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Ground Fault with Plasma Cutter

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  • Ground Fault with Plasma Cutter

    I have a Miller Spectrum 375 X-Treme plasma cutter.

    I bought it used. When I plug it into a 120V GFCI circuit and pull the trigger, I get a split second of spark, then the GFCI trips. Running it on a non-GFCI circuit works fine.

    This means either the hot or neutral is making its return to the GFCI circuit via the ground, correct?

    Is this a normal thing or is this a serious problem worth investigating?

    Thanks for reading

  • #2
    Have you tried it on other GFCI equipped outlets? I think GFCI's are pretty much garbage. I mean they're useful but they're not particularly well made. If I was to guess, I'd guess it's either a bad GFCI or that there's some surge current when you use the spectrum the GFCI doesn't like.

    I have GFCI's in my house that pop for no reason. I mean everything is fine, you walk away and when you walk back with no changes, the unit has popped.

    Are you using the stock plug or has someone swapped the plug end? I wonder if they swapped ground and neutral for instance.


    • #3
      I did not check other GFCI. I know what you mean about overly sensitive GFCIs. This GFCI circuit only ever tripped when I had a crappy old freezer plugged into it. Freezer is gone, (six years ago,) and it hasn't tripped since. It is the stock plug oriented correctly.

      Maybe I should open the top and look for unusual things.


      • #4
        A GFCI has a place. So unless you're using this plasma cutter in the shower, use a different outlet.