ECB tripping GFCI

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by lutznutz, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. lutznutz

    lutznutz Fire Starter

    Hey guys,

    I've got a ECB, which has worked well up until the middle of the night last night. Somehow, it tripped the GFCI outlet on the porch, when it hasn't done that ever.

    The porch circuit is a 20 amp, and I know it's not overloaded. The only thing on this circuit is a ceiling fan, two porch lights, and a few outdoor outlets, one of which I was using last night.

    Anyway, has anyone seen this before? I didn't setup the smoker any different than I have before.

    I've plugged the element back in after resetting the GFCI, and it seems to heat OK now, but I have no idea when it tripped overnight so I don't know if it's a time thing or what caused it to trip.

    The only precaution I can think of is that I'm going to use a power outage alarm, like we have on the garage fridge, the next time I smoke.
  2. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Were you using an extension cord? If so that could cause your outlet to trip.
  3. audioxtremes

    audioxtremes Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    GFCI's are very sensitive. They trip from having more power going out than coming back as simple as I can put it. Nothing to worry about if it's still working. GFCI's can go bad easily and trip alot.
  4. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Are your weather conditions damp? That will do it around here. Dry off the plug and keep smoking
  5. lutznutz

    lutznutz Fire Starter

    thanks all. There was no extension cord. The smoker is under our back porch awning. It wasn't exceptionally dry last night. It did sprinkle during the day. So, it was about as dry as it normally is this time of year, but like I said it never gets rained on directly or indirectly unless there's rain and wind.
  6. ecodork

    ecodork Fire Starter

    I had similar probs with my old ECB recently. Except I was using an extension cord and the circuit had the beer fridge and all the bathroom plugs. Way too easy to overload and would trip like crazy in even moderate humidity/wind.

    A new heating element helped a bit but not really. Was never a prob in 3 other houses we've lived in over the past 10 years. My uncle's been using an ECB for ages and goes through an element about every year or so but he lives in coastal FL.

    About all I can think/suggest would be to try a new element and/or put it on (or install) a totally dedicated outdoor circuit/plug. I finally gave up and got a propane powered cabinet style smoker (king kooker - kinda like a GOSM) figuring that the cost of installing a dedicated plug would throw off any savings in sticking with the ECB.

    Good luck.
  7. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    This is 99.9% your problem source. Outdoors, in the environment you described, you betcha. Moisture manages to creep into some of the weirdest places.

    I make a living (electrician) chasing down these type of problems, amongst other things (in an Oil Refinery) and that's all you've got, allowing for the .1% something else.

    A good GFI will trip if you look at it cross-eyed. Be glad, you want it to for that one time when there really is a problem. Definitely put on the power out alarm.

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