Do Today's Siemens GFCI Breakers Nuisance Trip Less Than The Ones made 24 Years Ago?

Ravenvalor

Senior Member
My electrical engineer friend said that today's GFCIs are supposed to nuisance trip less than the ones made a couple of decades ago. Has anyone on this forum noticed a difference? Is there a tester on the market that will test whether or not a breaker is highly likely to nuisance trip or not?

Thank you for the help.
 

AC\DC

Senior Member
Location
Florence,Oregon,Lane
Occupation
EC
I have never had a gfci nuisance trip. It’s always been something wrong that caused it.
I would think the “nuisance” people are talking about, would be from long distance wrong and issue with capacitive coupling.
 

tom baker

First Chief Moderator
Staff member
Yes. UL standards changed perhaps 15 years ago to make less subject to EM radiation like from walkie talkies, and few other issues. The latest GFCIs self test and have an indicator light that turns on or off if the GFCI quits working
For the recpt types the original versions have a circuit board that absorbed moisture.
And I suspect mfg is better today, more automated mfg and less hand assembly.
But as AC/DC pointed out if a GFCI trips its doing its job
Leviton used to make a GFCI tester that had a dial for various amounts of fault current. If you dialed in 2 mA and it tripped you had 3-4 mA of leakage somewhere. I quit using it as all the GFCIs I had in pump stations and well houses never tripped. I once had some WP glass globe lights mounted on a vault ceiling, they filled up with water but the GFCI never tripped,(all PVC no leakage to ground).
The one GFCI I had that nuisance tripped was on small 1/8 hp submersible pump someone had spliced the cable and the casing filled with water, it was a dead short. But it was a "bad GFCI".
And please remember the only way to test a GFCI is its button. The plug in testers are not the mfg recommended method
 

jaggedben

Senior Member
Location
Northern California
Occupation
Solar and Energy Storage Installer
...
And please remember the only way to test a GFCI is its button. The plug in testers are not the mfg recommended method
Because they might read a false positive? (suggest GFCI works when it might not?) If the GFCI fails to trip with those then that's definitely a sign something is bad, right?
 

winnie

Senior Member
Location
Springfield, MA, USA
Occupation
Electric motor research
There are two ways a perfectly functional GFCI can fail an external test.

1) If the external test unit depends upon the ground pin to simulate a fault, and the GFCI is intentionally protecting a circuit with no equipment ground, then you will get a false failure.

2) if the external test unit produces a proper fault current that falls below the inverse time curve of the GFCI, and the test operator doesn't hold the button long enough, you will get a false failure.

Jon
 

Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
Fair point, although the type of tester I had in mind would have told me that already.
Don't know if I'd trust that HF tester, seen too many issue with those. Recently a HO was using one and called me in a panic to investigate what tester said was open neutrals multiple locations. They even had the POCO come out to check things and they said it must be internal issue. Got there and after checking panel for potential open neutral and that with the HO statement that nothing stopped working, found out he had been using one of those HF testers. Checked the outlets with my higher end "cheater" tester and confirming against my meter, my "cheater" showed circuit wireing was all proper and functional. Then proceeded to side by side test using my tester and his tester, his tester was showing every receptacle with Open/N. Positive side was there wasn't really an issue with any neutral. Negative side (for HO) was this service call was a 45 minute drive and an hour on sight charge. Another positive was that the HO wants me to come back to install a backyard receptacle, did walk through with him about what he wanted while his wife went through the rest of house with my "cheater" just to ease her self after his tester got them both worried. (Boy the conversation after I left? Not sure I would want to be him.)
 

Another C10

Electrical Contractor 1987 - present
Location
Southern Cal
Occupation
Electrician NEC 2020
I made the mistake not too long ago of testing a GFI with my plug tester while holding the device with one, hit the test button and ... bbzzt.

I suppose I does bleed off the voltage onto the ground, oh yeah no ground wire attached other than me.

Best lesson I suppose on proving a GFI receptacle doesn't trip without a ground wire or "path" attached.

I'm fine, just a little more relaxed than before.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Retired Electrical Contractor
I was told by an engineer for Siemens that the reason their breakers work on Hayward pool pumps is because they are set at the higher end of the spectrum then other brands (7 ma) . Imo, there must be more to it then that but it is true that Siemens Gfci breakers are the only ones that will hold on Hayward pumps.
 

retirede

Senior Member
Location
Illinois
I was told by an engineer for Siemens that the reason their breakers work on Hayward pool pumps is because they are set at the higher end of the spectrum then other brands (7 ma) . Imo, there must be more to it then that but it is true that Siemens Gfci breakers are the only ones that will hold on Hayward pumps.

I thought it was Pentair, not Hayward, but my memory ain’t what it used to be!
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Retired Electrical Contractor
I thought it was Pentair, not Hayward, but my memory ain’t what it used to be!
I believe you are correct. I think the hayward pumps also need siemens

 

xformer

Senior Member
Location
Dallas, Tx
Occupation
Master Electrician
I have never had a gfci nuisance trip. It’s always been something wrong that caused it.
I would think the “nuisance” people are talking about, would be from long distance wrong and issue with capacitive coupling.
Also older utilization equipment that discharged capacitors through neutral. 🙂
 
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