Plugs off, Breaker On

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by diyinky, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. diyinky

    diyinky New Member

    Messages:
    3
    All plugs on one circuit in my garage are dead. The breaker was not tripped, but I replaced it anyway. Still no power to plugs. Any ideas as to what to try next?
  2. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    988
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Find the tripped GFI. :)
  3. diyinky

    diyinky New Member

    Messages:
    3
    thanks

    Thanks! Found the tripped GFI; reset, but trips again whenever I plug in the refrigerator (at another outlet); only that appliance trips it; replace the GFI switch?
  4. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    988
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    No. It sounds like the GFI is doing it's job. There is likely a problem in the refer.
    How old is it?
  5. diyinky

    diyinky New Member

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    3
    10 years at least;would likely not replace if costly.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    gfci

    Motors are notorious for false tripping GFCI receptacles. I would plug the refrigerator into another, unprotected circuit, or replace that GFCI, if it is the one the reefer is plugged into, with a single outlet/device conventional receptacle.
  7. iminaquagmire

    iminaquagmire DIY Senior Member

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    207
    Garage receptacles are required by the NEC to be GFCI protected.
  8. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    Location:
    North Carolina
    This is very bad advice and should be ignored.

    This is a false statement and should be ignored.

    For many years all receptacles in kitchens where refrigerators are being used every day of commercial buildings have been required to be GFCI protected.

    In the 2008 code cycle ALL receptacles in garages and basements are required to be GFCI protected even if there is a 10 year old refrigerator or freezer being installed in these places.

    Any appliance no matter what the appliance is that trips a GFCI device should be replaced.

    We should NEVER circumvent the use of a GFCI just because an appliance is tripping the device.
  9. TedL

    TedL New Member

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    NY Capital District
    I think one should confirm that the problem is in the appliance and not the GFI before trashing the appliance. I also believe that repair may be considered; discarding is not the only option.
  10. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    I think that he said the following;
    Now that we know that the refrigerator is what is tripping the device then only one thing left to do. Throw it away unless you plan on disassembling the refrigerator in order to find the place the current is going to ground.

    If it is the compressor then the coolant must be vacuumed out and the compressor replaced and I am not sure but would bet that a new refrigerator would be cheaper.
    Then again it could be a defroster that is an integral part of the refrigerator which would entail taking the frame of the unit apart and replacing the defroster which would again probably cost more than it would be worth.
    With either one would still have a 10 year old refrigerator.
  11. TedL

    TedL New Member

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    I didn't read that as saying he tried it on a different GFI device (he wrote "trips again"), just a different outlet protected by the same GFI.

    Also, you wrote "Any appliance no matter what the appliance is that trips a GFCI device should be replaced." As written, it would apply to a 2 week old $3,000 unit still under warranty. Beware of absolute statements.
  12. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

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    689
    Look for the source of the fault on the refer..

    It may be as simple as a faulty cord.
  13. GabeS

    GabeS Remodel Contractor

    Messages:
    294
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    I wouldn't put a fridge on a gfi. The thing trips when you are out or away for a day and bye bye all your food.
  14. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    Location:
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    If it is two weeks old and is tripping a GFCI then let the warranty replace the unit.
    Once again I write, “Any appliance that is tripping a GFCI device needs to be replaced.â€

    So it is a better idea to circumvent the protection of a ground fault interpreter and let that current kill the person that put that food in the refrigerator in the first place?
    Yes I can see where protecting spoiled food is so important.

    Again, if the appliance is tripping a GFCI then get rid of it immediately. Do no hesitate for one second just chunk it out the door.

    This concept of not putting a refrigerator or freezer on a GFCI protected circuit due to the loss of food is nothing short of foolishness or it is implying that people in general are to stupid to know when a refrigerator is not running and when it is.

    As far as one tripping while someone is not a home leaves me thinking also. Food in a refrigerator will stay cold for a couple of days if no one is home to open the door.
    Then there is always the chance that power can be off for other reasons while no one is home also so using the theory that the GFCI could trip and the food spoil it would be a good idea to not have anything in the refrigerator or freezer while you are gone on vacation or a business trip for more than a couple of days.

    What if the power was off for five of the six days someone was gone? The food would spoil and then refreeze and kill the person eating it.

    I think the best advice would just sell the refrigerator and never buy one again.
  15. TedL

    TedL New Member

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    604
    Location:
    NY Capital District
  16. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    2,529
    Location:
    North Carolina
  17. TedL

    TedL New Member

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    Location:
    NY Capital District
  18. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    Location:
    North Carolina
    Isn’t this typical of most people who just post without having very much to say. This has gone from a 10 year old refrigerator to a two week old refrigerator and then to the brakes on a car even to our public schools.

    Listen to what I am saying and try to understand.

    First if I have an appliance that is 10 years old that is tripping a GFCI device that appliance is out the door no questions ask and none implied.

    Second if I buy an appliance and two weeks later it starts tripping a GFCI device that appliance will be replaced with a new one from the place I purchased it. No I will not accept a repairman fixing it.

    Third if the brakes go out on my car just as everyone else I have them repaired which has nothing to do with a refrigerator.

    Forth if a kid draws pictures of weapons while in school not only should that kid be expelled but the parents should do jail time for not teaching the kid to do better. Someone should have taught him how to think of the consequences of his actions for breaking the schools rules. I don’t think that my child should be in fear so another child can express their self and vice versa.

    As I have already said and am saying again should you have an appliance that is tripping a GFCI and you choose to ignore the problem or decide to put a band aid on it then that is your choice but it is also my choice to replace the item which is exactly what I am going to do. I place a value on my loved ones that is much higher than the price of an appliance.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
  19. GabeS

    GabeS Remodel Contractor

    Messages:
    294
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    Okay. So I know that fridges in garages used to be allowed to not be on a gfi as long as it was a single receptacle (one where you could only plug the fridge in and nothing else).

    JC, did the new 2008 code change this? If so, why? What's the reasoning? Should we go as far as to make every outlet in the house gfi protected using that reasoning?
  20. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,529
    Location:
    North Carolina

    Yes this all changed in the 2008 code cycle. All receptacles installed in a garage and unfinished basements are required to be GFCI protected except for a circuit that is supply only fire and burglar alarms.

    The receptacles are mostly installed over bare concrete floors and concrete is a good conductor of electricity.

    Refrigerators plugged into receptacles in commercial kitchens have required GFCI protection for the past couple of code cycles.

    This train of though of nuisance tripping is nothing more than hogwash and holds absolutely no merit at all. UL has been requiring that manufacturers of electrical appliances to keep their leakage current to below .005 amps for more than 10 years now so if an appliance is tripping a GFCI I highly recommend that the appliance be replaced.

    Take this same appliance and place it on a bare concrete floor with a little moisture and bare feet and you have one of the reasons quoted in the substantiation that cause the code change. Yes someone died from this type of installation.

    Then we have the argument that the appliance cost too much to replace then I ask, “Have you priced a funeral lately?â€
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