Can someone tell me how to troubleshoot this problem.

I have a switch at the end of a circuit that operates my pool pump and its 15 feet away from a 3 prong receptacle that feeds the to the switch. At the end of the pool season I disconnect the pool pump from the switch and I use electrical tape to insulate each individual wire.

Now here's my problem. The 3 prong outlet (that feeds power to the switch that controls the pool pump) is use during the winter months to operate a 3 prong winter pool cover pump with a GFI plug.

This pump has worked for the last 2 months now suddenly its tripping the pool cover pump GFI.

I used a receptacle tester that identifies wiring errors and it says the receptacle is wired correctly. I then plugged a radio in the outlet and it worked but when I plug the 3 prong pump in the GFI on the plug will trip.

Not knowing if the receptacle was defective or damaged I decided to replace it with a new one but the pool cover pump GFI plug still trips.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to trouble shoot or fix the problem? Thank you, Dan

  • 4
    Have you considered that there may be a problem with the pump and the GFI is simply doing its job?
    – brhans
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 0:19
  • Yes and I checked the pump and its operating correctly Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 0:58
  • 1
    @DanMilstead -- just because it appears to operate correctly doesn't mean it doesn't have a ground fault. Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 1:01
  • Do you have a clamp-on ammeter of some sort, or access to an insulation resistance tester for that matter? Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 1:02
  • 1
    If you haul that pump into the kitchen and plug it into a GFCI there, does it also trip? How about the GFCI in the bathroom? Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 1:52

3 Answers 3


Outside outlet possible moisture in the box causing the trip since the pump works in other gfci protected locations and you have replaced the device, there may be a minor ground fault in the wiring and the pump together they add up to enough to trip but seperatly they are ok. The removing the wires and tape has me scratching my head but this would be my guess that there are multiple minor ground faults that adds to enough to cause a trip.


It could be that the GFCI has gone bad. Remember, GFCIs work only off the hot and neutral. The only way you should be having problems is if someone cheated up the line and hooked the ground to a neutral.

In modern work, there are Weather Resistant(WR) GFCIs you can buy that are better at resisting water. If you do replace the old outlet, try using one of these.


After trying multiple things I decided to install a new weather resistant GFCI. I then tested the new receptacle with the GFCI and the GFI plug that's on the pump and both are working properly.

Since I'm having such a difficult time with this I decided to call an electrician and he couldn't figure it out either. He told me to cut the GFI plug off the pump and replace it with a non GFI plug since my breaker has a GFCI on it...can you believe that? I'm not please with his performance and I question his trouble shooting ability, so I called his office and they will make it right.

  • You seem to have created two accounts -- please merge them so that you can gain reputation and use this site fully Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 0:33

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