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Tripping GFI
At CERT training this past week there was an excellent presentation by a former UI safety person.  One of the topics I brought up was RF causing GFI breakers to trip when no ground fault was present.  The presenter had not heard of this, however I've been plagued with a GFI used on my bathroom radiant heated floor tripping whenever I operate my rigs on 40m.  

We put a bathroom/laundry room addition  onto our house in 2017 and we decided to add radiant heat flooring to take the chill out of the tile floor on cold winter days.  It works great but since this is a bathroom a GFI had to be added for protection.  I called the electrician back to the site a few weeks after installation and complained that the GFI breaker (actually a Honeywell radiant heat floor controller with GFI built-in)was perhaps faulty since it was shown tripped several times. The electrician replaced the GFI but the breaker would show that it had tripped occasionally.  It took a while to corollate the tripping to my radio operation on 40m.  So the cause was found but the solution was complex (and never really solved in my situation).  I installed ferrite chokes on all legs leading to and from the controller but this never solved the issue.  Reviewing how the flooring was installed, there is approximately 150 feet of radiant floor heating wire looped around on my bathroom floor and apparently this is making a great rx loop antenna on 40 meters.

I wrote Honeywell about the situation and as expected I heard nothing back from their engineering or customer service departments.  Interestingly there are several other GFIs in our house including one for the AC outlet in the same bathroom where the radiant floor is located.  No other GFI trips due to RF from my rigs.  I have been able to get any GFI to trip by taking the trusty Baofeng HT  and Ker chunking on 2m next to a GFI and the GFI will trip.

Today I stubbled onto another Ham that wrote a pretty good article on the problem and thought I'd pass it on.


73, Steve - KC1SA

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