Gfci keeps tripping - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
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Gfci keeps tripping

I was doing some maintenance on my sunsun 304b and when I went to plug it back in the gfci tripped. I have been running this filter on a power strip ( basic computer strip ) with lights, skimmer, co2 and the canister. It was even tripping when just the canister was plugged in (tried to see if I was all of a sudden over loading the circuit). I have been running this setup for two years or so on this circuit. Any ideas?

Not sure if in anyway related but let me add that when I was doing the maintenance a leak formed on the sunsun and I had just put it back together (started leaking a lot on the secondary secure clip sides once air was purged and pressure built, seems like a bad o-ring)

Let me know what y'all think!?!


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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 04:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willcooper View Post
I was doing some maintenance on my sunsun 304b and when I went to plug it back in the gfci tripped. I have been running this filter on a power strip ( basic computer strip ) with lights, skimmer, co2 and the canister. It was even tripping when just the canister was plugged in (tried to see if I was all of a sudden over loading the circuit). I have been running this setup for two years or so on this circuit. Any ideas?

Not sure if in anyway related but let me add that when I was doing the maintenance a leak formed on the sunsun and I had just put it back together (started leaking a lot on the secondary secure clip sides once air was purged and pressure built, seems like a bad o-ring)

Let me know what y'all think!?!


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You could have a bad connection somewhere especially if water got where it should not. May of rusted somewhere. My guess why it's shorting your circuit.


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 04:08 AM
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Doesn't take much to trip them. I was working on a circuit after the switch changing it to a plug with power on but the switch off and with just sweaty hands touching the wires it tripped.

Is your GFI a breaker, outlet, or in the power strip?

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 04:15 AM
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Something paired with the sun-sun filter is passing some electricity when it shouldn't. Try unplugging everything but the Sun Sun, and then plug in, (one at a time, then unplug..) each of the other items separately until it trips the ground fault detector. It's not uncommon to have an older powerhead start leaking voltage into the tank, but if this is new maybe they'll replace it on warranty Obviously don't be working in the tank with your hands while testing this.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 04:55 AM Thread Starter
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Gfci keeps tripping

I tried every combo of items plugged in and even with just the sunsun it trips. It is a gfci outlet. I have three gfci outlets in the room but only one is practical to use. Could something have happened while the sunsun leaked and something in the sunsun itself got messed up? The leak seams to be coming straight from where I now see loose o-ring on the head and it appears to leak directly out of the unit but there is quite a bit of water that drains from the head now. A bit more than before but that could just be my mind playing tricks on me.

Update: there are water droplets on the uv bulb itself. Assuming this could be a cause of tripping. Taking apart the head now to see how much water got in.

Update: head opened; everything was wet. The wires for the uv indicator light and all that were exposed to water. Still don't get how this happened in the first place. There was no leak, I did maintenance on the filter, put the head back on and it started leaking a lot. Either the outer ring failed the moment I put the canister back together or I messed it up in some way and then with me tinkering trying to fix the leak I must have been letting water into the main head somehow. Still don't get how


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Last edited by Willcooper; 07-15-2017 at 08:05 AM.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 11:16 AM
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I think it's time for a new filter to be honest. In the meantime, I would find a way to keep your filter media damp, but exposed to oxygen. Your bb can die if left in an anaerobic environment (like a non-running filter) for too long.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 08:13 PM
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Hi Willcooper,

I could be the SunSun filter or it could be the GCFI. GCFI 'breakers' do go bad, they can also become 'weaker' over time (the more often they are tripped the less grounding required to trip them the next time). Try running the filter on one of the other GCFI outlets, does it cause the new outlet to trip? If so then suspect the SunSun - if not then suspect the GCFI. When you experienced the leak water could have made its way into the motor housing area (they are not sealed) and that could be the cause of the grounding. Possibly if the motor housing is wet inside when it drys up the grounding will disappear.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Gfci keeps tripping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi Willcooper,



I could be the SunSun filter or it could be the GCFI. GCFI 'breakers' do go bad, they can also become 'weaker' over time (the more often they are tripped the less grounding required to trip them the next time). Try running the filter on one of the other GCFI outlets, does it cause the new outlet to trip? If so then suspect the SunSun - if not then suspect the GCFI. When you experienced the leak water could have made its way into the motor housing area (they are not sealed) and that could be the cause of the grounding. Possibly if the motor housing is wet inside when it drys up the grounding will disappear.


Here's hoping you are exactly right. I tried it on a different gfci and it was the same thing. I completely took the head apart and wiped away all the water and am letting it dry. I have a new o ring coming so I will replace that and see if it works.
@jellopuddinpop I put the media into the tank itself directly under the aquaclear input and I put some more into the filter itself.


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 11:37 PM
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Just throwing this in there because it happened to us. I had been doing some "indoor gardening" and had one of my power strips plugged into a GFI. It started to trip at random times and I couldn't figure out why. Actually paid an electrician to come out and he discovered I only had one big GFI circuit in the house including the outdoor plugs on the patio... the ones with the spring covers. Well my ex had left one of the covers opened and every time it rained the GFI would pop. Closed cover, problem solved.

Good luck with your issue.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-16-2017, 03:46 PM
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A side note get yourself a tube of plumbers silicone grease and anytime you take anything apart that has seals and o rings wipe a little lube on them before putting them back together.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-16-2017, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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@estebancolberto it wouldn't be surprising if we had some weird wiring like that with how this house was put together.
@Letsfish I was going to use petroleum jelly as I'm to understand it should last with the water but I'm no expert in that regard


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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-16-2017, 09:34 PM
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Hi Willcooper,

I would not recommend petroleum jelly for two reasons; it is petroleum based and in theory stable in water I would be concerned about a surface film and it's effect on oxygen /CO2 transfer. Also it can cause issues with certain types of rubber causing 'melting' and cracking......find some silicone grease and play it safe.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi Willcooper,

I would not recommend petroleum jelly for two reasons; it is petroleum based and in theory stable in water I would be concerned about a surface film and it's effect on oxygen /CO2 transfer. Also it can cause issues with certain types of rubber causing 'melting' and cracking......find some silicone grease and play it safe.
Petroleum jelly is perfectly safe for use on o-rings and other seals on aquarium equipment. I've been using it for decades as have many others here.

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 06:49 PM
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Hi @GraphicGr8s,

I don't disagree with you, that it can be used on some 0-ring and washer materials however it does cause melting an cracking on "certain types" of rubber, since I don't know what type of rubber/material my o-rings are made out of I choose to play it safe and use silicone grease which is what Marineland furnished with my filters several years ago.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 03:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi @GraphicGr8s,

I don't disagree with you, that it can be used on some 0-ring and washer materials however it does cause melting an cracking on "certain types" of rubber, since I don't know what type of rubber/material my o-rings are made out of I choose to play it safe and use silicone grease which is what Marineland furnished with my filters several years ago.
If you have the grease then I'd use it too.
I keep large jars of PJ for redoing my fishing reels so it's always handy.

Less refined petroleum products do in fact swell rubber. The PJ however has never done that to anything I've used it on over the last 45 years.

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
Once you get rid of integrity the rest is a piece of cake.
Here's to our wives and sweethearts - may they never meet.
If you agreed with me we'd both be right.
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