Why Washing Machine Trips GFCI Breaker During Cycle – and What to Do

Is your washing cycle interrupted repeatedly by a GFCI breaker tipping?

Finding your washer still full of soapy water, and unfinished laundry because the GFCI breaker can be annoying. You should not have to be on hand to reset the GFCI breaker in order to complete a wash cycle.

So, how do you go about resolving the frequent stoppages of a washing machine in this circumstance?

How do you tell whether it is the washer or the breaker?

Are there tests you can do to identify the fault and fix it yourself?

This post explains why your washing machine’s GFCI breaker might trip repeatedly and what you can do to resolve this nuisance tripping.

What Causes a Washer to Trip the Breaker? (+ Suggested Fixes)

If the washing machine is tripping, it might be because of the following reasons:

#1. The GFCI breaker may be tripping because there is indeed a genuine safety issue with current leaking to the ground.

This might be from current leakages to the ground as a result of damage to the insulation on the wiring, moisture, or a water leak in the washer electronic components.

Contact a qualified electrician to inspect and test the washer electric circuit to ensure there are no leaks, there is good grounding and it is safe to use.

#2. Faulty or poor quality GFCI breaker that trips during the wash cycle. How old is the GFCI breaker? Is it a new install or one that has been working well until now?

As a test, replace the GFCI breaker with another, known reputable GFCI breaker brand. Check if this clears the fault.

#3. Double-check that the appliance does not have a higher current leakage threshold than what the GFCI breaker is set to trip at.

Older washers might have a higher leakage current threshold and repeatedly trip the breaker.

Contact a qualified electrician on this. Make sure you are using an approved UL-listed GFCI breaker for your washing machine.

What Checks to Do

If the GFCI is tripping the washer repeatedly, check the following:

#1. Is this a new washer? Was the previous washer working perfectly and the tripping is happening with the new washer installation?

If so, then your might have an issue with the washer.

Does the GFCI breaker trip with other appliances too? If it only trips with the washer then there is it highly probable that it is a washer issue. Contact a qualified electrician.

#2. GFCI outlet. Test the outlet. Connect the washer to a different GFCI outlet. Does it still trip? If it trips with other working outlets too then it likely rules a GFCI outlet issue.

Related Topics

Should You Plug the Washer into a GFCI Outlet?

This mainly depends on the local code of your area. GFCI outlets protect you and the family from injury in case of a ground fault.

Certain installation environments are more susceptible to such faults for example if the washer is installed within 6 feet of a laundry sink.

The likelihood of water splashes is here and a GFCI outlet is usually required. Consult a qualified electrician to advise on this.

Closing Thoughts

if the GFCI breaker for your washer trips repeatedly, it might be a fault with the GFCI breaker or appliance.

Plug the washer into another GFCI outlet or connect another appliance in the GFCI outlet as a test to check if it is a fault with the washer or GFCI outlet.

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