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Fans trip GFCI rcpts when turned off.

8047 Views 33 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Gnome
I have a larger 2 level residential shed (24'x40).
There are 2 commercial type ceiling fans fans installed on a 15A circuit.
1 fan is on ground level, 2nd fan is on second floor.
Each fan has its own speed control that was supplied by the fan manufacturer.
When the fans are turned off, the GFCI receptacles will trip. Even if the GFCI
receptacles are on circuits fed by different circuit breakers.
The receptacles are the Legrand brand.
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· Super Moderator
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Sorry Charlie but this site is for electrical industry professionals only. We are not allowed to advise DIY due to the inherent risk of death in working with electricity.



Good news is this site has a sister site over at www.DIYChatroom.com where there are plenty of good people ready to help you out. It's fast, free & easy to sign up and make the same post there that you made here.

Good luck with your project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am a licensed master electrician (MN EA003186).
I assume that there is some back emf involved, but have not run into this situation before.
I thought that this forum was to help other electricians that have run into new problems they haven't seen before.
 

· Super Moderator
Florida, USA
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I probably owe an apology. I woke up at 2am and came into the office and made coffe and turned on the computer and saw your post.


It starts out with "I have ..." and I took that to mean DIY.


My mistake.
 

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I am a licensed master electrician (MN EA003186).
I assume that there is some back emf involved, but have not run into this situation before.
I thought that this forum was to help other electricians that have run into new problems they haven't seen before.
The clue was, "when I turn the fans off". This used to be a common problem with refrigerators, and deep freezes people had in their garages. Motors in particular sometimes cause tripping, depending on the GFI manufacturer, and the motor.
I used to run into it occasionally doing residential service calls.
Just relocate a non-GFI recep.
 

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industrial E,I&C
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would be interesting to put a plug end on the fan then unplug it to see if it trips. Basic gfci looks for a balance between live and neutral. Break the live with a switch and the fan will act as a generator for a millisecond until the magnetic field collapses which may be seen as power on the neutral. (thats a total guess)
 

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I think your neutrals for the fans are mixed up and or shared with the GFI circuits
#1 reason :wink:

If, from what the OP said, that 'separate' circuit GFCIs are tripping, then just disconnect the load side from the other circuits, and if the problem goes away, then indeed it's a shared neutral problem.
 
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with all due respect I do not believe this to be true
he may have meant one gfci feeding off the "load" side...(going to
another gfci unit from that load side of the first one).

I have seen this and the problem (AFAIK) was rectified by changing
the wiring method to feed the 2nd one off the line side of the first gfci.
I say AFAIK cause I heard nothing different since the service call.
 
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