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eco choice cab 50 - trips GFCI

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by dhall28, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. dhall28

    dhall28 Member

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    Central Ohio
    had electrician come out and look at wiring and put in a new gfci outlet in.
    customer has a whole house surge protector.
    unit would start and run until heated up and going for a little while then trip the GFCI, reset it and it would then trip every 1 min 15 sec to 1 min 30 sec. looked around for anything obvious, noticed a little grease on the out side of the auger motor (very little, normally wouldn't care) but it may have leaked or may have been from the factory and the auger motor has a capacitor which i know can mess with GFCI's so for both reasons (mostly capacitor though) i replace it.
    unit did the exact same thing except it would now trip every 2 min to 2 min 30 secs.
    put a new control board in and was good for two/three weeks.
    customer says its tripping again, i come out and it trips as soon as the stove comes on but only when its calling for heat, unplug the igniter and the unit starts and runs fine minus the not lighting part. ohm out the igniter i get 32 ohms (should be 38 for 380 watt igniter) ohm the igniter out to the igniter metal case and get 1.2 - 1.1 million ohms. plug the igniter in while holding it in my hand and just tap the side of the stove and the gfci trips. replace igniter and unit so far is running fine again....im stumped idk what was wrong, when or what happened exactly, i have some theory on a few things but this is above my electrical abilities....even with 1.1 million ohms using ohms thats less amperage than what should trip the gfci right? any ideas on any of this stuff would be helpful and appreciated. i feel i may be hearing from them again and idk what im going to be able to file for warranty, i hope quad will cover the parts...

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  2. imacman

    imacman Guest

    GFCI outlets are not supposed to be used with a pellet stove. Remove it. The surge protector is the only thing that the stove needs.

    EDIT: Just read my manual. GFCI CAN be used for the stove, but circuit breaker must be 20a, not 15.
    kinsmanstoves likes this.
  3. dhall28

    dhall28 Member

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    none of us are NEC expert electricians where i work but when the house was built the area the stove is put in he had to have gfci outlets, the customer does not want to get rid of the gfci outlet now and the he shouldnt have to, pellets stoves are a household appliance as far as i know and being an electrical appliance in a house by UL listings as far as a know should have ten times less amperage leaking on the ground side than what a gfci outlet should trip at. I may be wrong the UL listings and electrical ground leaking but the customer and code want a gfci outlet and the stove should work regardless?
  4. imacman

    imacman Guest

    See the edit I put on my post above.

    This is right from my 10-cpm manual:



    "Test your 110-volt outlet for current and then plug in the unit. (Must be a 15A circuit minimum, should be 20A if circuit is GFIC protected."
  5. dhall28

    dhall28 Member

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    that seems like a strange request to me, to want a 20 amp breaker when you have a gfci also, i wonder why they want that?
  6. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    its wierd, but on a 15 for some reason the GFI tends to trip, on a 20 usually they don't. i think its the nature of igniters, they seem to 'simulate" a ground to a GFI, for some reason (which i do not know) a higher amp circuit doesn't seem to trip it.the stove uses less than 6 amps total while running too which makes you wonder but im of the theory that a larger breaker shows a smaller "percentage" of draw which may be what allows the GFI to stay active. why? again i dunno, just seems to work on a larger breaker when it wont on a smaller one (amp wise)
    kinsmanstoves likes this.
  7. dhall28

    dhall28 Member

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    is this when the breaker is 20 amp / gfci breaker in one, and/or standard 20 amp breaker feeding a gfci outlet?
  8. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    just re-read the OP's post, may actually be a bad igniter seeing as he "tapped it against the stove" and it tripped, may be the igniter is not properly insulated inside of the outer shell of the cartridge allowing "arcing" to ground. stove chassis is grounded through the cord into the GFI igniter is not isolated from the chassis so an arc ground fault would trip it 380 is a hot igniter craves a fair amount of current. notice the igniter was replaced and unit was still running.

    professional curiosity makes me hope the OP responds to the thread to let us (me) know whats up since the work was done
  9. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    standard breaker feeding gfi outlet. same outlet would trip on 15 not on 20, tried several of both breakers same result with 3 stoves
  10. dhall28

    dhall28 Member

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    yes i did tap it against the side of the stove as a test because the body is grounded but with 1.1 million ohms resistance between case and resistive element, using ohms law, 120v gfci trip at .005 amps it shouldn't have been enough of a leak to trip gfci if im going about this correctly. and it wasn't only the igniter, the unit had been running for months with no problems at all, installed new auger motor control board first time gfci was tripping and it fixed it for another 2 or 3 weeks until the igniter started acting up which was tuesday morning and haven't heard back from customer since
  11. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    yeah, your numbers are right, shouldn't have tripped but it did, makes me wonder if the casing of the igniter was not insulated properly as i said above , just the act of tapping it on the hull might have triggered it, this may have played a part in the original issue when the board was replaced, intermittent grounds are fickle bastardz, even a slight movement of a wire connected to the igniter might have created enough of a gap so as to not trip the fault.

    weird case ya got there bro
  12. dhall28

    dhall28 Member

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    that they are for sure, intermittent grounds, voltage drops, and other electrical issues can be tricky but if it was too easy i guess then everyone could do it and i'd be out of a job.
    stoveguy2esw likes this.
  13. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    I had to replace the GFCI outlet with a standard outlet in my house.

    Eric
  14. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Some motors will trip a GFI, even if nothing is wrong. Nature of the beast, I guess.

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