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Kat Matley
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GFI Switch shorts out in kitchen

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When I moved to a new apartment, and tried to plug in my machine, it shorted out all the gfi switches in the kitchen, so I just left the machine on the counter without it being used. I finally decided to do some troubleshooting on it. We tried plugging it into another outlet in the house and it worked without resetting the switches.

Me and a friend finally figured out because our maintenance at our apartments said our switches are fine and suggested we get an adapter. I had a 3 prong adapter, orange, and we plugged it in to the outlet and then plugged the machine into the orange plug and vualaa, it worked. Is there any other reason it would do this. I also submitted another question about the steam on the machine which I had problems with after reaching this solution. Could the fact that we are using the 3 prong adapter be the problem for its performance?

Update

I got this one from Starbucks in California. That doesn't seem to be the case. All the outlets in the kitchen are gfi but the other plugs in the house are not. It's actually code for them to require them in the kitchen now. The plug is in good shape. It is a 3 prong plug. My roommate said by using the adapter, you are pretty much bypassing the ground.

Edited by: Kat Matley ( )

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Henry H
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You do not want to bypass the ground on this machine; the GFCI tripping means current is "leaking" inside the machine and you could possibly get an electric shock if you continue to use it. Is there a chance the machine froze during the move? This could cause the boiler to split open enough that a small leak has formed and is creating a short. The other cause of a GFCI popping is the heating element rupturing inside the boiler; this usually caused by lack of maintenance (ie. regular descaling).

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mayer
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I would suspect that the machine was turned on when you plugged it in the first time and the surge threw the switch. Please give a link to a picture of the Barista plug and the adapter you are using. What country are you in and what's the voltage?

Definitely a posibility, and a good place to start. +

Majesty,

It was not turned on. I made sure of that.

Kat Matley,

I don't have a picture but it's an orange adapter that has 2 prong on one side which goes into the outlet and the other side is 3 prong for the machine to connect to.

Kat Matley,

We've actually tried plugging it in both ways, with the power off or on and it still trips. The only way that worked was by using the 3 prong grounding adapter. I am in the United States. I talked to an electrician friend of mine and he said it was okay to use and will not cause a shock. On the other hand, what type of descaling solution would you use. Starbucks does not sell it anymore.

Kat Matley,

You want to use a citric-acid based product, such as Dezcal or Durgol. And unless your "electrician friend" is also a doctor and a lawyer, I'd recommend not bypassing the safety features of your machine; the ground wire is there for a very good reason.

Henry H,

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Majesty
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Like Mayer suggested, the machine might have been on when you plugged it into the GFCI's and the surge caused them to trip. Or, you might have a nick or short of the Neutral wire in the machine itself and this causes the GFCI to trip, the three prong's added grounding might just add enough resistance to prevent the GFCI from tripping, BUT it will definitely affect the machine's performance being that its not being supplied enough power. Have a look inside the machine and play close attention to the neutral (White) wire and look for nicks or shorts in the wire. Make sure that the neutral wire is not making any contact with the ground wire or any other type of ground. It's definitely not making contact with the "Hot" ( black) wire, because if it was it would trip the breakers when plugged elsewhere. Are the GFCI's in the kitchen being used by any major apPliances? Nowadays the GFCI kitchen circuits are divided into two seperate circuits, but in older buildings you might see 4 or more GFCI's in one circuit, which isnt a good idea. After you have a look inside the machine and all is well with the wires, look to see if the Neutral wire is being "shared", or basically spliced and jumping from one terminal to the other. If this is the case, then a GFCI WILL NOT accept this type of connection, GFCI are way more sensitive than a regular receptacle. This machine should come standard with its own groung prong on its original cord, but if its European it might not. If thats the case, then I would buy a 12 gauge SJ cord with a ground prong in a hardware store and just replace the cord. That will help.

Edited by: Majesty ( )

Well it's only the outlets in the kitchen. My roommate plugged it in the living room plug and it did not trip it.

Kat Matley,

Kat, that's because a regular outlet isn't as sensitive as as a GFCI. Like I mentioned in my answer, this will not cause a regular receptacle to trip a breaker. Good luck.

Majesty,

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