Off Topic-GFI breaker failure
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  1. #1
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    Default Off Topic-GFI breaker failure

    I recently replaced a standard 2-pole 20A breaker on my pool pump with a 20A GFI. I had a few nuisance trips and thought I solved it by preventing my booster pump from coming on while the main pump was on. Everything was fine for about a week when it tripped again. I reset it, and still didn't have power. I found it wasn't supplying current even when it was switched on. At that point it also would not trip using the test button. I swapped the old breaker back in and everything's working. Anyone have an explanation why a breaker would fail like this so soon after install? It was an Eaton brand breaker (unless it was a counterfeit).

  2. #2
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    Take it back to where you bought it. Its defective.

    Tom

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    This may seem a little too obvious, but are you sure you don't have a ground fault?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Dickman View Post
    This may seem a little too obvious, but are you sure you don't have a ground fault?
    Easy enough test. Remove the load wire from the breaker and test. Then touch the load terminal with load wire.

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Dickman View Post
    This may seem a little too obvious, but are you sure you don't have a ground fault?
    If I had a ground fault the breaker shouldn't reset to the on position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forestgnome View Post
    If I had a ground fault the breaker shouldn't reset to the on position.
    t might if power was off at the device.

    If you just hit the breaker while power switch is still on, and it resets, starting the motor, then yeah, that suggests no ground fault.

    As for why... stuff happens, and counterfeits DO exist, some better than others.
    I

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    Why?

    When you make a graph of the number of failures vs. the time from when a device is put into use, that graph almost always looks like a "U" shape with the right hand side of the "U" going up gradually instead of sharply. Of course, that right hand side ultimately goes back down as the number of devices left becomes small. So; it starts high, goes down quickly, stays down for the "expedited" life of the device, then goes up slowly, hits a peak, and then slowly back down to zero when all of them have failed.

    Your failure is one of the ones on the left hand side of that "U". In other words, there are always a, hopefully small, number of early failures, probably due to manufacturing defects or errors in the installation in any product. This is why, when reliability is important, parts are "burnt in" for a period of time before being actually used. That "burn in" time gets you past that left hand side of the "U" so that the failure rate will be small for a long period before the right hand side of the "U" kicks in (wear out, old age, etc.)

    It is defective. Take it back and get a new one. And stop worrying about it unless the second new one also fails.

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    Good 'ol bathtub curve.

    Tom


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