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    Thread: Periha GFCI Tripping

    1. #1
      Alarakalama is offline Supporting Member
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      Periha GFCI Tripping

      Hey folks,

      I have some new periha 25000 pumps for my new pond build. However, when testing they seem to trip any gfci when submerged. If I plug it in dry, the gfci is ok. I'm familiar with variable speed pumps creating grounding issues but I'm surprised how bad this is. Runs fine on unprotected outlet but that's obviously not safe to do.

      Does anyone have any thoughts on safely overcoming this grounding issue?

      Thanks,
      Brent

    2. #2
      coolwon is online now Senior Member
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      Use a megger meter +- 500 volts between ground and the two power supply wires to the motor when dry, and when submersed in water

      Read if the insulation is breaking down when in the water.

      Send them back anyway.
      Find more about Weather in Durban, ZA

    3. #3
      batman's Avatar
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      Common problem reported by others with Periha pumps.
      The real Batman wears polyester! Don't be fooled by the plastic imposter.

    4. #4
      coolwon is online now Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by batman View Post
      Common problem reported by others with Periha pumps.
      EISH Another hot potato.
      Find more about Weather in Durban, ZA

    5. #5
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      My Periha submersible UV hates GFCIs too.
      ~ Jose

    6. #6
      Cecil is offline Senior Member
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      Off subject a little but I have set up small scale DIY aquaculture systems for four high schools. Have had two GFIC's trip while no one else was around, shut the system down, and killed all the fish due to a lack of oxygen. All this apparently due to a minute variation in voltage from the outside which tripped the GFIC. Made adjustments and warning systems to compensate, but GFIC's don't give me a good feeling when raising fish high density. I know the reason for them, and it's a **** good one -- especially in a high school setting, but with my own personal systems I go without them and place my outlets high on the wall away from water. Same goes for pumps and keeping anything electrical out of the water. It's airlifts all the way from now on. Another good reason for airlifts.

      P.S. I am not advocating going without one!
      Last edited by Cecil; 03-22-2021 at 12:07 PM.
      The risk I took was calculated, but man am I bad at math!

    7. #7
      coolwon is online now Senior Member
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      Earth leakage switches trip due to the imbalance of whats going through the switch to whats coming out.

      Whats deviating to earth on the way to to the appliance.

      Maybe leaking through your body to earth and electrocuting you.
      Find more about Weather in Durban, ZA

    8. #8
      batman's Avatar
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      All the other examples of the Periha pump tripping GFCI breakers were stated to be variable controler issues causing the imbalance tripping the device. This is the first I've seen that is wet related. Submersible pumps are much more dangerous and being a wet rotor motor design makes it more dangerous even when installed externally.
      Last edited by batman; 03-24-2021 at 10:39 AM.
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    9. #9
      two_wheeled is online now Senior Member
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      Interesting thread! I'm surprised to hear these are popping GFCIs.

      Do the Periha pumps work with the same efficiency if they are mounted dry vs submerged? (assuming no added head)
      -Steve in Phx.
      Novice Extraordinaire

    10. #10
      kimini is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by batman View Post
      ...This is the first I've seen that is wet related. Submersible pumps are much more dangerous and being a wet rotor motor design makes it more dangerous even when installed externally.
      Yeah I don't think that any electrician or electrical engineer is going to say that this is okay. It's just too risky to assume that it's the GFCI and not water intrusion.

    11. #11
      Alarakalama is offline Supporting Member
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      I did a little research and found a 120V 'high harmonic' gfci breaker. The high harmonic resilience allows the breaker, in theory, to sustain feedback/noise issues created by the variable frequency drive. I purchased the breaker and ran a test overnight. So far the Periha pump has run continuously without tripping the breaker. whereas my other gfci breakers and outlets all tripped instantly.

      I plan to use this breaker on all of my perihas. This will allow me to operate the pump efficiently and safely. Of course, I'll have to put it in new breaker box that matches the breaker type. I wasn't hesitant to spend a few extra hundred dollars on this effort but it looks like it will pay off. Hopefully the breaker will function as expected over years.

      The breaker is a Siemens QF120A

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      Is there a better thread to store this link and info for future reference?

      Brent

    12. #12
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      Newer GFCIs are designed for harmonics in the load. Either your old breakers were older design or were more susceptible to a tiny electrical leakage to ground produced by the Periha controler. Variable speed appliances are very common and newer GFCIs deal with the line noise. It only takes a tiny imbalance to trip a GFCI and some are more sensitive than others.

