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Old 12-30-2011, 09:02 AM   #11
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I have a 30amp circuit in my trailer shed and it has a breaker type GFCI which works with my trailer. If your house type is of the plug type some times it is designed to test only its hot wire and so is the trailer so it is seeing the other GFCI as a possible ground and tripping. The circuit braker type test both the hot and netural and it does work with my trailer. One other cause for trailer tripping your GFCI is it is possible that a outside plug on the trailer is damp and leaking voltage to ground in trailer it only takes .005 miliamps to trip a GFCI.
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onetonford View Post
If your house type is of the plug type some times it is designed to test only its hot wire and so is the trailer so it is seeing the other GFCI as a possible ground and tripping. The circuit braker type test both the hot and netural and it does work with my trailer. One other cause for trailer tripping your GFCI is it is possible that a outside plug on the trailer is damp and leaking voltage to ground in trailer it only takes .005 miliamps to trip a GFCI.
That's not entirely accurate. Gfci's work by testing what is going out on the hot and what is coming back on the neutral. If there is a difference, it will trip. That is telling the gfci that current is going somewhere else besides through the load (RV). There are a couple of different gfci breakers, one is like a general purpose and has a very low tolerance which is good for protecting personnel. The other one is an equipment rated device that has a higher tolerance that won't nuisance trip as easily. I'd guess you have the equipment rated version. Or, it can just be the brand as some are better than others.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:11 PM   #13
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Sorry here is a better explanation.

A GFCI is specifically designed to protect people against electric shock from an electrical system, and it monitors
the imbalance of current between the ungrounded (hot) and grounded (neutral) conductor of a given circuit. Don't let
the name confuse you — these devices will operate on a circuit that does not have an equipment-grounding conductor.
With the exception of small amounts of leak-age, the current returning to the power supply in a typical 2-wire
circuit will be equal to the current leaving the power supply. If the difference between the current leaving and
returning through the current transformer of the GFCI exceeds 5 mA (61 mA), the solid-state circuitry opens the
switching contacts and de-energizes the circuit.
However, a GFCI doesn't give you a license to be careless. Severe electric shock or death can occur if you touch the
hot and neutral conductors in a GFCI-protected circuit at the same time because the current transformer within the
protection device won't sense an imbalance between the departing and returning current and the switching contacts
will remain closed.
In addition, GFCI protection devices fail at times, leaving the switching contacts closed and allowing the device to
continue to provide power without protection. According to a 1999 study by the American Society of Home Inspectors,
21% of GFCI circuit breakers and 19% of GFCI receptacles inspected didn't provide protection, leaving the energized
circuit unprotected. In most cases, damage to the internal transient voltage surge protectors (metal-oxide
varistors) that protect the GFCI sensing circuit were responsible for the failures of the protection devices. In
areas of high lightning activity, such as southwest Florida, the failure rate for GFCI circuit breakers and
receptacles was over 50%!
GFCIs will also fail if you wire them improperly. The most important thing to remember when wiring them is to
connect the wire originating at the breaker to the line side of the GFCI and the wire connecting downstream to the
load side of the device. The GFCI terminals are clearly marked “Line” and “Load.” As an added safety improvement,
one manufacturer markets a 15A, 125V receptacle with a built-in line-load reversal feature that prevents the GFCI
from resetting if the installer mistakenly reverses the load and line connections.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:35 PM   #14
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Also Where not to use a GFCI

So, if GFCIs are so great why donít we use them on every receptacle in the home and never have to worry about being electrocuted? Well, as you might have suspected by now, if GFCIs trip with current imbalances as low as .006 amp, they might just trip when they are not supposed to. Utility lines occasionally have noise and power spikes that come into the house and can trip a ground-fault interrupter. Tools and appliances that are especially noisy will trip a GFCI as well. So you do not want to have any circuit GFCI-protected that cannot afford to be without power freezers, refrigerators, sump pumps, and medical equipment are a few examples of appliances you may not want on a circuit that is GFCIs protected. In addition, lights, unless required by code because they are in specific areas, should never be on a GFCI circuit. GFCIs cannot be used for ranges, ovens, cooking appliances, clothes dryers and other appliances with grounded neutrals connected to the frame of the appliance.
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:20 PM   #15
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Also

"Excessive lengths of temporary wiring or long extension cords can cause ground fault leakage current to flow by captive and inductive coupling. The combined leakage current can exceed 5 ma, causing the GFCI to trip."

While there are no specific rules concerning the length of the circuit protected or the number of receptacles on the protected circuit, remember that the GFCI will add up all the harmless leakage currents and capacitive leakages. Under extreme circumstances, this could "preload" the GFCI and make it appear overly sensitive or, worst case, result in nuisance tripping. Therefore, you should minimize the length of circuits to the degree possible."
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:43 PM   #16
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As was said, GFCI's work by comparing the current in the hot wire to the current in the neutral wire. If there is an imbalance, in the order of a few milliamps, the GFCI will trip. The GFCI assumes the imbalance is caused by current leakage to another path, such as to the ground connector or through a body to ground.

In a RV, a common source of this leakage current is the 12 volt convertor, especially the "newer" (post 1980-1990 era) switching type power supplies. These type of convertors commonly have input RFI suppression to keep high frequency energy off the incoming power wiring. These filters typically leak several milliamps to ground as there normal function. As they age, the leakage current can increase (that's why a GFCI might not trip when the RV or converter is new, then after a period of time the GFCI starts to trip). This leakage current can be high enough to trip a GFCI on the shore power.

Also, using more than one GFCI's in series can cause nuisance trips. The normal operation of the sensing circuitry in the GFCI can cause an apparent current leakage in an upstream GFCI. Again, as the GFCI ages, this apparent leakage current can increase. This can occur in a sticks and bricks house as well as in a RV.
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