GFI keeps tripping !

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by blk90s13, May 19, 2011.

  1. blk90s13

    blk90s13 New Member

    Apr 29, 2008
    This was installed a year ago and it worked fine all the time

    line is a 30amp ( if I am not mistaken ) it runs a pond filter pump a pond ultra violet light and a pond air pump

    Nothing changed this year other than 4 days of rain so far and the GFI wont stay on I have 3 GFI outlets on the same feed line but separate feeds ( each one on its own ) and the pump does the same thing to all 3

    the pump have a tap on top with a metal screw that shows some kind of a sign like a old TV antenna is that a ground tap ? should I ground the pump straight to a metal pole into the ground ?

    Thanks for the help
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    A GFCI compares the current on the hot lead to that on the return line, and if they differ by more than about 5ma or so (might vary a little), it trips. There's something in the motor that has worn, and it is leaking current to ground. Adding a separate ground won't do much about the tripping, as the GFCI is not looking at the ground lead at all. You may need to repair or replace the motor.
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  4. SacCity

    SacCity In the Trades

    Mar 14, 2011
    Sacramento, CA
    Sounds resonable, you have an outside GFI circuit that trips when it rains... what is the surprise.
    When I worked in Panama when it rained the phones would not work. Half an hour after the rain stopped the phones would work again....
    Water and electrcity are very much friends which plays havic with what we want to accomplish with our lives....
  5. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Mar 30, 2011
    Rocket Scientist
    Houston, TX
    Hello All,

    blk90s13, if that is a submersible pond pump, a lot of them are filled with mineral oil for cooling.

    In normal operation mineral oil is a good insulation against ground.

    But when they get a leak then water can get in the motor and make a ground fault.

    If you can take the pump out of the water, and the ground fault goes away, then the pump has problems.

    I am just assuming that it is a submersible pond pump.

    The ground faults are doing what they are meant to do.

    You may also want to check for water in the AC cords to the pump, and make sure they are dry.

    Normally if a pump leaks, you will see an oil sheen on the top of your pond water.

    Good Luck on your project. Have a great day.

    Last edited: May 20, 2011
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