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Old 03-20-2010, 05:11 AM   #1
cswank
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Default Electric Stove Burners Tripping GFCI

Hello,
After much studying and waiting, tonight I connected my electric stove burners to real electricity. I wanted to try external burners instead if immersion, like most electric brewers do. They got hot and I was happy. A minute later the GFCI in my main panel tripped. I was sad. I grabbed my multi-meter and started checking for electrical leaks and I seemed to find one between the frame of my brewery and two of the electrical heating elements. I touched one lead of my multi-meter to the frame, and the other lead to a prong of the element, where the electrical supply connects. The multi-meter showed a large resistance (5K Ohms), but I expected infinite resistance and for the meter to not move at all.

These elements say 240V and 1500 W right on the side. They are two prong elements. I was surprised to find a current where I did. I'm sure this is what caused the GFCI to trip.

I had the two prongs of the elements connected to the two hots from my sub-panel. I'm not sure what is wrong. Any ideas?

Craig


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Old 03-20-2010, 03:53 PM   #2
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... I had the two prongs of the elements connected to the two hots from my sub-panel. I'm not sure what is wrong. Any ideas?
Craig,

I'd suggest that you disconnect the wires at the element and then measure resistance again from the element terminals to the frame. If you read any, it is compromised. If it reads infinity, measure the element power wires to frame (No power of course) and see if you can narrow the issue down.

HTH


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Old 03-20-2010, 04:20 PM   #3
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I did just that this morning. I still detect a small continuance (learned the right word to use on google last night) between the terminals of the two elements I tested and the frame of my brewery.

What's more, I did the same test on the other set of burners that I have not connected yet, and they show no continuance between their terminals and the brew frame. The elements worked for about a minute the first time I fired them up. It seems that they became damaged in that one minute of use. When I subsequently tried to fire them up, the GFCI triggered right away.
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Old 03-20-2010, 04:23 PM   #4
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As an appliance repairman I learned to hate GFCI as they always seemed to trip for no apparent reason. I'd plug an appliance into a regular circuit and problems magically disappeared.
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Old 03-20-2010, 04:26 PM   #5
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What makes me wonder is that one teminal is marked white and one is marked red on each element. White means neutral often times. Could it be that even though they say 240V on them, they really are not?
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Old 03-20-2010, 04:28 PM   #6
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Yeah, Hermit, I felt the urge to connect them to a regular breaker, but I think I'll try to make it work with the GFCI. I'm not confident in my electrical abilities to not have it there.
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Old 03-20-2010, 04:35 PM   #7
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What makes me wonder is that one teminal is marked white and one is marked red on each element. White means neutral often times. Could it be that even though they say 240V on them, they really are not?
The red and white are probably for factory color codes for assembly. What is the resistance of the elements? You can figure out from there if they are 240 or 120. I doubt they are mixed up. You would have popped the breaker almost instantly.
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Old 03-20-2010, 04:51 PM   #8
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I think I need a new multi-meter. When I test the resistance of the elements, I get a reading of 200 (x 1K). When I touch the two probes directly, I get the same exact reading.
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Old 03-20-2010, 04:56 PM   #9
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I think I need a new multi-meter. When I test the resistance of the elements, I get a reading of 200 (x 1K). When I touch the two probes directly, I get the same exact reading.
Pull a lead and touch the other one to the place you just pulled the lead from. You can check leads this way.
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Old 03-21-2010, 08:05 PM   #10
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I had more of the same elements, so I tested on for a electrical leak between the heating surface and the input terminals. There was none. I hooked it up and it ran for about 30 seconds then it tripped the GFI. I tested it for a leak and sure enough, there was a one.

I then went to Ace hardware and bought another element and hooked it up and ran it long enough to boil some water. No tripping of the GFI . I think I can conclude that I bought crappy burners from China, and they fall apart quick. I don't know, maybe they leak a very small current and since most stoves are not hooked up to GFI breakers, no one ever notices. That is just a guess. I guess I'll buy some more of them from Ace (I'm using 4 elements each for my HLT and boiler (kind of expensive, I know)) and hope for the best. I'm sure I'll be a wreck for the first few batches waiting for GFI trips.


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