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Old 11-01-2009, 10:22 PM   #1
Duster72
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Default GFCI Problem with Pol Replica System

I recently completed a replica of Pol's system.

It's an exact replica down to the part number except:

I have a 15 gal aluminum pot
I installed 4 switches instead of 3 because I have 2 pumps
I used the (in)famous Ebay 30A GFCI dryer cord for power


My problem is with the GFCI. Generally, it trips a lot. Today as a test, I unplugged everything from my control panel and plugged the CP into the wall. GFCI tripped within 10 seconds. I reset the GFCI and it tripped almost immediately. Rinse repeat. After about 4 resets, the system remained powered on. I decided to leave it plugged in for a while as a test. It stayed on for 6 hours.

So, I decided to try to heat and clean the system. I turned on the kettle burner and got the water up to 150 and the GFCI popped. Now it won't reset - it just keeps popping immediately. I turned off all the switches and unplugged everything. No difference. It keeps tripping.

I have read up on GFCI and think I basically understand how it works - it is showing less current coming back than what's going out. But if nothing is plugged in and all switches are off, then the only thing that is getting power is the PID.

Any suggestions here please??

Also, Pol, since I'm sure you'll read this, once I get this thing running, what do I do to get it in manual mode with the proper cycle time?

Thanks everybody!!!

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Old 11-02-2009, 01:08 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duster72 View Post
I recently completed a replica of Pol's system.

It's an exact replica down to the part number except:

I have a 15 gal aluminum pot
I installed 4 switches instead of 3 because I have 2 pumps
I used the (in)famous Ebay 30A GFCI dryer cord for power


My problem is with the GFCI. Generally, it trips a lot. Today as a test, I unplugged everything from my control panel and plugged the CP into the wall. GFCI tripped within 10 seconds. I reset the GFCI and it tripped almost immediately. Rinse repeat. After about 4 resets, the system remained powered on. I decided to leave it plugged in for a while as a test. It stayed on for 6 hours.

So, I decided to try to heat and clean the system. I turned on the kettle burner and got the water up to 150 and the GFCI popped. Now it won't reset - it just keeps popping immediately. I turned off all the switches and unplugged everything. No difference. It keeps tripping.

I have read up on GFCI and think I basically understand how it works - it is showing less current coming back than what's going out. But if nothing is plugged in and all switches are off, then the only thing that is getting power is the PID.

Any suggestions here please??

Also, Pol, since I'm sure you'll read this, once I get this thing running, what do I do to get it in manual mode with the proper cycle time?

Thanks everybody!!!
It could be a number of things. The PID's could be a source of leakage, the GFCI has a problem or you have a mis-wire.
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:12 PM   #3
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I had put a 40amp two pole gfci for my all electric herms rig and it constantly tripped. I even piped in a separate 110v for my pid's and volts and leave only my two ssr's and elements on 240. It still tripped. So I just made sure every piece of equipment is grounded back to the panel ant put my std breaker back in the panel. 4 brews now and all is good. I would prefer to have the gfci in panel but i would prefer to brew more beer.

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Old 11-04-2009, 10:46 AM   #4
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GFCI's job is to protect you from electrocution by tripping when it thinks there is a short. However the problem is that it can't tell the difference between a short and a large draw. Unless there is something spectacularly wrong with you pol replica system (and I'm inclined to think the problem isn't there) you're simply drawing too much current. The solution is to get said socket rewired without a GFCI, add a socket, or some such thing.

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Old 11-04-2009, 12:39 PM   #5
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GFCI's job is to protect you from electrocution by tripping when it thinks there is a short. However the problem is that it can't tell the difference between a short and a large draw. Unless there is something spectacularly wrong with you pol replica system (and I'm inclined to think the problem isn't there) you're simply drawing too much current. The solution is to get said socket rewired without a GFCI, add a socket, or some such thing.
No, not quite. A GFCI monitors the amount of current flowing from hot to neutral. If there is any imbalance, it trips the circuit.
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:33 PM   #6
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And inductive load can trip a GFI. I'm not familiar with the system you're talking about, could that be the problem?

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Old 11-04-2009, 01:49 PM   #7
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And sometimes you get a defective GFCI. I've only replaced a couple (GFCI/GFI) over the years, but they do fail.

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Old 11-04-2009, 02:07 PM   #8
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I am starting to think it has to be my Ebay GFCI. I opened my control panel and everything looks perfect. There are no rogue wires, absolutely nothing that could be shorting/leaking that bad.

This is tripping when the only thing with power is the PID. I carefully checked the PID. There's no way it's leaking that much.

Thanks to everybody for the help.

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Old 11-04-2009, 02:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flananuts View Post
So I just made sure every piece of equipment is grounded back to the panel ant put my std breaker back in the panel. 4 brews now and all is good. I would prefer to have the gfci in panel but i would prefer to brew more beer.
Grounding is good, but it's no replacement for a GFI. It's all good until...





OSHA Electrical Burns
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Old 11-04-2009, 05:00 PM   #10
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Holy smokes, those burns look really, really nasty. Man, that chit had to hurt big time.
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