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Old 09-18-2019, 07:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ground fault woes

When I run power somewhere outside for a pump, lights or whatever, I like to install weatherproof receptical so in the future I have a place plug something in. I always use a ground fault receptical. After I install it, I always test it. (Not just the test button, but I plug something in)

So, I bult three story watertower deck a few years ago. Since I have lights and ceiling fans, might as well put plugs on all three levels. Installed and tested. Of course I almost never use them.

Last year I decided to pressure wash the second level roof panels. Plug the electric pressure washer in and nothing. Check it out and the receptical is shot. Not just tripped, it won't reset. So I replaced it and washed the roof.

Last month I wanted to vacuum the water tank on the third level. Plug a small pump in and nothing. Check it out and again the recept is shot. Install a new one and vacuum the tank.

Since I had the vacuum pump right there, I decided to vacuum the water fountain right next to the tower. Of course I plug in to the recept on the bottom floor. You guessed it, no worky.

Ok, I don't know, maybe the tower got struck by lightning.

Today I wanted to run a concrete saw. I recently had a new well dug and put a recept next to it. Plug the saw in and shit. WTF

Am I the only one having this issue? All of these receps were bought from Lowes. I've done a lot of wiring, some fairly serious stuff. But I'm not above admitting a mistake. The problem is what exactly could I be doing wrong? It's not like they are complicated and they all worked when I first put them in.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I just put in a couple GFCIs last week. The package said "Self-tests regularly, and auto-disables at the end of life for added safety."

Read to me as "shit's gonna break itself."
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Our company bought a refurbished steam cleaner like eight years ago and it started tripping the gfi plug. So one day it wouldn't stop tripping it and I thought nbd plugged it into a regular receptacle. I climbed under the truck and started cleaning when the heating coil got up to temperature I started getting electrocuted luckily I was able to crawl out from under the truck .moral of the story sometimes it is actually a ground fault no matter how many times the steam cleaner technician checked it out.
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Our company bought a refurbished steam cleaner like eight years ago and it started tripping the gfi plug. So one day it wouldn't stop tripping it and I thought nbd plugged it into a regular receptacle. I climbed under the truck and started cleaning when the heating coil got up to temperature I started getting electrocuted luckily I was able to crawl out from under the truck .moral of the story sometimes it is actually a ground fault no matter how many times the steam cleaner technician checked it out.
This wouldn't bother me. But these are not delivering power period. After replacement the plug in item works with out issue.
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ive pulled gfi plugs apart and there were ants in the contacts.
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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are you installing them in a protective box like this?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JU532B0

if not you should be
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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are you installing them in a protective box like this?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JU532B0

if not you should be
this.

and weather resistant GFCIs?

But, even if you have the bubble covers and an outdoor box, gfcis will still fail often if they are out in the open with no eave or anything to hide under. Smear a bunch of duct seal over the top of the box to try and keep water from running in. Also, install drain holes in the boxes.

GFCIs have circuit boards inside them, if they get wet enough times they stop working. Depending on how it's wired, it might be better to use a GFCI circuit breaker and replace the GFCI outlets with regular weather resistant outlets.

The bLowes here sells Legrand, which IMO is garbage. Leviton FTW.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If it is on it's own circuit replace it with a GFI breaker, they are more sensitive than the outlet, and are better protection
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If it is on it's own circuit replace it with a GFI breaker, they are more sensitive than the outlet, and are better protection
This. You don't put GFCI's outside.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This. You don't put GFCI's outside.
yes you do, in protective covers, along with the proper GFCI outlet

Last edited by rockyota83; 09-18-2019 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Those bubble covers are the gayest shit I've ever seen in my life. The few times we've hired an electrician to do work, as soon as the electrical inspector is gone I rip them off and put a normal outlet and a fucking regular outdoor cover on.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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if youre not a retard they work great mine snap shut with an extension cord plugged into them, a gay ass normal outdoor cover doesnt do that so when youre using it its not protected
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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if youre not a retard they work great mine snap shut with an extension cord plugged into them, a gay ass normal outdoor cover doesnt do that so when youre using it its not protected
Like I give a fuck if it gets some rain on it... Ohh noes!
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm useing the kind where it's sealed if there are no plugs in them. It's a spring loaded cover with a rubber seal. The wires are in conduit and there's no sign of water when I take them apart. Two of them were under a roof, so no direct water. (Unless some sideways rain. I don't use the outlets but once an awhile. And I'm not useing them while it's raining. The fact is, I didn't use any of them at all except for the initial test.
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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All the outdoor outlets on my porch are standard receptacles. The circuit that runs them goes through a GFCI outlet located in the basement next to the electrical panel, before it heads outside. You only need one GFCI at the beginning of the circuit and it covers the rest of them.

