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tpoindexter

Should Appliances be plugged into GFI outlets?

20 posts in this topic

Should Appliances be connected to GFI outlets?

 

Having trouble on a dishwasher.

Dishwasher runs and completes rinse only cycle.

But, when I try to run normal wash an the element tries to come on, it trips a GFI outlet up by the cabinets.

I element circuit doesn't show to have a short to ground.

So I just suggested they change out the GFI outlet for a normal outlet like they have everywhere else in the kitchen.

 

i thought larger appliances didn't work well with GFIs. Am I missing something?

 

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Usually it's best not to have major appliances plugged  into gfci outlets,  some manuals specifically advise against it primarily due to nuisance tripping .  Fridges should never be plugged into one but I am not certain about your dishwasher.  If it is built in, I think code requires it to be hardwired and not on the same circuit as your countertop outlets.  Usually the one's I've  seen are hardwired and on a separate circuit. 

Edited by DurhamAppliance

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Usually it's best not to have major appliances plugged  into gfci outlets,  some manuals specifically advise against it primarily due to nuisance tripping .  Fridges should never be plugged into one but I am not certain about your dishwasher.  If it is built in, I think code requires it to be hardwired and not on the same circuit as your countertop outlets.  Usually the one's I've  seen are hardwired and on a separate circuit. 

Bruther Durham has once again shined the light of truth!

 

If it's a newer home, it should be on the same circuit as the disposal, and those should be the only things on that circuit (with dedicated circuit breaker).  

 

If it's an older home all bets are off on how they wired it.  In your case it appears to be "jumped" off the counter outlets circuit which is a bad idea.

 

I lost count on how many times I've gone to an older house that used to have a range hood that was replaced with a MHC and the home owner can't figure out why the breaker blows ONLY in the morning with the toaster, coffee maker, AND the MHC running.............Hmmmm   :rolleyes:

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Since this is such good info for everyone to know, I'm moving this topic to the General Appliances forum and pinning it.

 

But this is not to say that it was wrong in any way to start this topic here.  It's just that it's good general info for everyone.  

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Bruther Durham has once again shined the light of truth!

 

If it's a newer home, it should be on the same circuit as the disposal, and those should be the only things on that circuit (with dedicated circuit breaker).  

 

If it's an older home all bets are off on how they wired it.  In your case it appears to be "jumped" off the counter outlets circuit which is a bad idea.

Funny thing is the garbage disposal ran, so, it was on a different circuit than the dishwasher.

I just happened to check a NON GFI outlet and found it dead. Then, started looking at other outlets and found the GFI outlet tripped. Reset it and the other outlet and dishwasher started to work. It just wouldn't let the element run without tripping the GFI outlet.

Thanks Guys for the input.

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Sounds like all of those outlets are connected in series to one gfci outlet, in effect making them all gfci outlets (just because you don't see the reset button, don't assume the outlet is not on a gfci circuit). If the outlet is near a kitchen counter, in a bathroom, bedroom, garage or outside, with recent construction assume it's on a gfci circuit unless proven otherwise. Furthermore, if any standard outlet is connected to a gfci circuit breaker, it's considered a gfci outlet as well.

Edited by DurhamAppliance

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Well Durham saying it was enough for me alone. I was just looking for more understanding of how and why the gfi would trip.

I know it looks for voltage changes between supply and  neutral. Since a heating element is kinda like a short I was wondering if that is caused it to trip. But, it that were the case seems like toasters, and space heaters would also trip them?

Hell I dunno, just couldn't find a short in the dishwasher.

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MY understanding WAS that GFI'S were for the 2 pronged appliances, Since all others have ground wire & are known to leak they would automatically trip a GFI.?

 

But then what do I know?

Now they are installing GFI's on all the walls away from the sink??  Retards,  like have you seen a mixer with a 20 foot chord?

 

A Plumber once told me I could not use a 1/4 line for D/W needed at least a 3/8 (he belonged to the Texas State Advisory Board on Plumbing.

I said have you seen the restriction washer on that valve?   Slam Deer In The Headlight Look.

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Well Durham saying it was enough for me alone. I was just looking for more understanding of how and why the gfi would trip.

I know it looks for voltage changes between supply and neutral. Since a heating element is kinda like a short I was wondering if that is caused it to trip. But, it that were the case seems like toasters, and space heaters would also trip them?

Hell I dunno, just couldn't find a short in the dishwasher.

Wrong. GFCI measures current. They are designed to trip when there is a difference of current from the hot to neutral also known as a ground fault. Example. Circuit is drawing 5 amps. Neutral should also measure 5 amps. If there is 5 amps on the hot and only 4 on the neutral, GFCI will trip. The current is finding a different path back to its source. Mike Holts GFCI book is a great tool to learn more about GFCIs. Edited by micabay

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This is directly from Mike Holt's website found here...

http://www.mikeholt.com/technical.php?id=grounding/unformatted/GFCIworks&type=u&title=GFCI's+How+They+Work+(01-25-2K)

A GFCI protection device operates on the principle of monitoring the imbalanced of current between the circuits ungrounded (hot) and grounded (neutral) conductor. An interesting point about these devices is that despite their name - they will operate on a circuitwithout a ground. In a typical 2-wire circuit, the current returning to the power supply will be equal to the current leaving the power supply (except for some small leakage). If the difference between the current leaving and returning through the current transformer of the GFCI protection device exceeds 5 mA (+ - 1 mA), the solid-state circuitry opens the switching contacts and de-energizes the circuit (Figure 1).

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The main problem with a fridge on a GFI is there are bare terminals on things like the defrost heater which, when moist, can find a (leakage current) path to ground causing the GFI to trip. Probably the same with dishwashers. 

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The unique problem with refrigerators on a GFCI is the motor windings in the hermetic compressor housing. As the compressor ages, the varnish insulation on the motor windings begins to break down with heat and age. The oil inside the compressor completes the path from the motor windings to the compressor case, which is grounded. This path is very high resistance at first and can only be picked up using a megger. GFCIs will trip if the difference between hot and neutral current is as small as on the micro amp scale. This is why most older refrigerators will trip a GFCI but it doesn't necessarily mean there's anything wrong or unsafe with the fridge.

If and when the winding insulation breaks down even more, the path to ground becomes lower resistance, allowing more current to flow. This extra current can usually be measured with an amp meter and also increases the heat in the compressor, which can usually be felt. Eventually the compressor will fail from the extra heat load, usually bearing failure causing a hard start compressor.

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Also gas ranges and gas cooktops should not be plugged into GFCI circuit. You are intentionally sending power to ground to lite your burners and if you have a sensitive GFCI it will trip.

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I will say we wired my dishwasher into an outlet above the counter that is part of a gfci circuit and it's never been a problem.

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So count yourself fortunate. Doesn't mean it's right

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I will say we wired my dishwasher into an outlet above the counter that is part of a gfci circuit and it's never been a problem.

What happens if a dishwasher stops? Ya gotta reset it...You can't un-melt your Ice Cream!

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Or unsour your milk...or unvisit the hospital

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Went out the the other day on a call where the remodelers had put the gas stove, the dishwasher and the kitchen counter GFCI all on the same circuit. 

 

I already knew the answer to this question but didn't want to get into "well my electrician said..."  

 

So I called Whirlpool Techline, put the guy on speaker phone with the customer in the room, told him what I saw and he said, "absolutely do not have these appliances on the same circuit and absolutely do not put either one on a GFCI circuit." 

 

For what it's worth Whirlpool/Maytag will explicitly tell you to keep the dishwasher off the GFCI. 

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