Treadmills need to be well-maintained, but even when you do everything right, your machine can trip the breaker and shut down.
A treadmill usually trips the breaker when it is connected to a faulty outlet like a GFCI or an AFCI. These types of circuits may function well with other devices, but their mechanisms of functioning don’t support treadmills. To help fix the issue, you can either replace the outlet or change the position of your treadmill altogether.
GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)
GFCI outlets are commonly used with treadmills and elliptical machines and have been hailed for their excellent performance; however, there is a catch.
These outlets are part of many new and modern homes and are often found in the kitchen or bathrooms. They are characterized by a white or red reset switch placed on their plates. Like most other interrupters, they are also designed to flip their breaker if the power flowing to the ground exceeds a particular limit.
Machines like treadmills have motors that are highly static and attract a lot of the surrounding dirt, debris, and pet hair. Hence, they need a ground wire to disperse some of this electricity. However, if you connect your treadmill with a ground wire to a GFCI outlet, it is likely going to shut down the machine by tripping the breaker.
The above issue is prevalent in many homes and comes with only one solution: changing the placement of your machine. However, most outlets near a GFCI outlet are also of the same kind, even when they don’t come with a red switch.
This is why, to avoid the problem altogether, you may need to keep your treadmill in a different room or hall. Moreover, a treadmill needs a dedicated circuit, so make sure that no other device is connected to that source.
AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter)
Most homes are built with either a CFCI or an AIFC. The latter shuts down the flow of electricity as soon as it detects an electrical arc.
Many homes and apartment buildings have these AIFC circuits installed in order to meet the building codes. However, that is bad news for recliners and treadmills. Most of these machines do not work well with an AFCI and may need replacement.
However, in instances where you can’t switch to a different model of outlet, you can also consult an electrician and get a noise Tripp lite isobar that prevents the AFCI from shutting down.
Is There a Problem with the Treadmill?
Apart from a faulty outlet, your treadmill may experience other problems, including a circuit overload or a motor problem. The former occurs when the machine tries to draw in more than the required power. This is often when there is too much weight on the machine, or the belt isn’t aligned properly. Your circuit trips to ensure that no harm comes to you or the treadmill.
Motor problems occur when the motor causes a lot of static charges and attracts a lot of dirt and debris from its surroundings. This can hamper its functioning.
Lastly, a normal treadmill has a 2 to 4 amp range, but any value higher than 6 indicates potential wear and tear. So if you see any of these three problems in your treadmill, it is time to fix them.
Do I Need an AVR for a Treadmill?
Most treadmills available today are similar to laptops and PCs in terms of power consumption and can hence support the full range of functions. This means you don’t need an AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulator) unless the overall power of the treadmill goes below 100V.
However, a lot of people still get an AVR for their treadmills because it helps them regulate the amount of electricity used by the treadmills and ensures that their machines are well protected.
How to Prevent Treadmills from Tripping Breakers?
GFCI outlets are common in outdoor, kitchen, and garage spaces, whereas AFCI outlets are the most common in halls, bedrooms, and living rooms. Attaching your treadmill to either of these will make it trip, so the simple solution is to change the position of your treadmill.
If the above solution isn’t practical, you should hire a professional and get your AFCI and GFCI outlets replaced. Some people also use Tripp lite or a surge protector with the same outlets to prevent their treadmill from malfunctioning.
Like most people, if workouts are an integral part of your life, we know that you will go to any lengths to fix the issue. The solution to your problem is quite simple and won’t cost much: change your treadmill’s position. However, before you make space for it elsewhere or invest in a new treadmill, make sure you are well aware of the type of outlets available there and its compatibility with your machine.
Still not solved? Try this blog post “Solving The Mystery: Why Is My Treadmill Tripping The Breaker?“