My X-Carve has been built for 2 weeks but I cannot get it to power up. Every outlet in my garage is part of a GFCI circuit and the systems trips as soon as I turn on the power unit. Any help would be appreciated.
Assuming that everything is OK with your system, VFD’s and large switched power supplies tend to trip GFCI’s often due to harmonics being back-fed onto the circuits they are connected to. To a GFCI this appears as if there is an imbalance in the Goes-In vs. Goes-Out and which causes the safety circuit to trip. There are chokes and reactors that you could purchase and install, but the simplest method would be to switch it to a non-GFCI circuit if you can.
Also, GFCI’s can go bad and become overly sensitive. Just a thought there too…
Of course, there could actually be something really wrong with it, so take precautions with whatever you decide to do.
This is a known thing. You’ll unfortunately have to use a non GFI outlet.
Just my 2 cents, but how about we re-word this to “…any standard non-GCFI outlet”
Also, I don’t have the assembly guide, but what does that say about plugging it into power? Does it specify Non-GFCI power source?
Seth, this is all it says in the assembly instructions:
- Plug in Controller Power Cable
- Plug the AC power cable into the controller and then into the nearest 15A (or higher) standard outlet.
- The spindle is powered by a variable frequency drive (VFD), and it is common for VFDs to generate some current that flows to ground due to the high frequencies and capacitive coupling between current carrying conductors and grounded elements. This ground current can generate nuisance tripping of the GFI since it creates an imbalance between the current on the hot and neutral lines
Thank you for that info!
so they kinda put the info in there, but the fact is a good 80% of the new owners don’t know what that means. The documentation needs to be at like a 10th grade education level, not a journeyman electrician level.
They need to spell it out in layman’s terms of “Don’t use a GFI / GFCI circuit” with a photo of both a GFCI outlet and a GFCI breaker switch.
**(and using both terms is a best practice as many people don’t know that the 2 acronyms actually mean the same thing)
I worked at a company that made 20-100k$ remote controlled submarines and we packed the manual with “DO NOT” lines and warning and caution symbols based on personal injury and equipment malfunction applicability. And if a new issue arose more than once in the field from lack of info in the manual or end user mis-use, it would get clarified or added to the manual.
I don’t know, it just seems too important to rely on customers calling or dropping posts on the forum to not address head on at this point.
Pretty sad that I have this $6500 CNC sitting in my garage that I can’t use simply because of an outlet. Thx for your 2-cents Seth.
Not an ideal long term solution, but could you get a 10 or 12 gauge extension cord you could run to another outlet until you can get an electrician?
Where is the electrical panel? Hopefully, it is in the garage where your machine is located. That simply means that an electrician will easily be able to add an outlet for you at a minimum cost.
Unfortunately, this is something that is common, especially with cheaper VFD’s. Along with any additional notices/warnings that Inventables could add to the manual, they should definitely discuss the ability of their supplier to design in an appropriate DC Link Choke for the VFD.
If you do not have an additional outlet that is not GFCI protected and cannot get one installed by a local electrician, you should definitely look into the power cable choke option. They are fairly cheap (imagine a a larger version of what you see on some USB cables). You could also just have an electrician come out and determine if the circuit actually needs a GFCI per code and change it if not.
Even the average DC Link Chokes for a 2.2kW VFD is $30-$50 and installation would be very easy. Of course doing so would void your Inventables warranty on the new X-Carve Pro machine most likely.
Although I couldn’t splurge for the cost of the X-Carve Pro, I do understand shelling out massive amounts of money and having issues. Hopefully, you will be up and running in no time!
To be fair, GFI outlets aren’t standard for every outlet… So, this could be a true statement.
Regardless, I will say it’s pretty scary setting it up for the first time, then it tripping the outlet… thinking your brand new machine you waited months for…is broken.
trouble shooting 101> I would assume you have a overhead garage door with a garage door opener, with a non-GFCI outlet on the ceiling ? try using it !! if it doesn’t solve your issue? its your GFCI break the chain .
Agreed I have always said they weren’t simple enough. A newbie needs to be able to understand them from page one.
Hey, I’m an electrician! Like the others have said you can not use the GFCI outlet, way too sensitive and they hate motors of any kind, VFD or otherwise. If you would like to protect the rest of the circuit with a GFCI plug I would suggest this. Remove your GFCI plug and replace it with a normal plug for your CNC. Then install your GFCI plug you just removed and install it in the next plug in the line. The other option would be to remove the GFCI all together and just use normal plug but your others outlets wouldn’t be protected. (I would remove them all unless your next to a sink) if you’d like to keep you CNC plug different fromthe rest, you can buy an orange or red plug or flip it upside down so you know it’s not GFCI like the others. That’s my 2 cents. Oh and they do make a GFCI breaker for about $120… It won’t help, don’t waste the money.
Thx Rob. Scratching my head why the builder put them in the garage. No water, sink around
Technically, there was a change in the NEC during the 2008 revision that required GFCI circuits in garages. Prior to this, outlets that were inaccessible were exempt, but that changed in 2008. Another change is that garage door opener outlets are now required to be GFCI and AFCI protected.
That being said, you should check with your local building inspector and see what the codes are for your area. Just because the NEC states that the above is required does not mean that the local building codes follow all of the NEC requirements.
Whether you can move the GFCI outlet (or change the breaker if that is what your circuit has) really boils down to the local codes that are enforced by your jurisdiction’s building codes.
I wish I had an X-Carve Pro; I would evaluate the DC Link choke, RFI/EMC filter, or isolation transformer route myself and report the results. If nothing else, to simply pass along possible solutions to those in localities where the NEC codes mentioned above are enforced.