Why Does My GFI Breaker Keep Tripping?

By Tony Breedlove

GFI (ground fault interrupt) breakers are installed in bathrooms, kitchens and near water faucets. GFI breakers are designed to prevent electrocution by sensing current leaks to ground. However, sometimes GFI circuits can trip when they are not supposed to.

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GFI Breaker in Bathroom

GFI Appliance Use

GFI breakers are designed to work with hair dryers, blenders and other small kitchen appliances. However, they do not work well with some types of appliances such as some motors, treadmills, Uninterrupted Power Supplies, dimmers and fluorescent lights.

Worn Out Breakers

GFI breakers wear out with age and use. If your GFI outlet recently started tripping, it could be going bad.

GFI Wiring

GFI breakers must be wired properly and they must be supplied with a good ground. Also, your GFI breaker amp rating must match the amperage of the house circuit it is connected to.

GFI Sensitivity

GFI breakers are sensitive to other devices on the same circuit. If you have a refrigerator or other device on the same circuit, this can lead to false tripping.

Current

GFI breakers are designed to handle a limited amount of current. If you are drawing too much current through the GFI outlet, this will cause the breaker to trip as well.