Originally Posted by boykjo
whoa there..... Lets find out whats wrong before making a decision...... GFI's will trip due to long extension chords
The GFI has a sensor inside that detects changes in current to the appliance that is connected to it (such as a toaster or blow dryer) by comparing the current flow to the appliance and the current flow from the appliance. If there is a potentially dangerous drop off in the current, then the GFI turns off all power by tripping a relay within it in less than one second. If a GFI turns off your appliance then you will need to unplug it, press the reset button and everything should be back to normal. A GFI outlet has two buttons:a test button and a reset button.
If a problem persists or you think something may be wrong with the electrical system in your home, then make sure to call an experienced electrician. If there is a serious problem with the affected circuit and the GFI will not reset, this is a sure sign to call an electrician to help diagnose the problem. In short: GFI outlets turn the power off before a shock can occur so you wont get shocked.
I would not say I am the expert on this topic. Far from it, I am no more than a weekend tinkerer. Just thinking out loud here, and trying to learn something.
I can be wrong about this. Assuming the extension cord is good, itself is not leaking to the ground wire. And an electrical device is plugged into it, wouldn’t the incoming and outgoing current always be equal and balanced by definition, no matter how long the cord is? Therefore can it cause the tripping of the DFCI outlet?
Perhaps the following conditions can cause a good extension cord to trip the GFCI outlet, may be more, I am not sure:
1. An electrical storm can induce electric charges in anything conductive, including a long extension cord.
2. The electrical device plugged in has inside an inductive load (motor, transformer, etc) that can backflow an magnetically induced current during start up and shutting off of the coils.
3. The electrical device has inside an capacitive load (induction motor start capacitor, etc) that can backflow stored electric current during start up and shutting off of the capacitor. Those who have done video work knows there can be enough power left in the fly-back transformer to kill you even the unit it totally unplugged from the outlet.
4. The heating element can generate a magnetic field and induces electric current in metallic objects near it similar to a transformer. or an induction cook top.
5. Someone in the area is using Walkie-Talkies. You are not allowed to transmit near a blasting zone, for instance. I wonder about those wireless thermometers. If the wave length of transmission is a multiple of the extension cord length, 1/4 wave, 1/2 wave, full wave, etc. a weak current or "Standing Wave" can be induced by resonance because the cord will act as an antenna. All you need is a few milli-amps to trip a GFCI outlet.
In any case, it is very important to be safe. Wear rubber gloves and rubber shoes and have the equipment thoroughly tested. Never play with electric power unless you are absolutely experienced in what you are doing. Never try something new because you just saw a DIY video on youtube.
Edited by dcarch - 9/30/13 at 6:32am