GFI started tripping with celing fan operation

surferMay 5, 2013

I replaced a 30 yo bathroom exhaust fan at least a year ago. Also installed a mechanical timer at the same time. Everything was working fine since, until recently when the GFI would trip when the fan was running.

I pulled the original GFI which was a pigtailed type unit and replaced it with a made in China Levitron which had multiple line and load terminals. I decided to remove the exhaust fan from the GFI load feed and feed it as a multiple on the line side. My other outlets are still fed as a GFI protected load.

Now for the problem. That worked fine for over a month. No more nuisance trips. Then it just started tripping again when the ceiling fan was turned on. Keep in mind that the fan is being fed from the line side of the GFI, not the load or protected side. A friend who is an electrician thinks the problem is a defective GFI unit. I replaced it today and it is working. Any ideas if something else could be causing this? Thanks.

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"it is working"? "it" is permitting the fan to operate normally or "it" is continuing to trip as before?
Assuming that all the connections to the GFCI were/are correct, I agree with the electrician you consulted.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 12:39PM
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Thanks for reply. "It" being the new replaced GFCI is now not tripping when the fan is operating.

I just wanted to bounce this off the forum in case they could see any other potential problem. Before I replaced the GFCI I verified that the line(not load) side had the fan on it and the outlet was protected as load. Also used my Ideal 61-501 outlet tester to verify that the downstream outlet was GF protected and wired properly.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 8:41PM
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As a followup to this, the third (second new) GFCI again just started tripping when the fan motor was turned on. I started looking at the wiring in the fan switch and a ceiling light and found that one of the hot wires (black) from the light switch was nearly broken off at the switch terminal. It now seems to be working fine without tripping.

Not sure if the bad connection could have caused an imbalance between the hot and neutrals between the GFCI, switch and fan motor which are tied together on both the load and line side.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 11:11PM
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If interested in the resolution of this, see link below to another thread on this forum and the bath ceiling exhaust fan issue.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bath exhaust fan tripping GFCI

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 4:18PM
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