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GFCI questions

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Dan Beck, Jun 23, 2007.

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  1. Dan Beck

    Dan Beck Guest

    Hello all,

    I have an outdoor fountain, that uses a submerged electric pump to pump the
    water. It has worked flawlessly (but not continuously) for two years; I
    haven't done a thing to it. It is plugged into a GFCI outlet; this outlet
    is in a service space built into the fountain, and this space is bone dry
    inside. Today I was performing some routine maintenance on the fountain, no
    where near the pump nor GFCI. I have the pump running while I am working,
    and all of a sudden the pump quits. The GFCI button is out; I push it back
    in, and then the pump fires back up. About 10 minutes later it quits again;
    I go through this cycle a few more times. There is a second GFCI in the
    service space; same behavior as the first one. Two questions come to mind:

    1. What is the likelihood the GFCI is doing its job and protecting me from
    a bad (shorted) pump? My guess would be high.

    2. What is the likelihood both GFCI devices are flaky, and need to be
    replaced? My guess would be low.

    Thank you for any and all responses!

  2. Chuck

    Chuck Guest

    I'd agree with your guesses, Dan. One
    GFCI is for the pump. What is the other
    for? Are the two in series?

    What happens when you use the test
    button the the GFCIs?

  3. Jasen

    Jasen Guest

    It's probably the pump. use an extension cable to get a third opinion.

  4. Doug Miller

    Doug Miller Guest

    3. What is the likelihood that a common source of moisture is causing both
    GFCIs to nuisance-trip? My guess would be highest of all, and the first thing
    I'd be checking (assuming these are located outdoors) is the gasket on the
    weatherproof cover.
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