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That's Absurd!!!
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376 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just recently I started having issues with my GFI outlet randomly tripping. I'm assuming it a faulty piece of equipment so I've stripped down my tank so I'm only using what's necessary ( 2 mp 40s, Eheim’s 1262 return pump, Bubble Blaster Pump HY-3000S, and 6 bulb 48in ati sunpower T5's) and I'm stilling have this issue. Does anyone have any suggestion on how to figure out which piece of equipment it is?
I'm think the culprit might be my light fixture as the cheap muti plug that was supplied for the fan's seems to be slightly disfigure melted. I've stopped running the fan on my ATI but I'm still having the issue with my GFI randomly tripping.
All help suggestion will be appreciated
 

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Google.com - Use It
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598 Posts
What amp rating is the outlet? If you are drawing too many amps it will pop it.
 

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Google.com - Use It
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598 Posts
well amps are the flow of electricity. each item you have plugged into the outlet takes a certain amount of amps. if there is over 20 amps either from stray voltage or overload it causes it to pop. some process of elimination you could do is run an extension cord and plug an item into that into another outlet, then see if it pops. if not you may have found a culprit. what do you have plugged into the one outlet? that melted/deformed thing should be replaced, I would first do that to eliminate it being a possibility.
 

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Got Salt?
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428 Posts
a GFI dosn't trip because of total current flow, they trip if there is a difference between the hot line (black) and the neutral (white). Overcurrent will cause the breaker to trip (they are usually in your main panel) If you have a tripping GFI then something plugged in has a ground leak (or there is current going somewhere, possibly your tank) Dont assume the GFI is bad, they don't go bad all that often. You can buy a fairly cheap tester at your local hardware store http://www.lowes.com/pd_292761-12704-61-501_4294753812__?productId=3128411&Ns=p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1

Just an example, but you get the idea. But you can also test it by running a lead cord over to another GFI and plug in your aquarium there, I seriously doubt that you have 2 bad outlets.

How long does it take to trip?

some good reading on GFI's:

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/electric/gfi.html
 

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Registered
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700 Posts
+1 above...most likely you have a piece of equipment that's causing your problem. You could test it by unplugging one piece of equipment at a time and running your tank for a while to see if it trips. Also check to make sure there is no way for any salt creep or water to get on the outlet or plugs. It doesn't take much to trip them. Generally when you have a bad GFCI outlet it wont work at all, although the sometimes slowly get more and more sensitive. its a crapshoot...if you get one of those little plug in GFCI testers they sell at lowes and it tests out fine it would be a good indicator that you have either a drip issue or an equipment issue
 

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Big Ocean, Little Fish
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754 Posts
Just a crazy lil random thought but if its not the outlet could it be the breaker? Those do go bad occasionally...
 

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Big Ocean, Little Fish
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754 Posts
This is true, guess I should have worded it better. I just wanted to confirm that it was the actual outlet and not the breaker tripping.
 

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Salty Dog
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1,044 Posts
My money is on the "melted" plug. Bet there is a current leak to ground there. I would be sure that the entire fixture is checked / repaired / replaced. Any time there is a part of the cord melted, it means that there is a short somewhere in the product. And....+1 to the above statement about the GFCI being bad. They almost never go bad. Breakers do occasionally...but about as often as the GFCI's do.
 

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Salty Dog
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1,044 Posts
Also to add to above....
Always be sure that you have a drip loop (service loop) in any wires being plugged into any outlet. This will keep everything safe.
 

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That's Absurd!!!
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376 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks everyone, You'll have given me a bunch of good trouble shooting idea. I'm going to pull everything out and wipe it down and inspect it to make sure I don't have any bad cords. I honestly believe it’s the ATI fixture as the GFI only seems to trip when I'm running my lights. This whole deal is kind of strange because the GFI is only sporadically tripping after the lights have been on for several hours – I’ve had issues in the past with pumps and as soon as you would rest the GFI it would pop again. I think I going to also reach out to reefgeek.com I bought the light fixture from them and see if they know of any possible issue
 
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