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Unique problem with GFI switch


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Hi all!  

I have a machine that keeps popping the GFI switch it is plugged into... There is a refrigerator that is on a non-gfi swtich, the manager said I could swap out the refrigerator and my machine... 

My question is though: I don;t want to waste money by doing something that won't work.... will the refrigerator blow the GFI switch? 

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If the wall GFI is tripping then there is too much current draw on that circuit either from within the room you're in or possibly from a room on the other side of the wall.  If this GFI trips when you're not there then it could happen when another device is plugged in like a vacuum cleaner.  If there is a microwave, toaster, water cooler or coffee maker on this circuit then that could be tripping it.  Keep in mind that you might only be on a 15 amp circuit instead of the recommended 20 amp circuit.

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46 minutes ago, AZVendor said:

If the wall GFI is tripping then there is too much current draw on that circuit either from within the room you're in or possibly from a room on the other side of the wall.  If this GFI trips when you're not there then it could happen when another device is plugged in like a vacuum cleaner.  If there is a microwave, toaster, water cooler or coffee maker on this circuit then that could be tripping it.  Keep in mind that you might only be on a 15 amp circuit instead of the recommended 20 amp circuit.

At this point and time the only thing plugged in is the Royal that we had talked about in another post of mine. They claim nothing else get's plugged in, the floor is tile so Im guessing the maintenance people aren't plugging in a vacuum cleaner. It does trip the GFI repeatedly though, usually not when I,m there, but it trips. For that reason we decided to swap the fridge on a non-GFI to my machine on the GFI. 

Do you know if a fridge draws similar power to a machine?

 

 

 

 

Edited by Sgolembiewski0903
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Your soda compressor may be pulling too many amps then.  As they age compressors take more amperage to start the rotor turning.  You could also pull too many amps after it has run for awhile if you don't have good airflow through the condenser.  Keep the machine 4 inches from the wall, test the airflow with a piece of paper held against the condenser to see if it has a weak fan motor or it could be a dirty and clogged condenser.  If it continues to trip the new circuit it's on now then you have a compressor problem which could be just an old compressor.

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Interesting comments. I haven't put it on the new outlet yet but it sounds like I need to try it. 

They actually had an electrician come in and look at the outlet and he said everything is operating normally. This account isn't afraid to spend money to have the best of the best.... Knowing that, it sounds like it could be a compressor issue more so than a outlet problem...

I'm worried that if I have a mover switch the fridge and my machine that the fridge will pop the switch, resulting in spoilage. This would be BAD because this particular account has a policy that doesn't allow them to use extension cords for extended periods of time, which would be the only fix until I could get my mover back over! 

My only concern, and perhaps I need to find an electrician to ask, do you think a fridge like the one described above (nothing fancy) would blow a fully-functional GFI switch?  

Hard to research the exact topic... but it seems like it's perfectly normal for a fridge to be on a GFI? 

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11 hours ago, AZVendor said:

Your soda compressor may be pulling too many amps then.  As they age compressors take more amperage to start the rotor turning.  You could also pull too many amps after it has run for awhile if you don't have good airflow through the condenser.  Keep the machine 4 inches from the wall, test the airflow with a piece of paper held against the condenser to see if it has a weak fan motor or it could be a dirty and clogged condenser.  If it continues to trip the new circuit it's on now then you have a compressor problem which could be just an old compressor.

In the middle of your comment, the part about tripping the circuit after being on a while.... 

So when I'm there I plug it in, and it doesn't blow. I've been there for up to two hours one time....... Does that indicate that something is just really dirty and needs to be cleaned? The front of the machine is clean, and generally free of things like dust bunnies. However, I cannot see the back... getting to it would probably still require a mover.  

But based on what you said, and the fact that the GFI is operating normally.... I'm thinking there's an airflow problem with the condenser?? 

 

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If the outlet is accessible, replacing it (letting them replace it) would be the most logical step.  You could also get a device such as kill-a-watt and plug the compressor straight into an outlet to see what it draws. It would require an extension cord.  If it never draws more than what the gfci is rated for (when it starts, it draws the most amps), then the gfci is a culprit, but it could also be a something else. 

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If you can see light through the condenser top to bottom will mean it's clean.  In that case put a piece of paper up against it and see if it's pulled tight against the condenser.  If so then the fan is fine.  There's nothing to see at the back of the machine except that the machine is at least 4" away from the wall.  The fridge will pull about 1/2 the current that the soda machine pulls and since the fridge and outlet belongs to the location the spoilage would be on them.

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3 hours ago, AZVendor said:

If you can see light through the condenser top to bottom will mean it's clean.  In that case put a piece of paper up against it and see if it's pulled tight against the condenser.  If so then the fan is fine.  There's nothing to see at the back of the machine except that the machine is at least 4" away from the wall.  The fridge will pull about 1/2 the current that the soda machine pulls and since the fridge and outlet belongs to the location the spoilage would be on them.

That seems difficult to know fi I can see a light through the top to the bottom of the condenser... do I need to bring a little flexible mirror? 

 

I know it's a noob question, but sometimes this stuff confuses me... You have the condenser which is usually just a black box/cylinder.. and then you have the condenser that looks like a radiator- kind of? 

 

******Someone earlier said tat if the machine runs for a while and then shuts off that it is probably the the condesnsor... does that sound right? That's what happens, when I get there I will often times be there for an hour and the machine stays on until I leave****

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I don't know about the condenser being at fault when the compressor shuts off comment but yours sounds like normal operation, regardless of if there is a problem with the deck.   If it shuts off every 15 seconds, then there's a problem. Your problem is that the gfci is bad, the deck is drawing too much, or there is a short somewhere. 

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A GFI is a ground fault interrupt. Highly unlikely that it has anything to do with current draw but is more than likely due to feedback on your ground circuit. It could be something as simple as your lighting circuit (ballast) causing this. Since it is erratic it is probably something that is always running. I would test all columns, mech, val, turn off the lights and let them come back on. 

I would certainly swap the outlets if possible as you aren't blowing breakers which is current draw. 

PHX1 is dead on that the GFI's do get week.

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1 hour ago, Sgolembiewski0903 said:

Welp,  so I swapped out the fridge with the machine and the fridge blew.... so evidently it's not my machine. Luckily they are okay with it and are going to keep the fridge where it is and find a solution.

Lol.  The solution is to replace the GFCI, but that's their problem.

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