      Strange the original issue only appeared when the pumps were wet?
      Last edited by batman; 3 Weeks Ago at 09:55 PM.
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    13. #13
      Alarakalama is offline Supporting Member
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      The (non-siemens) breaker panel and outlets are about two years old. Based on your comments perhaps it has more to do with the brand quality. Siemens is top notch with most everything they do.

      But yeah, the only time it didn't trip was the very first time I plugged it in with no water. Testing it dry later immediately tripped the breaker. Maybe it was a fluke? Not sure.

      Just my experience so far. the guys at play it koi didn't have a solution for the tripping breakers either. I'm just happy I found a safe solution!

      Brent

    14. #14
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      I have a feeling the Periha controllers have a design issue causing the problem. At this point I also feel it's minor and not a safety issue. Some GFCIs trip much too easily. You are correct about the brand you selected. They are high quality and more consistent and predictable operation.

      Some variable circuit designs and construction methods have a higher leakage current.
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      Last edited by batman; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:27 AM.
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    15. #15
      Alarakalama is offline Supporting Member
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      I completed agree! The Perihas are safe in themselves however my concern is a poor connection in the circuit or exposed wire shorting to ground through me, family members or the pond (and koi). It's also required by code.

      At our treatment plant, we use three phase variable frequency drive motors up to 200 HP. You could have electrical harmonic issues that would create all sorts of problems including transient voltages that pitted and eventually destroyed solid stainless steel shafts. This was resolved by a grounding bearing ring that carried the shaft voltage safely to ground. It wasn't until I looked at these Perihas that I realized that none of those industrial pumps are ground fault protected - probably because it would cost a fortune but also probably because nobody is swimming in the water

      Brent

    16. #16
      Nuspeed007 is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by Alarakalama View Post
      The (non-siemens) breaker panel and outlets are about two years old. Based on your comments perhaps it has more to do with the brand quality. Siemens is top notch with most everything they do.

      But yeah, the only time it didn't trip was the very first time I plugged it in with no water. Testing it dry later immediately tripped the breaker. Maybe it was a fluke? Not sure.

      Just my experience so far. the guys at play it koi didn't have a solution for the tripping breakers either. I'm just happy I found a safe solution!

      Brent
      Brent,
      Perhaps you can post your finding on playitkoi Periha review. Your solution may save a few folks who purchases those pumps.
      ps. Is the circuit breaker's pig tail an equivalent of RF choke to suppress the voltage harmonic spike?

    17. #17
      Alarakalama is offline Supporting Member
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      The review posting is a good idea. I'll definitely do that. I will email them as well since they were not sure how to deal with the issue other than direct wire without gfci (which they obviously didn't want to recommend for understandable legal purposes).

      I'm definitely not an electrical engineer but maybe there is beefier capacitors and/or inductors to smooth-out the feedback noise. That's just a wild guess - it's probably much more complicated than that. I do know they work by checking for a voltage difference between the hot and neutral line (not the ground line). I just hope that the combined feedback from 5 Perihas at one time will work too! I didn't go so far as hooking up all 5 pumps in my test.

      Brent

    18. #18
      batman's Avatar
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      People either got around this issue by not using a GFCI or switching to a GFCI with a higher threshold as reported here. The issue is a bad controller design on the Periha pump. These issues are mostly designed out on better controllers. Hopefully feedback is getting to the company and a redesign is in the works.

      It's suspicious the pumps on Amazon have been relisted several times and reviews about this issue disappear each time.
      The real Batman wears polyester! Don't be fooled by the plastic imposter.

    19. #19
      batman's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Nuspeed007 View Post
      Is the circuit breaker's pig tail an equivalent of RF choke to suppress the voltage harmonic spike?
      It's connected directly to the electric box panel neutral bus. Usually it's pulled out and wouldn't have much of a choke effect. Most systems the box neutral bus is physically connected to ground. One of the reasons these are more reliable vs the plug GFCI type. Older GFCIs and some brands trip very easily. I had to replace all of my outlet type GFCIs at home because of false tripping.

      The RF choke is an interesting comment though. Some claim the snap on chokes used on power cords help prevent GFCI tripping on some variable motor drives.
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      Last edited by batman; 3 Weeks Ago at 01:00 PM.
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    20. #20
      Nuspeed007 is offline Senior Member
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      Any one with a oscilloscope that capable of screen capture? DC motor and switching power supply are notoriously noisy, if there is DC feedback then the GF would detect the Hot to GND and Neutral to GND differential voltage. Anyway those fancy scope for AC reading is rated for 10-25V max, please don't put across the house voltage per my thinking out loud.

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