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The GFCI that my washing machine is plugged into keeps tripping.

It's not 100% every time...
The GFCI that my washing machine is plugged into keeps tripping. It's not 100% every time, but sometimes, it just trips and I have to plug the washer into another outlet, because the GFCI just doesn't cooperate. When I say it's not 100% every time, sometimes, the washer runs just fine, with no problem, and sometimes, it just doesn't.

I have no experience, so I'm hoping this is an easy fix. I don't know if the problem is in the wires from my washer, or if it's the outlet itself. (also, my house was built in 1926, and I don't know when the wiring was updated.)

ANY help will be much appreciated.
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
6/22/2013
AssuredElectrical
AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,241
Experience: Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
Verified

AssuredElectrical :

Welcome. My name is XXXXX XXXXX would be glad to assist.

AssuredElectrical :

Do you know everything that may be on the circuit with the GFCI?

AssuredElectrical :

In other words, when the GFCI trips, can you find any other receptacles that also go
"off" anywhere in the home? Or any lights?

AssuredElectrical :

Are you comfortable pulling the GFCI from the wall to look at the wires connected?

AssuredElectrical :

If you can, do a test. Push the little "test" button the face of the GFCI. Then take a lamp or small appliance around and check all the receptacles to see if any others are OFF. Also, check lights in rooms. If you find anything OFF, make a note and then push the "reset " button the GFCI. Post that information when you are back on line and we will work from that point, thanks

Customer:

It seems to only be that receptacle. I unplugged the washer, reset the GFCI and plugged a lamp in and it worked. Then I plugged the washer back in and it tripped. It's not that it trips when I start a load of laundry, it trips as soon as I plug the washer in. I don't feel comfortable with taking the receptacle apart. I can, however, and have replaced the wiring from the washer. I have changed out the wires from my washer, from one house to another, and then back again. Do you think it's possible that the problem is in that part? I can take it apart, but unless it's obvious that a wire has come loose, I'm not sure if I will know what I'm looking for.

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, thank you for the information. You had posted earlier, that when the washer trips it, you can plug the washer in another location and it works fine to finish washing.

AssuredElectrical :

That leads me to believe that the wires have come loose in the GFCI.

AssuredElectrical :

This is what I suggest at the moment.

AssuredElectrical :

1. Remove the 2 screws that hold the receptacle to the wall and pull the GFCI away from the wall so you can visually see the wires connected.

AssuredElectrical :

2. Make sure power is off at the breaker or fuse box

AssuredElectrical :

3. Now take your screw driver and tighten all the screws that have wires attached.

AssuredElectrical :

4. See if any are loose when you start and post results.

AssuredElectrical :

5. If you see any signs of discoloration on the screws, that also can cause issues with a GFCI, so the wires may have to be removed and cleaned with some sandpaper or cut and restripped before putting back on the receptacle.

AssuredElectrical :

6. If you are uncomfortable doing any of this, you may want to see if someone you know might assists.

AssuredElectrical :

I believe it is a loose connection or the connection has some corrosion and contact is bad.

AssuredElectrical :

Only takes a little bit of looseness on a GFCI to trip it out.

AssuredElectrical :

Let me know how it goes, thanks

Customer:

I had a friend come over and we literally took the washer apart, testing each wire harness. After putting everything back together, it didn't trip the GFCI anymore.

Customer:

We found a stabler underneath, that was detached, so we put that back together. We shook the washer while it was plugged in, and it tripped the GFCI, so it seem like it has a sensor that trips when something jars too hard, and with that stabler detached, maybe the sensor thought it was still jarred. It seems to be fine now, so I'm going to keep my fingers crossed. Thank you very much for your suggestions, and I wanted to post everything that I did, just in case anybody else might have the same luck as me.

AssuredElectrical : That is interesting. If the problem starts again , I would look at the GFCI wires in the sequence I posted. If it doesnt happen again, I have to say you did on heck of a job on finding the problem, good work!
AssuredElectrical : Let me know if I can help in the future.
Customer:

Thank you very much.

AssuredElectrical
AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,241
Experience: Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
Verified
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AssuredElectrical
AssuredElectrical
AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,241
4,241 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade

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