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  1. #1
    J Lauffer is offline Hot Rolled
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    Feb 2004
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    Has anyone else had this happen? My wife and I have always plugged our cell phones into kitchen outlets to charge since it is conveninet to leave the phones on the counter while charging. The last 2 sets of phones we had never did this, but the chargers that came with our current phones will often trip the GFCI at some point during charging. It has also happened if we turn the phone on or off while charging. It has done this on 2 different GFCI circuits, so I don't think it's a faulty GFCI, but who knows.

    Just wondering if I'm the only one...

    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Maryland
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    Hi John,

    GFCIs are very sensitive devices. They work by comparing the current flowing in the two lines. If the values are different, the GFCI trips. It's possible that your charger generates noise of a type which unbalances the lines briefly, but long enough to trip the GFCI. Just speculation.

    Modern switching power supplies (ala your chargers) are very complex devices. GFCIs were designed to deal with simple things like lights and hand drills.

  3. #3
    dsergison is offline Diamond
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    Oct 2003
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    East Peoria, IL, USA
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    gfci senses a different current in the two legs and figures there must be a short to ground and trips.

    maybe the cell phones, while searching for a tower are actually pulling just enough power (and dumping it into the air) that it trips the gfci same as if it was dumping it into say the kitchen sink if you wer to knock it into the dishwater?

    neat.

  4. #4
    J Lauffer is offline Hot Rolled
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    Believe me, I know how sensitive GFCIs can be. As VFDs become more and more common in residential applications, the number of tech support calls I get concerning GFCIs tripping is on the rise. I just find it odd that a device that is meant to be plugged into a residential outlet would trip it.

    I know my treadmill specifically said not to use a GFCI, and sure enough it tripped it when I tried.

    I would just feel a little better if someone else has experienced the same thing. Maybe I'll replace the GFCIs anyway and see if that changes anything.

    maybe the cell phones, while searching for a tower...
    It has also happened with the phone off.

    John

  5. #5
    AllanD is offline Plastic
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    Sep 2004
    Location
    Calgary, AB
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    27

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    I have a switching power supply for my laptop that always trips the GFI breaker. There must be something about the high frequency noise from switching supplies that ground fault detectors don't like.

    Allan

  6. #6
    Mike W is offline Stainless
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    Jan 2003
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    Central Kali.
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    You might try it with an adapter so the ground pin is not connected.

  7. #7
    JL Sargent is offline Titanium
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    Feb 2005
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    Birmingham, AL
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    It has also happened with the phone off.
    Interestingly that doesnt seem to matter. I suspect phone can talk all by itself if signal is present and battery has power. When my mobile phone transmits I can hear digital tones on my nearby corded phone during a conversation. Just a short little "here I am" most of the time it seems. That way they can generally track anybody they want just by their mobile phone.

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