GFCI taking long time to trip

I have tested thousands of GFCI’s as a home inspector. I have used several brands of testers throughout the years. It used to always be that a if a GFCI was functional it would trip either the push button GFCI outlet upstream or the GFCI breaker at the panel immediately after pressing the trip button on tester.

Lately on homes that are 2 years or newer, they are taking 2-3 seconds to trip after pressing the button on the tester on about 1 and 25 homes. They still trip immediately when testing the push button on the GFCI outlet or garage only GFCI button in the panel depending on how the electrician chose to wire it. I’ve used at least 3 different brands of testers during this time and these same testers function normally at over houses before and after the ones I have this issue with.

I have also come across about 1 and 25 brand new homes that take a little while to trip when the GFCI test button is pressed at the panel.

Has anyone else noticed this issue? As far as responses go, NO haters please. I’m tired of reading comments that just try to find a way to criticize the question. Polite answers only please.

Using the test button on the GFCI itself is the only approved test method.


Thanks Robert, I always use that as my go to verbiage on reports, but any idea what could be causing this? If pressing the button on a tester is supposed to simulate a ground fault, it seems like I would be getting shocked for longer before it tripped.

It’s all a guess without more data. Get a suretest and let us know the measurements you get the next time you encounter such outlet. Most likely reason is either your tester or faulty ground/GFCI receptacle. Understand, the tester tests the GFCI function via the receptacle’s ground prong. The test button tests it internally without the use of the ground, it bleeds to grounded (neutral) wire. If any of this is confusing, research how class A GFCI is designed, it’s plastered all over the Internet.

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This device sends a 200-millisecond pulse through the grounding conductor at various current levels. A GFCI may not trip at minimum current levels (that is, 6-20mA) in such a short period of time. (For example, UL Standard 943 allows trip times of up to 1.5 seconds at 15mA .)

Typically less than 0147 ms

@ 07.7 Ma .

I have had the exact same thing happen 2 or 3 times now as well in the past few months. If the breaker trips normally, I havent said anything about it. But I agree, it is baffling.

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