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Old 06-13-2015, 09:00 AM   #1
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Another GFCI Problem

I have a GFCI which pops anytime a load is put on it. Also, I took my meter and measured the voltage at the plug and found 240+- volts. My guess is it may have been wired incorrectly. Any help is appreciated.

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Phil
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Old 06-13-2015, 09:13 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. AV. Whoa! Should be 110/120V UNLESS it is supposed to be a 240V circuit. IF it has a regular duplex receptacle, it IS wired incorrectly.

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Old 06-13-2015, 10:13 AM   #3
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I have a GFCI which pops anytime a load is put on it. Also, I took my meter and measured the voltage at the plug and found 240+- volts. My guess is it may have been wired incorrectly. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks

Phil
Is it in a place where there could have been a 220 appliance at one time?
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Old 06-13-2015, 10:32 AM   #4
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Is it in a place where there could have been a 220 appliance at one time?
Not likely. I was told 220v power comes from 2 110, legs. The past owner may have been attached to the wrong positions on the GFCI receptacle.

I can fix mechanical things, I hardly understand electrical. I had a mechanic look and he was flummuxed also.

Phil
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Old 06-13-2015, 12:03 PM   #5
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Not likely. I was told 220v power comes from 2 110, legs. The past owner may have been attached to the wrong positions on the GFCI receptacle.

I can fix mechanical things, I hardly understand electrical. I had a mechanic look and he was flummuxed also.

Phil
More than likely the neutral is hooked up to a hot wire or terminal block back at the main panel somewhere.
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Old 06-13-2015, 12:27 PM   #6
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More than likely the neutral is hooked up to a hot wire or terminal block back at the main panel somewhere.
Thanks, I will look at that first.

Phil
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Old 06-13-2015, 04:10 PM   #7
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could be a neutral issue

it is common to share a neutral with two 120 volt circuits. I personally would not do this on a boat but maybe someone did. If the GFCI is placed in the wrong place along the shared neutral it will trip if the other circuit is used. Once tripped the neutral can become hot! One of my guys wired one in like this the other day. Once a neutral is opened (as in tripping the GFCI) 240 volts can be seen on the loads when the GFCI is tripped. Did you see the 240 volts with the GFCI tripped or when it was not tripped? That will be key in helping you determine the issue. My money is it has to do with the neutral and placement of the GFCI but just an educated guess with the current information available. Measure voltage from hot to neutral, hot to ground, and neutral to ground. Do this with the GFCI tripped and then again with it not tripped. This will help in determining the problem.
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Old 06-13-2015, 04:33 PM   #8
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it is common to share a neutral with two 120 volt circuits. I personally would not do this on a boat but maybe someone did. If the GFCI is placed in the wrong place along the shared neutral it will trip if the other circuit is used. Once tripped the neutral can become hot! One of my guys wired one in like this the other day. Once a neutral is opened (as in tripping the GFCI) 240 volts can be seen on the loads when the GFCI is tripped. Did you see the 240 volts with the GFCI tripped or when it was not tripped? That will be key in helping you determine the issue. My money is it has to do with the neutral and placement of the GFCI but just an educated guess with the current information available. Measure voltage from hot to neutral, hot to ground, and neutral to ground. Do this with the GFCI tripped and then again with it not tripped. This will help in determining the problem.
Duvie,

I will make note and publish online tomorrow.

Thank you for taking the time to respond along with the others.

Phil Salter
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Old 06-13-2015, 06:24 PM   #9
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Not likely. I was told 220v power comes from 2 110, legs. The past owner may have been attached to the wrong positions on the GFCI receptacle.

I can fix mechanical things, I hardly understand electrical. I had a mechanic look and he was flummuxed also.

Phil
You need a marine electrician, not a mechanic, before someone gets hurt.
Bottom line is we're all just guessing here at what the solution to your problem is.
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Old 06-13-2015, 07:06 PM   #10
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Not sure about the shared neutral issue....on my boat the 125/250 amp power cord is a shared neutral.

