I recently rewired an old house. The laundry room is on its own circuit and the washer plugs directly into the gfci outlet. Everything seemed to be working great. The lights works and the outlets worked to plug in a shop vac or other various things. When I tried to install the washer and plugged it in,The washer started to fill with water and then tripped the breaker which is a 20 amp dual gfci afic. When i flipped the breaker I plugged a 6amp screw gun into the recepticial it worked fine so I tried my 9amp saw and once again it tripped the circuit. I am stumped. Any suggestions?

  • Although 2014 code requires GFCI, my state has exempted this requirement for equipment not easily moved on a dedicated circuit because of the problem you are having. AFCI's fail with variable speed control many modern washing machine's use this to vary the speed. GFCI's fail with larger inductive loads not only from leakage but from inductive kickback that kills the GFCI control circuits. Check your state exemptions you may be able to use a standard breaker and be legal.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 6, 2016 at 3:48

1 Answer 1


Do not plug anything that has a big motor (like a washer) into a GFCI outlet.

Motors have big surge circuit controllers that can cause unpredictable imbalances in line load that will trip a GFCI even though there is no current leakage.

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