GFI outlets problem on Beneteau 40. Help? - SailNet Community

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Old 11-29-2011
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GFI outlets problem on Beneteau 40. Help?

In the cabin, I have two GFI protected AC outlets .. 20 amps, Hubbel. Both suddenly show a flashing red LED and leaflet says "lost its GFIC protection, replace immediately". Boat is 2009.
I have power at both outlets (separate circuits) and if I push test button, power goes off, if I push reset, power comes on. This to me seems to say it's working. At least, many other GFIs seem only to have this check and no red flashing light. Are they shot? The marina did have a power failure recently, could that "break" them ... thought they would just flip off with any problem?
Any ideas? If needed can I buy new GFIs from hardware store or is there something special (except price) about going to marine store?
Thanks, JohnB40
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Old 11-30-2011
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I wonder if you have lost the ground to your boat that should be coming in on your shore power cord. To have both fail at the same time seems like an odd coincidence. The test button is an internal device test that is really just making contact between the neutral and ground.

Do you have an inverter and if so do your GFIs still flash when that is operating and the boat is unplugged?

To further investigate I would make sure there is nothing plugged in to any outlets including battery chargers, rechargable lights etc.

Then, if you have a tester, or can get one, I would confirm that the ground is still good to the boat. If that is fine then the GFI's should be no different than one at the hardware store. Generally, cheaper GFIs are much more apt to nusance tripping than the more expensive (sophisticated) ones like Hubbel. Good luck. I'd be curious to hear what you find.
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Old 12-03-2011
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Could be a problem with GFIs sharing the same white wire from the source.
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Old 12-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB40 View Post
In the cabin, I have two GFI protected AC outlets .. 20 amps, Hubbel. Both suddenly show a flashing red LED and leaflet says "lost its GFIC protection, replace immediately". Boat is 2009.
I have power at both outlets (separate circuits) and if I push test button, power goes off, if I push reset, power comes on. This to me seems to say it's working. At least, many other GFIs seem only to have this check and no red flashing light. Are they shot? The marina did have a power failure recently, could that "break" them ... thought they would just flip off with any problem?
Any ideas? If needed can I buy new GFIs from hardware store or is there something special (except price) about going to marine store?
Thanks, JohnB40
John,

Based upon a (admittedly superficial) review of the Hubble literature, it seems that its GFIC units have internal test circuitry that evaluates a unit's ability to break a connection soon enough, and at a low enough amperage, to avoid injury or damage in the even of a short. If the unit test fails, the Red LED Illuminates indicating that the unit needs be replaced tho' it may continue to work in extremis. I am not an electrical guy but I have reasonably good faith in the engineers that design this type of equipment and would trust their judgment in the build. The environment on a yacht is quite different--and more harsh--than that in a house or other building and equipment, particularly electrics suffers accordingly. In the same situation I would replace one of the units with the same type (and ensure the connections were thoroughly) and see if the error LED illuminates. If not, the units do need replacing. If not, there is something else askew and you have a spare (or can simple return the unneeded unit). A electrical equipment--contractors supply--outlet is more likely to carry Hubble units than a Lowes/Home Depot or other general hardware store.

FWIW...
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Old 12-06-2011
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Thanks to all. I still seem to have ground connection to these circuits fed from marina A.C. For each receptacle: test light in neutral and line gives light. In line and ground gives light. In neutral and ground I get no light. I'm no electrician (got the method from YouTube!!) but think that shows receptacle works but the GFI function is no longer. Was at another marina last few days ... plugged in and ran heater etc just fine but lights still flashed so it's not my current marina's problem.
I was at Running Room last week and heard one runner say he was once electrical contractor. Asked him about this. His view ... a power surge after the power failure would have cooked these GFIs.
Good idea to buy one and try it. I'm in B.C. and don't always get the same variety of bits in Canada as found in the U.S. but I guess can always mail order. I've asked many sailing friends and they haven't seen such a fancy GFI here .. the Beneteau was made in Marion S.C.
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