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I bought a house that did not have a dishwasher installed (the seller gave a good rebate because of that).

I have no experience installing these things, so I was searching for a handyman to do the installation for me. Almost everybody that I spoke to told me that I would need an electrician to run a cable from my panel (in the basement) to the kitchen cabinet. I believe that made sense, considering how old is the house, and that the seller gave the rebate cause she probably knew that already.

So I found a electrician, and they charged me around $800 to install a GFCI breaker (according to them, the code requires that), and pull a cable from this breaker to the kitchen (something around 30ft, and a hole). It was more or less, $550 for breaker and installation, $150 for the permit, and another $100 which I don't remember.

Then, a handyman came to do the dishwasher installation.

The issue, it's that every time I plug the dishwasher into the outlet, the GFCI breaker is tripping. If I connect to another outlet (using an extension cord), I don't have any issues.

I've called the electrician again, and he told me this is a common issue with dishwashers, and that after the inspection, he could return to remove the GFCI and install a normal breaker, and the problem would be solved, for another $100. I did run some search on my end, and I indeed found some people talking about this type of errors, but this would only happen with old dishwashers, and mine is new.

The handyman suggested another electrician, which was all the time calling me stupid for the amount of money I've already paid, and that he would do the same thing (replace the breaker) for $300.

Now... what should I do? Of course, that if I have to pay again, I will pay for the first electrician that it's cheaper, and he knew what he did first.

EDIT: I've did tested the outlet with other appliances, and all of them worked. Then, I've tested connecting the dishwasher to another GCFI plug, and it also also tripped. So, it's indeed the dishwasher, like others already said. I will call the manufacturer today...

EDIT2: I'm returning the dishwasher, and I should get a new one soon. Thank you all for all the help.

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  • Please read this about refrigerators tripping GFCI outlets diy.stackexchange.com/questions/53252/…. The dishwasher is possibly faulty and you should request a new one from the manufacturer. If it's not plugged into a countertop then it doesn't need GFCI protection.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Nov 10 '21 at 14:34
  • Try plugging some other small appliance into that outlet and see what happens. If the GFCI trips, test that same small appliance on a different GFCI protected outlet to rule out a fault in the appliance.
    – brhans
    Nov 10 '21 at 15:06
  • 2
    We need more data points. #1 dishwasher plugged in via a sound 3-wire extension cord into a GFCI outlet elsewhere (e.g. bathroom or kitchen are required to have them). And #2 other 3-prong appliances plugged into the dishwasher's receptacle. It could be something as simple/stupid as a ground wire touching a receptacle neutral screw, happens all the time. Nov 10 '21 at 19:48
  • @monkeyZeus that used to be the case. But recent code puts dishwashers and disposals on gfci. Nov 10 '21 at 20:45
  • @brhans I've tried plugging other things... battery charger, phone charger, vacuum cleaner, and it worked okay, no tripping. Nov 10 '21 at 20:51
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As noted in a comment, you should do a sanity check on the GFCI, just to be sure. Plug in another appliance - toaster, radio, whatever. If that does not trip the GFCI then the problem is the dishwasher. If that does trip the GFCI, try that appliance in another GFCI-protected receptacle in the kitchen or bathroom (or possibly elsewhere depending on how much of your house has been upgraded to recent standards that require GFCI in a whole bunch of other places). If it does not trip the GFCI elsewhere but does trip the dishwasher GFCI then the problem is the GFCI and you need your original electrician to fix things up for free.

But most likely the GFCI is fine and the dishwasher will trip any GFCI-protected receptacle, and other appliances are just fine on this receptacle. If that's the case, the problem is in the dishwasher. Any major appliance could have non-dangerous leakage that trips an AFCI or GFCI. But unlike a refrigerator, which is quite safe in normal usage and not a significant ground-fault risk, a dishwasher is a real issue. In particular, a dishwasher has lots of water and electricity. Together. In normal operation. And sometimes water leaks. Sometimes you may open a dishwasher while it is running. Etc.

The bottom line is that a brand-new dishwasher should be designed to work properly with GFCI, and if it doesn't then that is an indication of a potentially dangerous and real problem. Contact the dishwasher manufacturer for repair/replacement.

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    I did plugged other appliances, and it worked okay. I've just did not tried it on another GFCI using a cord. I will do it today. But like you said, I do also think that everything is okay... that the issue is probably with the Dishwasher... I will call the manufacturer today... Nov 10 '21 at 20:54
  • Some refrigerators have metal exteriors.
    – user253751
    Nov 11 '21 at 10:16
  • @user253751 Most of them (in my experience) have metal exteriors, though some have the front covered with an additional panel for decorative purposes. The difference is that while refrigerators often have some water (ice maker/water dispenser), that is not anywhere near the same risk as a dishwasher (significant water use, hands often wet when loading dishes, usually near a sink, vibration during ordinary use that can lead to loose connections, etc.) In addition, a False Positive (trip when there is no 'real" problem) is of no real consequence for a dishwasher but can lead to food spoiling Nov 11 '21 at 13:28
  • in a refrigerator, costing both money and, if GFCI reset after several hours without realizing the refrigerator was affected, leading to eating spoiled food and getting sick. Nov 11 '21 at 13:31
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    @TylerH I suggest you try it sometime, if possible! It’s nothing scary, no gallons of water pour out, in fact you may struggle to find more than a droplet or two. The water stops as you open it, and you don’t risk a flood. Having worked in commercial kitchens for years and owned a fair few household washers I imagine I’ve probably opened a dishwasher during a it’s cycle hundreds of times without incident!
    – OwenM
    Nov 14 '21 at 10:23

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