Tripping the Ground Fault Interrupt Circuit (a.k.a. GFI or GFIC)

GFI outlets usually have a test and reset button in one of your outlets. There can be more than one outlet attached or inline to a GFI outlet somewhere else in your home. This outlet is to protect people for electrocution. It is not to protect the machine from electrical surges.

If your espresso machine or espresso coffee grinder is tripping your GFI, there are 3 circumstances that have occurred or are occurring:

  1. If the GFIC outlet is 3 or more years old, it is too sensitive. When GFIC outlets start to fail at this age, they get more sensitive, not less, to high wattage appliances like an espresso machine. This is to make sure that the GFIC outlets operate until they trip for every single appliance. Check on a new GFIC outlet that is newer.
  2. Although your GFI may work with other appliances, the electrical power requirement upon warm-up can fake the GFI into thinking there is a short in the line or machine. Try the machine on a NON-GFI outlet, and see whether the heating light goes on and off. If it does, then the problem is the GFI and a new GFI needs to be installed.
  3. There is a possibility of the espresso machine leaking water or steam internally which is tripping the GFI – this usually occurs if the machine arrives wet, has an internal leak, or if it was left in the cold and the water inside froze and burst a pipe (usually occurring on a used machine). On grinders, someone accidentally may have poured water into the top (as this has happened to a few of our customers when they were sleepy and thought they were refilling their espresso machine). Allow to air dry for 48 hours. If it continues, the machine needs to be evaluated.
  4. There is a possibility that a wire burned inside the espresso machine which is causing the short to trip the GFIC outlet. The machine needs to be evaluated.
  5. There is a part, like a pump, solenoid valve, or switch (for power, coffee, hot water or steam) that was hit with an electrical surge and melted. The machine needs to be evaluated.
  6. The internal boiler in espresso machine may not have been properly filled and the heating element melted. If the boiler was filled after the meltdown, the electrical current which feeds through the water to the ground wire and trips the GFIC outlet. The machine needs to be evaluated.