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Thread: GFI keeps tripping !

  1. #1

    Default GFI keeps tripping !

    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. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    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.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    In the Trades SacCity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 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....
    Sac City Plumbing

  4. #4
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    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 by DonL; 05-20-2011 at 10:39 AM. Reason: OP error
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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