PDA

View Full Version : GFCI tripping...


barrettrhoades
04/20/2013, 12:11 PM
Hey all.

So I was tidying up some wires around my Apex yesterday, and somehow it caused my GFCI to trip. I had unplugged both of my pH probes, to re-route the wires, and when I was plugging the second one back into my Apex my GFCI tripped.

I reset the GFCI and it continued to trip, so I unplugged the pH probes and reset my GFCI and everything powered up. After I reconnected my pH probes it was fine until last night at 5 A.M when the GFCI tripped again.

What could be causing this and what can I do to troubleshoot this problem? Could I have stray voltage in my tank, and somehow I grounded the tank with what I was touching when I plugged the pH probe back in? Can I check for stray voltage with a multitester??

Any help would be greatly appreciated, because I havent gotten an email when the GFCI trips like I do when my power to the house goes out. My tank has been running with the GFCI and Apex for 4 months now.
:mad2:

aquamanic
04/20/2013, 03:53 PM
Can you figure out which probe it is? Then when you do, swap the 'bad' probe to the other probe port. See if the problem moves with the probe or not. If it does, then something's up with the probe. If it doesn't, then plug the 'good' probe in the original 'bad' port. If it trips the GFCI then you'll have to email Neptune support, otherwise I'd replace the probe.

barrettrhoades
04/20/2013, 06:21 PM
So doing some troubleshooting with my datalog, i am thinking it might be my heater. When my GFI tripped at 5 am this morning my tank was slowly going down in temp to 76 when my heater should kick on. And yesterday when I was re-running wires, I had my temp probe disconnected, which should have kicked my heater on. It is a new Eheim Jager, so not sure why it would be shorting out, and it apparently doesn't always trip the GFI because the heater was running when I reset the GFI this morning. I will have to do some troubleshooting when I get home from work.

barrettrhoades
04/20/2013, 11:27 PM
So after some troubleshooting this evening, the only piece of equipment that I could get to trip the GFI was a eheim pump on my Ca reactor. Not sure if this was causing the issue or not. I am leaving it unplugged for the time being.

I was using a multitester, and strangely there was more voltage on my powerheads when they were the only thing plugged in. If I plugged in my Apex too the voltage would drop substantially.. Not sure why.. It seems that all of my equipment would show voltage in the tank. Heater, return pump, powerheads, skimmer pumps, all would show at least a couple of volts that would add up to about 10 volts.

But if just one of my powerheads was plugged in, one would be 10 volts yet the other would be 35 volts... can't figure that one out. weird

Erock9er
04/27/2013, 12:54 PM
Did you figure out what it was that was tripping your GFCI? Was it your eheim pump?

barrettrhoades
04/27/2013, 05:58 PM
Well the GFCI tripping again the other evening when the Eheim CaRx pump was off. Still haven't been able to source it, and now I have everything plugged back in and havent had the GFI trip for at least a couple of days. I can't figure it out at all, and haven't ever been shocked by my tank.

I don't get it. It may be an overly sensitive GFCI even though it is only 3 months old. Other than tripping when I was re-routing the pH and temp probes, the tripping seems to be random.

Once was in the middle of the night at 5 am. Once was at like 1 A.M and another time was in the afternoon.....

I guess I need to do some more testing with the multitester, because the only equipment that would show a significant voltage (35) was a DC powerhead???

scolley
04/27/2013, 06:21 PM
I had something very similar to this happen to me lately - random tripping - except it was on an Aquacontroller III. Could not diagnose the problem for the life of me, because I was testing things I thought it were contributing to the problem. Sound familiar?

I was unable to find the problem until I went to the trouble of unplugging every single thing from the controller, and then plugging them back in - one by one - and making sure the component was powered on - until the problem made itself evident.

In my case, it was an electronic MH ballast that had somehow gone bad. Why it was throwing my GFCI is anyones guess.

Sorry for the ramble, but my point is that if you can't easily diagnose what's tripping your GFCI, then you may need to go through the same - one by one - time consuming process. For the problem may turn out to be something you never expected.

ggsteve
04/27/2013, 09:35 PM
My GFCI has only tripped a couple of times, but it is worrisome. The last time was a short power failure yesterday. The power came back on in a half hour but the tank did not turn back on because the GFCI tripped. Don't quite know what to do about that.

sanababit
04/27/2013, 09:59 PM
maybe its the gfci outlet, its to sensitive now, any stray, spike or surge and it trips, if you have a voltmeter check voltage in tank, i had the same problem with a heater and then with a t5 ballast, good luck

sana