Likewise the ones in my kitchen are the same way...there's a single GFCI at either side of the stove, and then all the ones along the counter are protected by that. Might be something to consider, especially on something like your tower where it's probably all on one breaker anyway.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:33 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterhorse View Post

So, I bult three story watertower deck a few years ago. Since I have lights and ceiling fans, might as well put plugs on all three levels. Installed and tested. Of course I almost never use them.

I am having trouble picturing this thing. You got a build thread?
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:36 AM   #17 (permalink)
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You only need one GFCI at the beginning of the circuit and it covers the rest of them.
This. It's got circuit in the name. One protects the entire run. I would swap the breaker in the panel and use water resistant outlets and covers.
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Old 09-19-2019, 08:21 AM   #18 (permalink)
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double check your neutral..
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Old 09-19-2019, 08:37 AM   #19 (permalink)
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yes you do, in protective covers, along with the proper GFCI outlet
Let me rephrase that. I don't. Bugs don't care about your stinking covers. I've been running my exterior receptacles off indoor GFCI's for 10-15 years now, no issues tests perfect every time. Bugs nest and goo up the receptacles outside. I have a total of 8 all under covers.
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Old 09-19-2019, 08:44 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Ive pulled gfi plugs apart and there were ants in the contacts.
So that ruins them or can you wash them out with electric-clean? I do have lots of ants.

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Originally Posted by vetteboy79 View Post
All the outdoor outlets on my porch are standard receptacles. The circuit that runs them goes through a GFCI outlet located in the basement next to the electrical panel, before it heads outside. You only need one GFCI at the beginning of the circuit and it covers the rest of them.

Likewise the ones in my kitchen are the same way...there's a single GFCI at either side of the stove, and then all the ones along the counter are protected by that. Might be something to consider, especially on something like your tower where it's probably all on one breaker anyway.
I never knew this. Thankyou! I have two dedicated lines to the tower. Can't remember how they are arranged. There's no inside outlet, but I might be able to have just the bottom outlet a GFCI. (It's the most protected)

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I am having trouble picturing this thing. You got a build thread?
No build thread.



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double check your neutral..
Check them for what? If I install a new recept and it works, how could the neutral be bad?
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:18 AM   #21 (permalink)
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My neutral bar was not bonded correctly, I had to add a ground wire. I burnt up two gfi plugs. So I put a regular plug in it’s place. Then I started hearing a buzzing sound. It was a voltage feed back arcing from my disconnect box to my offset adapter. Ran another bare wire to the ground rod and stopped all the weird shit. But what I did was not code approved. But I live out of town so fuckem.
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:44 AM   #22 (permalink)
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My neutral bar was not bonded correctly, I had to add a ground wire. I burnt up two gfi plugs. So I put a regular plug in it’s place. Then I started hearing a buzzing sound. It was a voltage feed back arcing from my disconnect box to my offset adapter. Ran another bare wire to the ground rod and stopped all the weird shit. But what I did was not code approved. But I live out of town so fuckem.
I'm not an electrician, so I may not know all the terms. I assume the disconnect box is the main panel? When you say neutral bar not bonded, you mean the bar in the main panel where the newtrals go? I don't know what a offset adapter is.

One thing, all my grounds go all the way back to my house. (With the hots and neutrals) Do you think I should have a ground rod at the tower? Would I tie the neutral in there? I was thinking of installing a lightning rod. Would I use this same rod?

This is something I've never quite understood. I've been told to never ground the neutral at the receptical. Both the ground and neutral must go all the way back to the panel seperatly. Obviously, on a 240 V this makes sense, but on a 115 V, I don't get it.
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:54 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I’ve had weird shit happen with Eaton GFCI receptacles that I recently got from Lowes. They wouldn’t reset with the ground hooked up, Problem was solved after I installed a pass and Seymour device.
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Old 09-19-2019, 11:00 AM   #24 (permalink)
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So that ruins them or can you wash them out with electric-clean? I do have lots of ants.
Throw some borax in the outlet box - no more insect problems.
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Old 09-19-2019, 11:09 AM   #25 (permalink)
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this.

and weather resistant GFCIs?

But, even if you have the bubble covers and an outdoor box, gfcis will still fail often if they are out in the open with no eave or anything to hide under. Smear a bunch of duct seal over the top of the box to try and keep water from running in. Also, install drain holes in the boxes.

GFCIs have circuit boards inside them, if they get wet enough times they stop working. Depending on how it's wired, it might be better to use a GFCI circuit breaker and replace the GFCI outlets with regular weather resistant outlets.

The bLowes here sells Legrand, which IMO is garbage. Leviton FTW.
The weather resistant ones are no different inside, The only difference is stainless screws and a UV resistant plastc body. They are no better at resisting water intrusion than a standard GFCI.

I would be willing to bet it is just cheap GFCIs, I prefer to get them from an actual electrical parts house, I have had great luck with Hubbell.

https://www.ebay.com/i/333282411247?...AaAhdGEALw_wcB
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