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Old 11-25-2011, 12:21 PM   #1
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120v 20amp GFCI keeps blowing

I could use a little help. I am camping right now and the GFCI keeps blowing. I have narrowed it down to the intelipower 9270. But I am not sure why. Is the intelipower bad? I took out all the fuses leading out of the intelipower so I know it is not the 12 volt system causing the isssue. I am getting the extra juice out if the intelipower so I think it is working right. The breaker does not blow when the intelipower is unplugged. The time it takes for the breaker to blow with it plugged in changes from instantly to 30-40 minutes with the intelipower plugged in.

I am at a campground hit bad by huricane Irene so could it be the shorepower causing this?

I started to think it was the 32 year old gfci breaker that went bad. I bought a replacment (still have an hours drive to get back to try) but still not sure what else it can be. I think the grounds are good because it has been working fine for the past 3 years.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-25-2011, 12:40 PM   #2
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A correctly working GFCI trips when the current leaving on the hot wire is not exactly balanced by that coming back in on the neutral - in other words, when there is some current (perhaps only a milliamp or two) from the hot wire to the ground - hence the name, Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor. More modern units may also trip when they sense an electrical arc, but that's not of interest here, I think.

They are known to go bad, and early ones were indeed quite easily tripped by electrical noise, etc. Sometimes they fail so as you notice (tripping all the time), sometimes they fail by not working, which is why the outlet versions have test buttons.

Because these units are quite sensitive, the various components should be grounded together carefully. In particular here, I'd make sure that the ground for the Intellipower is properly bonded as per instructions to the trailer ground.

If you have a DVM, make sure there's minimal resistance (with unit unpowered) between the ground connections on the trailer umbilical and the Intellipower.

- Bart
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Old 11-25-2011, 12:42 PM   #3
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Yes, there could be an intermitant connection between the campsite ground and neutral.
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Old 11-25-2011, 03:08 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info. I just got back and found a loose ground (terrible ground setup, the PO used a screw in the inside skin) I tightened it and will see if it pops again. It has worked all summer with no issues just all of a sudden down here. So I am hoping that it is just a ground that became lose instead of the intellipower going bad.
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:13 PM   #5
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Well it has been several hours and the breaker is holding. I am both glad and frustrated that it appears to be a ground. It was one of the first things I checked. But onlyby hand giggling. If I only got up and grabbed a screw driver.

If nothing else I have a $45 spare breaker. It would cost $20 in gas just to return it.

Thanks guys for your input. Reinforcing the ground issue was what made me go back and check for certain.
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