , Minnesota
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Surge protectors, by design, incorporate a MOV (metal oxide varistor). Usually there are two, one between hot and ground, one between neutral and ground.

There is inevitably some leakage current, often a considerable amount (several mA).

Therefore, having many things with surge protectors plugged in can contribute to the total leakage current, and bring it close to or just beyond the trip point for the GFCI.

Also, since the MOVs will conduct electricity during voltage spikes (which is how they perform their surge protection function), any time there is such a spike, the GFCI will trip. Often, people plug in a "surge guard" power strip type device and then find they have nuisance trips during electrical storms.

Finally, MOVs, when the fail due to a large surge, will often have higher leakage current than they did previously.

Hope this helps.

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Old 08-25-2010, 08:32 PM   #3
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Ottawa , ON
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Is the same true for battery backups UPS)? Not that I would have an actual use on the TT for one, but I'm just curious if it would also risk causing a GFI to trip.
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
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