gfci

cappo11March 5, 2010

okay I have a house that is 4 years old. all of a sudden when we turn on the bathroom exhaust ceiling fan the gfci outlet on the wall trips. Even when there is nothing plugged in. If you turn the fan off, you can reset the gfci. I noticed that the entire bathroom is on 1 breaker. could this be the problem? any help would be appreciate

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joed

Bathroom on one 20 amp breaker is code. Sounds like you have a faulty fan.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 7:54PM
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brickeyee

The fan does not have to be GFCI protected unless it is in the installation instructions.

The fan likely has a defect.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 10:43AM
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cappo11

I should have mentioned that the fan is not gfci protected. The gfci is on same circuit as rest of bathroom but is pigtailed and doesn't control anything else

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 1:14PM
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brickeyee

The fan is on the LINE side of the GFCI?

Sounds like someone hooked some neutrals together incorrectly.

Other devices on the line side of the GFCI should not have any effect on the GFCI if all the wiring is correct.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 2:40PM
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cappo11

thanks for the help. but sounds like a job for a pro.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 5:57PM
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youmust

With a DVM and an incand. lamp you can very likely check whether the GFCI is tripping for valid reasons, but the default fix is to replace the GFCI.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 5:18PM
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cappo11

I will change the gfci first, and then the fan motor if there is still a problem. Is it o.k. that the gfci and exhaust fan are sharing a neutral?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 7:46PM
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christophersprks

both the neutrals have to be on the line side of the G.F.C.I.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 9:33PM
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Ron Natalie

both the neutrals have to be on the line side of the G.F.C.I.

To elaborate: There needs to be THREE neutrals. The feed from the circuit breaker has one, the exhaust fan has one (those should be connected together either and to the LINE side of the GFCI). Any GFCI protected loads have one and that should be connected to the LOAD side. Nothing form the protected side (hot or neutral) should touch anything on the line side. Also make sure that none of the neutrals touch ground anywhere (other than back at the disconnect).

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 7:51AM
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cappo11

thanks ronnatalie for explaining. the wiring is just as you say it should be. looks like I have a bad gfci

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 6:51PM
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hendricus

If the GFCI can be reset and everything else works untill you turn on the fan, I don't see how it could be the GFCI.

If the above statement is true then the GFCI is doing its job.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 11:17AM
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cappo11

I installed a new gfci and has been working fine since. Thanks for the help

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 3:04PM
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