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Home Care Library

Electrical

The Home Wizard app calculates your ideal home care program to avoid problems with your Electrical, but sometimes trouble can still occur. Here are answers to questions about electrical gfi popping.

QUESTION FROM jefrimmer

I have an exterior plug in my soffit area which is switched and is intended for plugging in my exterior Christmas lights. I plugged in one string and the GFI circuit "popped" on the other exterior plug located on my front porch a few feet away. Obviously the lights now won't work. I have checked the switched plug with a polarity tester and it states that all is correct. I have tired other appliances in the switched plug and everything causes the GFI to pop. Any ideas??

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

jefrimmer:

As you may know, since the GFI is "popping" nearby, these plugs are most likely on the same circuit, and there is something shorting out the circuit. It could be the switch, it could be the plug, or something could be shorting the wires in this circuit inside your walls (a nail, mice chewing on the wires, etc.).

You want to be very careful with this. The GFI (ground fault interrupter) is there for a reason, to protect your house from short circuits, especially in areas where there could be water that could conduct electricity to a person, for example in bathrooms, kitchens, and exterior locations.

I would think you would want to call in a qualified electrician to inspect your plugs and wiring.

And in the meantime, if you can, to be safe you should consider turning off the breaker at your fusebox, if there is a separate breaker for this circuit.

Hope this is helpful.
Home-Wizard.com

QUESTION FROM Donna

Our GFI keeps popping when we run the dishwasher - but we've had it for 8 years and have not relocated any other items. It won't pop if we run on a low energy cycle - but if we run it on normal it pops.

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

Donna:

Regarding your GFI tripping off when you run your dishwasher on its normal energy cycle but not on the low energy cycle, it could be a couple of things happening:

1) as GFIs ("ground fault interrupters") get older over time, they sometimes begin to trip at lower power levels. So in other words, it may have been fine operating at let's say 20 amps for years, but now it trips at 18 amps as the GFI has worn out.

2) Your dishwasher may be exeriencing a power surge when the heater for your dishwasher's normal power kicks on, and this is what is tripping your GFI.

Either way, you probably want a qualified electrician to test your GFI and dishwasher.

Hope this is helpful.
Home-Wizard.com

QUESTION FROM joel.schacter

Our GFI keeps popping when we run the dishwasher - but we've had it for 8 years and have not relocated any other items. It won't pop if we run on a low energy cycle - but if we run it on normal it pops.

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

Dear joel.schacter:

As you may know, since the GFI is "popping" nearby, these plugs are most likely on the same circuit, and there is something shorting out the circuit. It could be the switch, it could be the plug, or something could be shorting the wires in this circuit inside your walls (a nail, mice chewing on the wires, etc.).

You want to be very careful with this. The GFI (ground fault interrupter) is there for a reason, to protect your house from short circuits, especially in areas where there could be water that could conduct electricity to a person, for example in bathrooms, kitchens, and exterior locations.

I would think you would want to call in a qualified electrician to inspect your plugs and wiring.

And in the meantime, if you can, to be safe you should consider turning off the breaker at your fusebox, if there is a separate breaker for this circuit.

Hope this is helpful.
Home-Wizard.com