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PSA on Bentley's heater failure video

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An important point about using a ground probe that Bentley didn't mention is that if your heater is plugged into a GFCI protected outlet (and it definitely should be) that when the heater fails and allows electricity into the water the ground probe will cause the GFCI to trip. GFCI breakers work by monitoring the current in the hot wire and the neutral wire, if they don't match then the breaker trips. Since the ground probe is giving the electricity a path to ground the current in the ground probe means the current in the neutral will be reduced by that amount, won't match the current in the hot wire and causes the breaker to trip.

So if you add or have a ground probe and the GFCI outlet used by your heater keeps tripping it's because the heater is bad and allowing the water to get electrified. Everything is working the way it should (except for the heater) and you shouldn't just move your heater to an outlet that isn't GFCI protected to keep it going, you need to replace the heater.

Edit to add: And yes, GFCI outlets can also go bad as they do have a chip inside to monitor the currents on the hot and neutral wires and these chips can and will eventually fail. Also one GFCI outlet will protect the other outlets on the circuit if installed correctly. This also applies to the newer combined Arc & Ground Fault outlets and breakers.

No I can't make comments on Bentley's video as I refuse to have any account associated with google/alphabet, so can't even get Bentley's email address from his YouTube page as you can only see the email address if you are logged in to YouTube.

Edited by CMcDermott
Add more info on GFCI
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Yes.  And you really should have a ground probe and not just rely on the gfci alone.  Without a ground probe there is no alternate route to ground until you stick your hand in the water and also touch a ground source yourself…


If I have a ground fault, I want there to be a path to ground inside the tank so it trips before I stick my hands in the water….


and you really should get in the habit of tripping and resetting your gfci outlet once a month.  I do mine the first Saturday of every month during tank cleaning….

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