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Question Connecting to GFCI 110 shore power tripping GFCI

 

 Paul Bradshaw
(@Paul Bradshaw)
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Joined: 4 months ago
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I recently did a major upgrade to my 2021 Grand Design 5th wheel by adding 4x Lithium batteries, Victron Multiplus II 3000 Inverter/charger, and 800 W of solar.  I also have the Progressive Industry 50 amp EMS.  Everything works wonderfully except one thing:  when I plug into my house 110 outlet with a dogbone as I don't have 30 or 50 amp wiring yet, it will trip the GFCI once the inverter switches on.  This works fine on a non-GFCI circuit.  In this project I fully disconnected the original WFCO converter, moved shore power from going directly to the breaker box, and instead through the EMS then to the Multiplus, and the output of the Multiplus back to the breaker box.  EMS shows E-0 which is all good.  The 12V battery loads in the front of the trailer have a chassis ground which is connected to Multiplus, solar controller, and negative battery line via 4/0 cable;  and then the 120 side of the breaker box has a chassis ground as well but to a different spot.  Basically when I plug in, the EMS does its verification check (click!), then the Inverter does its check (click!), then the GFCI trips right after that.

My main question is should I attempt to disconnect the ground from the breaker box as this may be causing this?  I'm concerned about creating a dangerous situation if I do that.

Insights welcome!


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(@mike)
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Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 111
 

I’ve written about this for RVtravel at least a dozen times, but here’s a good start. For more info search for GFCI on RVtravel… 

https://www.rvtravel.com/rv-electricity-what-is-a-gfci-nuisance-trip/


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 Paul Bradshaw
(@Paul Bradshaw)
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Joined: 4 months ago
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Thanks @mike.  Wow, after reading for 2+ days all that info I'm better educated (I hope).  Lots of great content.  I did find on another forum the following which I believe is more specific to my query:  Do I need to run a ground wire from the A/C ground terminal of my WFCO breaker box to the chassis?  Answer was "Not if you're using an inverter/charger with an internal neutral/ground relay" which my Victron Multiplus II inverter/charger has.  Thus I'll try that next time I'm near my trailer in a few weeks.  I'll also try some of the troubleshooting items to make sure things are wired correctly with the ground and neutral wired correctly, etc..  

PS:  I have a Behringer x32 digital mixer for our MusicFests in CA., and also one at our church.  I'll look up your other content as this can be another challenging area for someone who is a self trained sound engineer.


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 Dennis Wieske
(@Dennis Wieske)
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Joined: 7 months ago
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Hi Paul,

Disconnecting the Chassis Ground from the AC section of your power center is a prescription for a very dangerous situation. (Read Mike's articles on Hot Skin)  Also RV and National codes require an 8AWG wire from the panel board ground to the chassis.

If your GFCI trips did not occur before the upgrade, I would recommend contacting Victron for assistance.


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 Dan Frownfelter
(@Dan Frownfelter)
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Joined: 1 month ago
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Paul - I have almost the same set-up that you do, except for only 400W of solar and have exactly the same problem as you do.  Did you ever get a definitive answer?

All circuits work in all other configurations (30, 50 campgrounds and 30A gen).  Even my 15A non-GFI plug works.

I have read about separating the commons, but have not tried or figured out that yet.


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 Paul Bradshaw
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Joined: 4 months ago
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Hello Dan.

I have not solved this yet.  I was on a 3-week 3,000 mile trip and everything worked fine:  so wonderful having the solar!  However, when plugged into my brother in laws garage with GFCI I tripped the GFCI.  Plugged into non-GFCI and all worked. I used 30 & 50 amp as well and those worked fine.  Like you, I want to try separating the commons so the inverter goes to a separate common, but as that may only be 4' away from the other common not sure how that matters, but will see.  Let me know if you try this out and the results.


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 Dan Frownfelter
(@Dan Frownfelter)
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Joined: 1 month ago
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Thanks much for the reply, Paul.  If anyone else has some ideas, I welcome them.

I put in and have used my system since January, for about 30 days worth of trips.  I've experienced no problems and the Victron and Renogy shunt, dongle and USB sensor readers all seem nominal.  Even the MultiPlus-II operates correctly to compensate from 30A at camps when required for the 2 ACs, water heater and MW.  I've read (but can't seem to re-find) where somebody got the problem to go away by "separating" his common bus bar by cutting it.  I will be looking into how I might be able to do that when we get back below 100 degrees here in Vegas.  To share my level of frustration, a few years ago, for a TT, I put in a 30A service plug at my garage, coupled from the 2x50A GFCI breakers that go to my spa.  While I don't need more than 30A for my 50A 2022 Shasta Phoenix 5r while parked, I would like to use that plug.  I currently have to run an extension cord to another house non-GFCI plug at 15A when prepping for a trip.


