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  • Sync 250 - HF trips GFCI

    My 2010 Syncrowave 250DX started tripping a GFCI-protected circuit in the shop every time I hit the pedal to try to strike an arc with TIG.

    I've had the HF cause the overhead fluorescent lights to act funny, on occasion, but this tripping of the GFCI circuit is new. It's mainly an annoyance -- I have another circuit that also provides lighting -- but is it something to be concerned about?

    And does anyone know why it might be happening, and how to fix it? Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    Are you sure it's a GFCI and not an AFCI protected circuit?

    Comment


    • #3
      Even lightning storms in an area can trip GFCI circuits, which is why you should avoid using them for critical unattended appliances like freezers in the garage.

      A brand new GFCI can sometimes eliminate the issue. Else, you'll have to find other methods of avoidance, including eliminating GFCI protection where not required.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks, guys. Ryan, to be honest I'd never heard of an AFCI, but that would definitely explain it tripping! (As far as I know, it's just a GFCI outlet.)

        Fortunately, nothing on the circuit is critical, so I guess I'll just live with it and consider replacing it.

        Thanks again.

        Comment


        • #5
          If it's a GFCI breaker, change it out for a normal breaker of the like size. What is the purpose for it being a GFCI circuit anyway?

          Comment


          • #6
            The breaker has its own internal circuitry which may (or may not) be the source of the problem. Since this machine's output is AC, I'd try to stick with a GFCI if at all possible.

            My guess is aging components in the machine itself are the underlying cause -- pulling more juice, thermally or electrically stressing other areas (normal with age). Not sure of your electrical setup (input V, breaker size, AWG, panel config, etc), but it would be wise to monitor draw in the circuit at start up, ohm check the ground, and generally do the "rule out" problems with power source before troubleshooting the machine (which I believe to be the problem in the first place since it has served you well up to this point in your shop).
            ESAB TIG 252 with Miller CoolMate
            Spectrum 875
            Diversion 180
            Oxy-A (Harris, ESAB, Ox Weld)
            Miller 252
            MM 211
            CST 280
            Trailblazer - Kubota

            http://www.blackdiamondblooms.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              I've not yet seen AFCI "protection" in a garage/shop, but it wouldn't surprise me. AFCI "protection" is very finicky and is mostly a solution to a problem that was incredibly rare. AFCIs wouldn't exist in most homes were it not for bribes to Code makers. It would never bother my conscience to eliminate AFCI "protection" entirely.

              On the other hand, GFCI protection is valuable. Don't eliminate it unless you really have to. Both are usually required in most places where you find them.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MAC702 View Post
                I've not yet seen AFCI "protection" in a garage/shop, but it wouldn't surprise me. AFCI "protection" is very finicky and is mostly a solution to a problem that was incredibly rare. AFCIs wouldn't exist in most homes were it not for bribes to Code makers. It would never bother my conscience to eliminate AFCI "protection" entirely.

                On the other hand, GFCI protection is valuable. Don't eliminate it unless you really have to. Both are usually required in most places where you find them.

                AFCI is now a reality in the NEC -- they are getting better, but still mighty sensitive.

                I'll DC weld out in the field all day (standing in damp areas), but when I TIG weld AC it's normally in one of my barns or shop, on a rubber mat, with GFCI and wearing my EH boots.

                I'm a not so distinguished grad of a PAC-12 EE Dept and know a little about AC theory -- can be a real monster when welding.
                Last edited by Crepe Myrtle Farmer; 09-27-2017, 09:13 AM.
                ESAB TIG 252 with Miller CoolMate
                Spectrum 875
                Diversion 180
                Oxy-A (Harris, ESAB, Ox Weld)
                Miller 252
                MM 211
                CST 280
                Trailblazer - Kubota

                http://www.blackdiamondblooms.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                  If it's a GFCI breaker, change it out for a normal breaker of the like size.
                  It's a GFCI receptacle, not a breaker, and it's on a 110V circuit (not the 220V circuit the welder is on).

                  Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                  What is the purpose for it being a GFCI circuit anyway?
                  Electrocution avoidance. It's in a shop that's sometimes damp.

                  I've had to replace the GFCI receptacle in the same place (right near the door, often damp, sometimes wet) before, so I suspect the receptacle more than the Sync 250.
                  Last edited by Helios; 09-27-2017, 10:54 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I know the purpose of a GFCI circuit wise guy. What I was getting at is that you may be able to get away from the GFCI if it's not needed. Get rid of the GFCI outlet and replace it with a normal outlet. Then change the breaker for that circuit to a GFCI breaker.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                      I know the purpose of a GFCI circuit wise guy. What I was getting at is that you may be able to get away from the GFCI if it's not needed. Get rid of the GFCI outlet and replace it with a normal outlet. Then change the breaker for that circuit to a GFCI breaker.
                      So you're saying that doing this will stop the GFCI from tripping? If so, why? I guess you're assuming that the GFCI receptacle has developed problems, and that getting rid of it, and replacing its functionality with a GFCI breaker, will solve the issue...?

                      Thanks for the reply.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A GFCI breaker is less prone to eventual failure than a GFCI receptacle.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Merely Tie wrap the pos and neg leads together for the first 2' after leaving the machine then your HF woes will go away

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks, Mac, and thanks Cruizer -- I never heard that one about the HF!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The "tie wrapping" of the leads is a good work-around. I call it the "Bose Noise Effect Cancellation" -- these AC TIGs are fairly dirty signal generators and spew all sort of EMI (spurious and harmonics).

                              I'd still check the grounding system as part of the general cleanup - grounds play a critical role, CHANGE OVER TIME (routinely), can lead to power factor and harmonic distortion issues. You can have differences in potential/reference from one equipment rack to the next in the same room (inadvertently/accidentally form a "bridge between the two and you're toast -- even with the machines "idling").

                              I run clean, separate grounds right back to the panel in the barns, shop, then resistance check (either stake or stakeless) the setups.
                              ESAB TIG 252 with Miller CoolMate
                              Spectrum 875
                              Diversion 180
                              Oxy-A (Harris, ESAB, Ox Weld)
                              Miller 252
                              MM 211
                              CST 280
                              Trailblazer - Kubota

                              http://www.blackdiamondblooms.com/

                              Comment

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