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mwalz

GFI Troubles - HELP

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Never did  I  "inject" power when I brought another Generator online as the Elector Operator on the USS Eisenhower, or the Submarine "proto-type" where I first qualified at. (It used DC power as well as AC)   I would have failed out of Naval Nuclear Power School for ever putting that on a piece of paper. 

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While the term "inject" may be off, what would be the purpose of bringing the other generator online but to share the load?

"Injecting power" is a term that is used with RGB pixels.  If you hook up 150 pixels to a 12V DC power source, the first 50 pixels colors' would be fine, however, as you reach the 150th pixel you will find low voltage and your white will be brown.  So you "inject power" by running another 12V power (+ & -) lead to the end of the pixels.  Now you have a full 12V DC at both ends.  In the middle you will have less than 12V DC, but as long as it is sufficient to keep the whites looking white you are good.  For more pixels, you would add another "injection point" every 150 pixels or so.  The reason you have to do this is the data wire has to remain in sequential order along with a (-) wire for the data clock.  Some pixels are different watts so it will adjust how often you will need to add an injection point.  My controllers can control 680 pixels off each output, but there is no way 12VDC at the first pixel can power 680 down the line.

Edited by qberg

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I'm just saying "power Injection" its a conceptual error. 

When bringing another generator on line, it is paralleling them, and yes they can share the load,  (depending on how you set them, but I'm not going go into generator theory).

What people call power injection is parallel power,  its a terrible term that stuck.  Not saying there is a voltage drop in long series of RGB LEDs, and need to Boost the Voltage by adding a parallel voltage source. 

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So I got to wondering this am about "how does rectified LED strands effect the GFCIs when plugged in"?  While searching the net I came across this article that is the best I have seen in taking the mystery out of the GFCI outlets.  It was interesting to see how the US (5-6mA) and European (30mA) standards differ on the allowed current leakage levels and dispels the myth I have heard about 20A GFCIs having a larger leakage limit that 15A.  My thought on the rectified current vs AC was that the GFCI only trips when shorted between the HOT wire and ground.  Therefore, the GFCI sensing for a fault is not seeing a steady current, but a fluctuating one as the HOT voltage is always cycling.  When rectified, you have a steady current flowing through the LEDs (which is why they are brighter and don't flicker).  Does this lead to the GFCI sensing an increased ground current which exceeds the fault limit?   I can't find a straight answer, but my gut tells me no since the GFCI receptacle is just looking at the AC power at the GFCI and not the DC power downstream of the rectifier, but I can still cant shake the presumption that it may be affecting what the GFCI is sensing.  Thoughts from any of the real electricians out there?

https://www.westernautomation.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/GFCIs_For_AC_DC_Systems.pdf

Something else I noticed in my display last night (everything is still damp but not soaking wet from the rain over the weekend), is I can turn on each LOR controller and RGB power supply individually and not trip my GFCIs.  I can leave them all on 100% doing it this way and they will stay on and not trip a GFCI.  But during my Clark Griswold intro clip when it goes from all dark to 100% on everything, some twinkling/flashing/etc, I will trip one of the GFCIs every time.  So power fluctuations/spikes can trip them even when the steady state load is fine.  This got me thinking about the ferrous magnets Big J mentioned.

On 12/14/2018 at 6:11 PM, Big J Illinois said:

I have used ,a ferrous magnet( Rf Choke) around the smaller cords,closest to the GFCI, this will help, reduce, not eliminate Rf and false trips.  

 When searching about nuisance GFCI trips, there are plenty of electricians out there scratching their heads when you have two-way radios, cell phones, appliances that aren't even connected to the same circuit causing the electronics in the GFCI to sense a fault and trip.  After watching some youtube videos on how these magnets affect signals, I believe these magnets that you see more in audio/visual/computer data equipment definitely can help reduce the with nuisance trips since the fault that the GFCI is sensing is cycling and the ferrous magnets around the cord is designed to dampen out the spikes.  I just ordered up a lot of em for all my DC power supplies, LOR controller power cords and main extension cords that plug into the outlets to try to eliminate the power surge nuisance trips I see in my dynamic display.  Along with sealed LEDs on my ground items I am hoping to just about eliminate GFCI trips next year.

 

A more humorous take on GFCIs is in this youtube video.  I follow this guy and cringe a lot watching his videos, but he provides good info on all sorts of electronics.  It was interesting watching the tests of the GFCI and the numbers he quotes on how much current the human body can withstand match the pdf above.  Fast forward to 6:27...the GFCI doesn't trip in a bowl of cold water?!?!?!  and then keep watching as he tests current levels on himself...lol

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlM6PE2kKVY

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Hey Q, let me know if ,what I said, is true ...when u choke the fr interference out, I, in my electical skills.. think the amount of false trips will diminish OR disappear. Also, forgot to mention.. loop the AC cord,1 wind, then the magnet. Hope this helps, keep us in the loop. Thanks J

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I will...found a site selling large toroids & clamp-ons that you can get multiple turns through.  Ham radio operators use these a lot.  I was going to fire off an email to tech service and see what their thoughts were.  Would help if we knew the RFI range that trips these GFCIs.  Then we can design the most efficient choke for that range. 