The neutral buss bars for the separate hot legs are joined behind the panel.
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Old 06-13-2015, 09:06 PM   #11
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You need a marine electrician, not a mechanic, before someone gets hurt.
Bottom line is we're all just guessing here at what the solution to your problem is.
Urgently agree with this, not to be trifled with if you have any uncertainty whatsoever, which the OP indicates is the case.
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Old 06-13-2015, 10:51 PM   #12
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get a simple plug in GFCI tester and verify which ones pass and which ones fail. then find out the order of the circuits. If you treat the problem as links in a chain, it won't be as intimidating. Only thing is chains don't shock you...

You have a circuit that is wired incorrectly.
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Old 06-13-2015, 11:10 PM   #13
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get a simple plug in GFCI tester and verify which ones pass and which ones fail. then find out the order of the circuits. If you treat the problem as links in a chain, it won't be as intimidating. Only thing is chains don't shock you...

You have a circuit that is wired incorrectly.

I stopped by Lowes and purchased an outlet tester GFCI capable. I will rattle the chain in the morning, come looking for me if I do not show up for dinner.

Thanks

Phil
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Old 06-14-2015, 06:24 AM   #14
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I stopped by Lowes and purchased an outlet tester GFCI capable. I will rattle the chain in the morning, come looking for me if I do not show up for dinner.

Thanks

Phil
These are not built for 220V. Who knows what it will show if it doesn't smoke first.
A few other things:
- Any "load" that was plugged into this receptacle is likely now permanently damaged.
- Any other receptacles daisy-chained on this circuit would also be 220v and their loads also smoked.
- It is rare on a trawler to find a single receptacle alone in the circuit unless to power a dedicated load such as a refrigerator or watermaker.
- A mis-wiring error like this does not happen by itself. Someone in the past had to land a lead in the wrong place. There is no valid intentional reason for there to be 220v in the recept box before the GFCI was added. The error must be between the recept and shore power inlet.
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:13 AM   #15
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I think everyone's concerns are misplaced. Sure the receptacle may cause some problems to equipment and wiring within the vessel, but the concern should be with the original owner's condition. Post #4 clearly states that the previous owner was attached to wrong positions on the GFCI. How is his condition? Did he stay attached very long? I was shocked NOT to see any concern on this Forum for his condition.
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:37 AM   #16
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On a 240 volt socket , one of the legs is sideways , to preclude a 120V plug from going in.

240V GFI are made, if you actually have a 240V user.
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:49 AM   #17
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Assuming the the correct setup was used...as we know...you never know for sure what some will do on bosts.

I finally looked behind my fridge this week ...instead of a simple terminal block for the DC connection...sure enough the factory installed an outlet and regular old 110 plug.nicely labeled though..fortunately the label glue is better than the construction methods.

Having read that some people have had their DC systems with black and white wiring (like the old Furuno power cords)....I wonder what color code is used in the OPS boat and still wondering if the boat is wired for a 50A 125 /250 or 2 30A cords and how the out of phase leg is in the outlet line and not the whole boat.
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:03 AM   #18
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It's the gazelle principle...

Once the lion catches a gazelle, the rest are good to go back to foraging for food... until the lion gets hungry again.

The previous owner is of no concern, obviously they cleaned up the scene of the accident, or the OP would have remarked how good a deal he got on the boat.
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Old 06-14-2015, 10:02 AM   #19
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I think everyone's concerns are misplaced. Sure the receptacle may cause some problems to equipment and wiring within the vessel, but the concern should be with the original owner's condition. Post #4 clearly states that the previous owner was attached to wrong positions on the GFCI. How is his condition? Did he stay attached very long? I was shocked NOT to see any concern on this Forum for his condition.
dan
Guess I need to proof read...

I will be in Gulf Shores next week, can you recommend any restaurants?

Thanks

Phil
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Old 06-14-2015, 10:16 AM   #20
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"instead of a simple terminal block for the DC connection...sure enough the factory installed an outlet and regular old 110 plug.nicely labeled though."

A house plug and sockets are great for DC as they wipe and clean when the plug goes in.

With most boats having no 240v items , the use of a 15A or 20A plug an socket built in the 240V style is a great way to power DC items of less than 20A.

These are cheap (in boat terms) and work well as DC supplys as the ground pin (not hooked up ) works to self polarize the circuit.

About 3X the current caring ability of a std cigar lighter socket and plug.

A boat with a genuine 240v socket and plug need can simply use a std 240V with a 30A plug and socket so there is no confusion.
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