What To Do If That GFI Trips
By Dave Donahue
This blog is about your GFI and what to do if it trips. Normally a GFI works fairly simple and it’s not designated to only operate in bathrooms. GfI’s can also be found in basements and garages. The GFI works by monitoring the flow of electricity from hot to the neutral side of the circuit. When an imbalance occurs, the GFI will trip. A good example would be if you were working in the rain with a saw. The current flows through the saw and to the ground since it senses an imbalance in the current which begins to flow through your body. Upon sensing the imbalance the GfI shuts off stopping the flow of electricity.
So, as you can see, a GFI can do wonders especially if you are working in uncertain situations. Electricity can do some amazing things for us but it also has a capacity to cause great bodily injury. If your GFI keeps tripping you can follow these simple steps to try and rectify the situation.
1) Check to make sure the GFI is wired correctly. An improperly wired GFI may be subject to tripping. You will want to ensure the ground wire is secure as well as the hot and neutral. Always shut off the power to the circuit you are working on. This may save your life in the long run.
2) Make sure your GFI is not overloaded. GFI’s are designed to operate with a minimal amount of current. If a GFI is wired up to a major appliance like a refrigerator, make sure it is not protecting other devices as well. More than likely this may be the cause of the faulty GFI breaker.
3) Check your GFI periodically. It is equally important to test your GFI for normal operation regularly. If the GFI begins to show signs of wear, trips for no apparent reason, it may be time for a replacement.
4) If after following these steps, your GFI continues to trip, you may want to look into having your electrician check your outlet out. A GFI is fairly simple to install however this may be a task for an electrician. If you do choose to install your own GFI, always wear eye protection, gloves and take the necessary precautions before working!
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This is an original article written by Dave Donahue for Swartz Electric. This article may not be copied whole or in part without the express permission of Swartz Electric, LLC.
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