My washer/dryer machine stopped working, and now when whenever I plug it into the GFCI it automatically trips the outlet (both the top and the bottom). I called an electrician in to come fix it and he said it's a problem with the laundry machine and to call an appliance repair guy. I plugged in my iron to both outlets and it didn't trip the GFCI. Any idea what might be causing this on the washer/dryer?
So, your GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) trips every time you plug in your washer/dryer, but not when you plug in other equipment.
A GFCI detects ground faults, where the power supply line is shorted to ground; it then interrupts the circuit to protect you. Sounds like your washing machine has a ground fault, and your GFCI detects this and then trips. (This is a feature, not a bug.)
There's lots of things this could be: a failed motor, a wire with worn-through insulation, a circuit board failure, etc. etc. etc. Figuring out which would take a lot more information, but an initial test would be to measure the resistance between ground and the hot or neutral plug terminals. If you measure the resistance as anything other than infinite, you've confirmed your problem.
Why is it tripping your GFCI? Because it's faulty.
Specifically, it manifests a ground fault. The current that comes in the hot wire is supposed to all go out its neutral wire. But what's happening instead is some of that is leaking into the chassis of the device and going back via the ground wire. (Or even worse, it's leaking out through a water line, or the floor, or dryer vent.)
This could kill you. Get the appliance serviced. Specifically, have an electrical leak test performed.
If I were you, I'd go to your local home improvement store and buy an outlet tester with a button for testing GFCIs. Plug it in.
- If it lights, make sure it's showing proper wiring (there's a legend on top). If the wiring shows correct proceed to Step 2. If it just trips, the GFCI is bad. Replace it.
- Click the button on your tester. Does the GFCI trip when you click? Go to step 3. If not, it's probably gone bad. I would replace it.
- At this point, it looks like the GFCI is probably not the problem. I would get a service man out to check the washer. Because you've done your homework, you can make sure the service man doesn't just wash his hands of it by blaming the GFCI.