Sounds like a science fair project for my kid.

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I cant take it any more, please read this write up on how a GFCI works. 
main-qimg-08394a70ff0fa9ae61f7aca333ddda54

As long as current flows normally nothing happens . The current flow through the primary and secondary windings of T the top of the diagram will either be 0, if there is no load, or equal but opposite when the load is on, thus cancelling each other out. A short to ground however on the black wire will produce a current thru the winding on the black wire, but none on the white wire. This difference will be detected by the coil attached to A the amplifier , and boosted to produce a current thru S, a spring loaded solenoid which pops the contacts of the switch built into the GFCI assembly past a mechanical stop, holding them open with the spring.

If you clear the fault, and press the “reset” button, it pushes the switch at the top right closed past a mechanical stop, until another ground fault occurs.

stole this from "https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-wiring-schematic-of-a-GFCI"  it kept it simple, and if you wan't to know more, Goggle it.  

 

Qberg, I would not waste money on items that won't fix anything, you have a grounding issue not an RF issue.  As to your link the the You Tube, video.....they are meant to be a joke, or at least I hope so. I hope the very simple diagram above that shows how a GFCI works helps out, and shows whey it doesn't matter if AC or DC. 

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Shawn...if you can explain how I can turn everything on 100% and not trip a GFCI, but then 1 minute later when the show is running and it turns everything on instantaneously a GFCI trips, I am all ears.   If it was a grounding issue I wouldn't be able to turn everything on and leave it on for 30 minutes.  If it is a simple mechanical device, then there should be no difference between the two scenarios where the system is fully loaded.  It obviously isn't anymore because your 1992 diagram/description above fails to show the auto self testing electronic mechanism that is running its self test every 3 minutes...which has now been required by code for the past couple of years.  Go to a hardware store and try to find a non self testing one like the one shown in the diagram...scour the internet for one like I did this morning....they don't exist anymore!  I am absolutely positive that if I could find that 1992 model GFCI my Christmas lights would run flawlessly!  But good gosh the almighty safety council did a study and found that us bumbling idiots weren't self testing our GFCI outlets monthly and had to save us from our own stupidity by creating an automated self testing feature that runs monthly  no, every 3 minutes!  I can't wait til they make my smoke alarm beep every 3 minutes to let me know the battery is still ok!  Any time an electronic component has been added to a device it becomes susceptible to electronic interference and here is a video proving RFI is jacking with electronics inside the ACFI breakers. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZi_xQAtJgY

After "googling" all morning there are numerous articles of electricians complaining about all kinds of nuisance GFCI trips from walkie talkies, cell phones, treadmills, electric drill battery chargers, etc.  I will add that I am disappointed this electrician is calling the ACFI breakers a GFCI....but it is pretty amazing that he can press a button to talk on his radio and trip every AFCI breaker in the panel.

If your house has the old style GFCIs god bless you....keep em!  There is something going on in my system that is either magnifying the sensed difference between the neutral and hot loads or some type of RFI interference from my LOR controllers when the computer is running them during the show and messing with the new self testing electronics.

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Good old RF...funny you say that...I have 2 of the gfi's when house house was built in 02...NEVER a problem...but I added 6,20amp ones outside and THOSE are the ones that trip when ever they feel like it. I have added 12 ferrous beads, 2 on each incoming cord...and it hasn't false tripped this year, but once..I think we are onto somthing:)

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If your having trouble with false trips. Replace the GCFI plug with a GCFI breaker. This has helped on the ice machines I service.

HVACR

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Well I used the "old" circuit design to keep it simple,  and you were talking about AC and DC and how it impacted  how they worked.  No clue on how that makes a difference (RGB that runs through a power supply can do funny things,  rectified plug in LEDs, no clue why it would make a difference.)  Still and probably never will buy the RF but hey, good luck. we can agree to disagree, 

 

I install thee GFCI circuits this year myself,  breakers not outlets, since I didn't want to have to go outside and reset them if they tripped (and they did in a down pour one night). 

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On 1/3/2019 at 9:00 AM, HVACR said:

If your having trouble with false trips. Replace the GCFI plug with a GCFI breaker. This has helped on the ice machines I service.

HVACR

There are actually two different types of GFCI's. A class "A" trips at 5mA and comes in circuit breaker, receptacle, or cord end type. A class "B" trips at 20mA and usually only comes in circuit breaker type.  A Class "B" GFCI with a 20 milliamp trip level is to be used only for protection of underwater swimming pool lighting fixtures installed before adoption of the 1965 National Electrical Code (NEC). The circuit breakers you are using should have a label identifying if they are of the class "A" or class "B" type .

Here is a link to a very interesting and informative electrical trade magazine article that explains GFCI's. It is well worth the read and also explains why ice machines and refrigerators often trip class "A" gfci's. It also includes a bunch of suggestions to mitigate false tripping of outdoor circuits.

https://www.ecmweb.com/content/think-gfci

gfi1.gif.f1e93268908576ffc2a8f0f0901df86a.gif

 

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