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 David C
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Joined: 2 weeks ago
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I am having a similar problem and looking for answers. The only thing I can add is another solution that didn't work. I disconnected the AC distribution PE Ground to chassis as Paul Bradshaw said he was going to attempt and I still had the GFCI external breaker trip.

I have a 2021 GD 28BH with 1000W solar, 3x100AH LIPO4, and a Victron Multiplus II 12/3000/50 2x120V. I Have had the setup for over 6 months and been full time RVing at dozens of campsites and finally had this issue come up with my first GFCI breaker. I had never come across a GFCI until now and never had used one before I installed the Victron.

For me the GFCI doesn't immediately trip and I can't tie it to a single component, I have gone as long as 30 minutes before I get a trip and as short as a few seconds. I am pretty sure that splitting the common won't help since I had the GFCI trip when I only had Port breaker shut and when I only had STBD breakers shut, sorry to get nautical. I also don't know how you could split the common from port and stbd since only one common comes into the panel from the Victron.

In my case I have only had this with 30A and 20A service with GFCI, I have not come across a 50A GFCI breaker yet. Before I read any of these forums, I thought it might be a problem with the 30A to 50A adapter I have.

Has any one reached out to Victron yet for the GFCI tripping problem?


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 David C
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Joined: 2 weeks ago
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SOLVED

If you have a Victron Multiplus and you don't want to trip GFCI breakers, you need to turn off the Ground Relay through the VictronConnect app.

I verified this working but turned the Ground Relay back on after I left the campsite with the GFCI breakers. But now, I know if my only option for external power is through GFCI, then I need to turn off the Ground Relay. I also know that there is no other Ground Fault that I have to worry about in my electrical system.


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 Paul Bradshaw
(@Paul Bradshaw)
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Joined: 4 months ago
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Hello and thanks.  I thought I had tried that, but will try again next time I'm at the rig.  I do have a MultiPlus II 3000 system.  


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 Dan Frownfelter
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David - thank you much for the suggestion.  I got the GFCI not to trip by turning off the Ground Relay, Inverter and Power Assist.  Turning off only the Ground Relay did not work for me.  Whenever the Inverter would kick in, it would pop the GFCI.  While this is not optimal for me, maybe it can be a temporary workaround until maybe a solution from Vectron... more to come, methinks.

Paul - let us know what you find?


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 Dan
(@Dan)
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Joined: 3 days ago
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I have just added 3x100ah Battle born batteries and a Victron MP II 3k 2x120 unit (and 4x100w solar).  I started popping the GFCI outlet when the Victron went through its initial POST.  It would consistently pop after about 10 seconds.  It also did the same on campground 120 shore power GFCI.  Worked fine on 30 and 50amp service.

I tested the grounds and common continuity per Mike.  Tried turning off ground relay, etc.

After a few hours of troubleshooting I am embarrassed to say it turned out to be the $40 Walmart Camco surge suppressor/analyzer.  I took it out of the loop and everything has been working as intended.  I also have a 50 amp surge suppressor and put it in the loop and it works as well.

As they say Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS).

 

D


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(@mike)
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Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 111
 

Good catch.... I discovered many years ago that many plug-in surge suppressors can have a pretty high amount of leakage current through their MOV devices. In fact, this is so normal that UL offers an exception to these type of devices allowing them to leak up to 3mA of current to chassis ground and still be approved. Remember, everything that's plugged into an electrical outlet leaks at least a little fault current, even if it's only a fraction of an mA. But all those fault current leaks are additive, and when add up to 5mA, that's when the GFCI you're plugged into trips. 

So for anyone with an RV that's tripping a shore-power GFCI, first thing to do is unplug any surge strips that are in your RV. Then test the GFCI again. There's a pretty good chance it's just a surge strip causing it to trip.  


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 Dan
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Joined: 3 days ago
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@mike Thanks for the response.  I was going to ask why it worked with the surge suppressor prior to the Victron install and wasn't working afterwards;  I wasn't aware of the additive aspect.  Makes sense now.


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