Power washer GFCI plug

Location
northern illinois
Occupation
supervising electrician
Let me start by saying I am a City of Chicago Licensed Electrical contractor.

With the "shelter in place" going on, I seem to have a lot of time on my hands. Went to use the "cheapo" power washer this weekend, and Could not get the GFCI plug on it to stay set. It got wet once and has been troublesome since.

So here is my question, The cord is a 2 wire cord, and the GFCI is 2 wire polarized. I can't quite "wrap my head around" how this setup works. Anyone got any ideas? I have a couple new in box 3 prong GFCI plugs, think one of those would work?

Hate to throw the darn thing out, and I know a standard plug will void the UL listing (even though all the outdoor recept here are GFCI (I think we know who wired this place)

Any ideas?


Howard
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Sounds like the equipment has no metal parts as there is no equipment grounding conductor. If that is the case there appears to be an issue with the motor. I would cut off the gfci on the cord and use another cord cap and see what happens. I wouldn't do this for a customer but if all outlets are gfci protected then I don't see an issue. My guess is that gfci is bad or it will probably trip the house gfci.
 

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
Location
San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
Before you do that, spray a bunch of WD-40 all over it. There might still be some residual moisture in there, enough to allow tracking. If you don't know, the "WD" in the name stands for "Water Displacer", which is the primary use for the product (it's actually a poor lubricant).
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
Location
Union, KY, USA
Before you do that, spray a bunch of WD-40 all over it. There might still be some residual moisture in there, enough to allow tracking. If you don't know, the "WD" in the name stands for "Water Displacer", which is the primary use for the product (it's actually a poor lubricant).
...and (legend tells us) the '40' is because versions 1-39 didn't work! Marketing types didn't get their hands on the name, or we'd have a name like "SuperDry."
 

Todd0x1

Senior Member
Location
CA
I had the same thing happen. FYI replacement GFCI plugs are available, not sure on what that would do legal wise. On mine, (knowing what I am doing and assuming all risks and I am the only one with access to or using the machine) I was in a hurry so I replaced the defective GFCI plug with a normal one and keep that plugged into a portable gfci.
 
Location
northern illinois
Occupation
supervising electrician
Just to report in ........ the GFCI plug says "rainproof".... yet almost a cup of water drained out of it..... Going to let it dry out and see what happens, but I am betting it is shot.... I do have a new 3 prong version which I plan on replacing the current 2 prong one with.

I will report in as soon as I have done further testing


howard
 
Location
northern illinois
Occupation
supervising electrician
Good one Larry! :)

It was the plug that was bad.... would even set with nothing connected to it (after letting it dry out in the house for almost a week)

I promise I wont let the dingbat leave the unit on the patio when it isnt in use again!

Thanks to all! :)
 
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