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#66694 - 06/14/06 06:21 PM Two way radio trips GFCI
drillman Offline
Member
Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 97
Loc: Somewhere in Texas
A coworker showed me this today.

There was a GFCI in a bathroom and when he keyed his radio it tripped the GFCI. He reset it and did it again.

Nothing plugged into the GFCI.

This is a new one on me.

Can anyone explain this?

Thanks
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#66695 - 06/14/06 06:33 PM Re: Two way radio trips GFCI
NJwirenut Offline
Member
Registered: 09/15/01
Posts: 806
Loc: Bergen County, NJ
The RF signal from the transmitter is getting picked up by the wiring, and is being interpreted by the GFCI as a current imbalance.

A different make of GFCI might fix the problem. El Cheapo GFCIs often omit "needless" filtering components like bypass capacitors. RF pickup can be a problem with cheap residential wiring materials (romex and plastic boxes), which provide no RF shielding compared to AC/MC cable or conduit and metal boxes.
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#66696 - 06/14/06 06:33 PM Re: Two way radio trips GFCI
Trumpy Offline


Member
Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8211
Loc: SI,New Zealand
It's caused by the RF currents from the 2-way radio transmitter.
It induces a current in the GFCI sensor coil, tripping the internal relay.

{Oops, we must have posted at the same time Kenny}

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 06-14-2006).]
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#66697 - 06/14/06 07:10 PM Re: Two way radio trips GFCI
JCooper Offline
Member
Registered: 12/30/02
Posts: 228
Loc: Kendall Park, NJ USA
In the town I am a firefighter in we had the same problem in a new apartment complex that was being built, but when we keyed up on one channel the gfi would pop and let its smoke out. It then was dead, could not be reset. The GC ended up replacing most of the gfci's in the complex.
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#66698 - 06/14/06 11:25 PM Re: Two way radio trips GFCI
e57 Offline
Member
Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2876
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Imagine what it does when you talk into it....
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Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
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#66699 - 06/15/06 06:21 AM Re: Two way radio trips GFCI
Mike Wescoatt Offline
Member
Registered: 06/17/01
Posts: 161
Loc: Cedar City, Utah
We had a system setup to feed power to within the 12' vertical area above a pool so we installed a bunch of GFCI's in a Hoffman box. Our radios would trip all at once. We traded out one of the boxes for a RFI shielded box and they still tripped, presumably from the unshielded wiring that left the box. Our fix was to post a sign not to key radio within 5' of the box.

The guys were wondering if the "radio key" method meets the OSHA GFCI testing requirements. It was easier than testing hundreds of GFCI's each month... (Still had them test by the pushbutton)
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Mike Wescoatt
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#66700 - 06/15/06 02:07 PM Re: Two way radio trips GFCI
Celtic Offline
Member
Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 361
Loc: NJ
[quote]The guys were wondering if the "radio key" method meets the OSHA GFCI testing requirements. It was easier than testing hundreds of GFCI's each month... (Still had them test by the pushbutton)[/quote

...but then who resets them all?

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#66701 - 06/15/06 03:30 PM Re: Two way radio trips GFCI
Roger Offline
Member
Registered: 05/18/02
Posts: 1716
Loc: N.C.
If only a device was on the market that when keyed would kill all cell phones in a 1000 sq ft area.

I would buy one.

Roger
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#66702 - 06/15/06 04:34 PM Re: Two way radio trips GFCI
Rewired Offline
Member
Registered: 01/01/06
Posts: 558
Loc: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Try keying your radio beside your computer monitor or near a regular am / fm radio and see what it does mine throws the screen all crazy and maked the radio emit some funny sounds... I am going to try keying up near a GFI just for " Ha Ha's" amd see what happens...

Roger: if such a device were availible ( or buildable) you would see me with one too!

A.D
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#66703 - 06/15/06 04:47 PM Re: Two way radio trips GFCI
e57 Offline
Member
Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2876
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Gent's they are available, and were slated to be installed in movie theaters until the lawyers of the phone companies got involved. They are currently in use in Iraq..... (To thwart remote bombs)
http://www.cellantenna.com/CJAM/cjam_1000.htm
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Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
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