The AC outlets can undoubtedly make your home safer. Also, according to NEC, you need to install a Gfci outlet and breakers in your home. They prevent any leakage current. However, the life of Gfci outlets and breakers is of a few years. After that, they can suffer from a problem.
One such problem is Gfci breaker trips when the load is applied.
What might be causing the same?
Today, I will shed some light on this.
I will not only go into the causes but what you should do in that case as well.
Gfci breaker trips when the load is applied
There are essentially 2 reasons why Gfci breaker trips when load is applied. The first one is the fault between ground and neutral. The second one is the shorting of the load.
I will go into the details of both these causes below.
1. Fault between ground and neutral:
A faulty connection between the ground and the neutral is why the Gfci breaker might trip every time you connect to the load.
According to NEC, this is quite risky. That is why you must call an electrician.
In case you continue turning on the Gfci outlet, resetting it or attaching the load again and again might lead to permanent damage as well.
In that case, you might have to deal with the damage to the load or replace the load altogether. It can result in unnecessary expenses. That is why,
If the Gfci breaker trips once you connect the load, it is time to call an electrician rather than fix it yourself.
2. Shorting in load:
There can be another cause of the same problem as well. A faulty load can result in the same.
When there is shorting of wires inside the load, then too, it might lead to leakage current. In that case, the Gfci breaker can trip the entire circuit.
This is done to ensure that there is no risk of electrocution.
In this case, simply replacing the load can help you out.
These are the 2 most common causes of Gfci breaker tripping once you connect the load.
I will share a few things which you can do in case you encounter this problem.
What should you do when this happens?
There are a few things to do when this problem arises. I will cover them below.
1. Disconnect the load:
The very first thing which you should do is disconnect the load. Since the problem arises when you connect the load, it is best to disconnect it right away. It will help you prevent electrocution and damage to any other circuits.
2. Call the electrician:
The next thing is to call an electrician. Only an electrician will know the exact cause of the problem from the two I have discussed above.
The electrician will also be able to fix the problem.
It is a good idea not to try and fix it yourself as you might end up frying some other circuit or wires.
3. Change the load:
In case the problem is in the load, simply replacing the load will help. If you do so in the Gfci, it does not trip; it is a clear indication that the problem is with the load.
The Gfci breaker, as well as outlet, will function perfectly once you replace it.
4. Switch off the supply:
If none of these solutions work, you have no other alternative but to switch off the supply. Searching the supply will at least prevent any kind of electrocution.
Only the electrician can determine whether switching on the supply is safe or not.
These are the four things which you can do when the Gfci a breaker trips itself.
Why should you call an electrician?
Many people think that it is not necessary to call an electrician for this kind of problem. However, that is not true.
There are a few reasons why you should do so. I will cover them below.
1. NEC violation:
If this happens, it is an easy violation. NEC violations can be unsafe for your home. It is one of the primary reasons why calling an electrician is the best way to go for it.
A licensed electrician will be able to sort out the problem in no time. Also, a licensed electrician will be able to take steps to make your premises safe despite this problem.
This is the reason why calling one is a must.
2. Damage to additional circuits:
In case this problem keeps on happening, or the leakage current keeps flowing, it might damage additional circuits.
The older Gfci breakers are often connected in series. It means that if there is a problem with a single circuit, it can cause a problem in other circuits.
The best way is to call an electrician right away. Once you do so, you can prevent any further damage.
3. Electrocution risk:
In certain rare cases, this problem might give rise to electrocution risk as well. The problem is that a layman might not identify whether there is electrocution risk or not. Rather than taking a chance, it is always a good idea to hire an electrician right away.
These are the three reasons why you should hire an electrician once you encounter this problem.
Now, I will answer another pressing question: how much will it cost to call an electrician?
How much will it cost to call an electrician?
The answer to this question depends on whether you call the electrician during the daytime or after working hours. Of course, if you’re calling the electrician after working hours, the cost will be more.
I will go into the details of both of these below.
When calling the electrician during the daytime, it will cost you anywhere from $80 to $120. However, if the electrician is installing or replacing the Gfci outlet, the cost can go upwards of $150.
• After-working hours:
The cost of hiring an electrician after working hours can range anywhere from $150-$300. The cost of replacing the outlet can be somewhat higher.
Now that you are aware of the cost of hiring an electrician, you can do so more easily.
Thus, when you encounter the problem of Gfci breaker tripping itself when the load is applied, now you know the causes. With my guide above, now you know how to tackle the problem as well.
In case you want to make your home safer, you can directly buy outdoor lights with Gfci outlets. My post here covers the same.