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Old 04-26-2012, 03:49 AM   #1
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Default Galley GFCI blows when heater plugged in

The GFCI receptacle in the galley has blown (won't reset) 3x's. Worked fine all winter with the space heater plugged in. But after 1st time out, plugging space heater blew the GFCI.
Have checke the 2 other outlets down strean for short etc. None apparent. Help.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:30 PM   #2
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heater is a larger draw like a hair dryer. Those applances spike when first turned on then the amp usage go down, when its runing.

run the heater on fan to start it, then switch to low heat and it sound work.


GFI (ground fault intrupter) is only for outlet near a water source, so you don't fry anyone.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:46 PM   #3
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Markwin1, what do you mean by "won't reset"? As stated a space heater has a huge draw. One thing I would do is take a look at the GFCI outlet itself as well as the breaker for the outlets cricuit. I've found that, particularly in saltwater environments, these need periodic replacement. Corrosion can cause resistance which can eventually cause either the GFCI breaker or the circuit breaker itself to periodically trip when draw is high. As corrosion increases, resistance increases and the amount of draw required to trip either breaker decreases.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:55 PM   #4
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Sometimes they just go bad. I've had several at home trip for no apparent reason. I've had one trip the moment I plug something into it even with the power switch of the device off, and I've had them trip when pulling the plug when the device is already off.

Only thing you can do is ensure the wires connected to it are tight - especially if it was wired using the rear quick wire push in connectors (if that's the case consider re-wiring using the screw terminals), and do the same for any down stream outlets. Or, just replace it. If it keeps tripping then you know you've got a elsewhere.

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Old 04-26-2012, 02:01 PM   #5
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can't add much more than that....the gfci is a picky critter that when the heater kicks on...if the connections are not seriously tight...can cause it to trip...amperage spike......so....after awhile they do go bad...seen that happen more than once on my boat...even had an outlet wire burn off and almost start a fire....so...definitely check all connections on the ac side....all outlets in that stream...and then replace the gfci.....the other thing to think about is to put the heater on 1300 wts rather than the 1800 wts ...that is a draw of over 15 amps on start up and will pop a breaker in a new york minute....done it many times so...I know. how that works out.....


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Old 04-26-2012, 09:15 PM   #6
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Thanks all. Clarification: The receptacle trips almost immediately and then won't reset.
This will be my 4th GFCI new outlet I will put in tonight. BUT I did noticed corrosion on a couple of the downstream outlets so will also replace those. Think I will also use the screw terminals for the connection. It is a west marine heater where I can't change amperage but will start out slow with something like a coffee maker B-4 plugging in the heater and trying it with just the fan..
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:23 PM   #7
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if your shower power is inverted, or shorted with a bad extension cord, this will happen too.

your electrical panel will show red lights instead of green.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:39 PM   #8
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Thanks, I will check that as well.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:53 PM   #9
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Thanks all for input. Finally just got an electrician friend to have a look. Turns out the neutral wire in the panel was corroded and the shield was completely melted off. Yikes. Anyhow, added checking panel wires to yearly maintenance list....
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