Help: de-icer tripping gfi

Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
5
Reaction score
3
Country
We’re afraid we may lose all our fish and frogs. Our 250 gal pond has a K&H 250 watt Perfect Climate Deluxe pond de-icer that is tripping three different gfi receptacles. Ice has formed totally around it and we fear losing all fish & frogs. This is the 2nd de icer that this company has sent us. Results the same. Anyone know of one that really works?
 
A

Advertising

brokensword

Not all those who wander are lost
Joined
Jun 22, 2011
Messages
821
Reaction score
645
Location
Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
sounds like you're using the deicer on a line that can't handle the extra load. Maybe use an extension cord and plug it into a receptacle that is underused/capable? You'll prob need a heavy duty extension cord, 14 ga minimum.

Or, you're using a gfci that is rated too low for your use. If the gfci is rated to blow at 10 amps and you're pulling more, well, that's going to happen. A typical receptacle should handle 15 (before the fuse or breaker blows). That said, it is possible your deicer is malfunctioning and pulling more than it should. See if you can check the specs. If it shows less than your gfci cut off, then I'd suspect your deicer is the problem because it shouldn't blow. Also, any moisture around the gfci will also cause it to reset. If you try the extension cord and all is well, suspect the gfci.

Generally speaking, the deicer is just a heat element. Electricity flows, heat is created, voila, job done. When the deicer doesn't work, there's no heat. So, my bet is if you circumvent the gfci, you'll get the deicer to run properly.


hmm, just re-read your post; 3 different gfci, huh? Could still be the deicer is drawing too much relative to the cut-off. Try circumventing and see if you lose a house fuse/circuit breaker. If so, definitely the unit(s) aren't compatible. I still think it's the gfci limiting that is fouling up your system, though.
 
Last edited:
A

Advertising

brokensword

Not all those who wander are lost
Joined
Jun 22, 2011
Messages
821
Reaction score
645
Location
Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
btw, I use a cattle trough heater only in emergencies, to create a hole in the ice, and have never had the gfci trip. Nothing fancy to mine, though. And all the above said, consider a pond breather for the future as it will keep the hole open and not use a lot of electricity doing so. Your pond being so small does invite more winter problems and maybe heat is the only way to keep it from icing solid.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2013
Messages
3,012
Reaction score
2,049
Location
North East Ohio-Zone 5
Country
I have an above ground 220 gallon pond. I am using a 1500 W stock tank heater. It is 11 degrees right now outside (single digits at night) and the water is 49 degrees (was just outside checking it) the pond is also covered with polycarbonate roofing panels.

In the past I had a de-icer/heater that was tripping the system. It ended up being the heater went bad. Once we replaced it there was no more problems.
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,396
Reaction score
14,418
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
Could be that you pond heater could be defective also and could raise a shock hazard for you and your fish
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2016
Messages
661
Reaction score
363
Location
NJ
Hardiness Zone
6a
Country
Had the same problem, first was an outlet closest to the pond, not GCFI and shared with some basement outlets. Kept on tripping the breaker when the treadmill was used. Then relocated to a GCFI for front accent lights. Worked fine even when the lights came on, but as the weather got colder and the deicer switched on and off more frequently (mine is 1500 watts), it would trip and I needed to go out and reset. Got tired of the daily routine so this weekend, pulled a long extension cord from the garage which are dedicated to power tools and seems to be fine for 3 days. If I need to use tools, I can unplug from a relatively warm garage as needed. 250 watts is not a big draw, is your circuit is not the problem, check the outlet.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2014
Messages
370
Reaction score
302
Location
Chicago suburbs
Hardiness Zone
5a/5b
I would double-check the GFI outlet to make sure the outlet itself isn't bad. One of ours went bad a couple weeks ago... I thought our de-icer had died, but not so--it worked with an extension cord to the outlet on the wall of the house.
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,396
Reaction score
14,418
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
Check the breaker also because after awhile they go bad .I even had a wire to one of my breakers come loose .Electrician found it and had to pull breaker and put it back on .I have had to do it also .He told me some of the times that happens after thunder storms and power outages cause a surge and loosening the wire .
 
Joined
May 10, 2018
Messages
238
Reaction score
237
Location
Ely Mn
Hardiness Zone
3b
Country
Ok, I’ll chime in being an electrician. First off, over current does not trip a gfi. It trips a fuse a breaker. Inside a gfi is a little gizmo called a CT or current transformer. It measures the amount of potential difference in current between hot and neutral. If something is leaking to ground (example bad winding in a motor) the difference in potential will grow. The gfi CT sees this and trips at a predetermined mV rating. If you are tripping multiple GFIs then you have an equipment or feeder issue. GFIs are sensitive and do fail but sounds like it’s doing its job to the letter. Check your feeder (supply feeding the equipment and the heater itself. Something somewhere is leaking to ground. Not enough fault current to trip a breaker however. I could go on but I’m a windbag and the day is short.
Peace, Sparky
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2017
Messages
66
Reaction score
93
Location
SE Wisconsin
Hardiness Zone
5
Country
My gfi started tripping this morning. When I reset it, it trips again in about 10 seconds. I started unplugging one plug at a time and found it was the pump tripping it. The ionizer, aerator, sump pump and transformer are all okay. Any thoughts on what to check on the pump? Could something have been sucked up into the intake like a big frog?
 
A

Advertising

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top