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Old 05-30-2011, 06:27 PM   #1
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Clarification please - GFCI outlets vs. circuit breakers


Renovating a kitchen. I know, among other things, that I need two dedicated, GFCI-protected circuits for small appliance loads. My question is are the receptacles supposed to be GFCI or the does the circuit breaker need to be a GFCI CB? GFCI receptacles a lot cheaper than the GFCI CB I saw at the big box stores. Thanks in advance for all replies

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Old 05-30-2011, 06:36 PM   #2
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Clarification please - GFCI outlets vs. circuit breakers


regular breaker in panel,gfci recp's at first recp on each kit ckt.

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Old 05-30-2011, 06:44 PM   #3
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Clarification please - GFCI outlets vs. circuit breakers


Either can be used to supply the GFI protection. The receptacle type are cheaper and you don't need to go to the panel to reset them should they trip (rare).
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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:58 PM   #4
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Clarification please - GFCI outlets vs. circuit breakers


GFCI recepts are the way to go, IMO - for the reasons already provided.

I like the ones with the small status inidcator light - at a glance you can tell if tripped or not.
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:28 PM   #5
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Clarification please - GFCI outlets vs. circuit breakers


Many thanks for the replies.
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:44 PM   #6
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Clarification please - GFCI outlets vs. circuit breakers


In my kitchen for one of the circuits, we had to use a GFCI breaker, because it is split between two counters on opposite sides of the kitchen and is in a remodel on a older home. The other circuit we did a single GFCI outlet, since it is the portable dishwasher & counter top microwave, with the microwave always plugged in on that circuit.
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:01 PM   #7
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Clarification please - GFCI outlets vs. circuit breakers


When I was reviewing my plan with my inspector, he suggested that electricians would probably put a couple outlets on opposite sides of the room on the same circuit, to avoid overloading a single side/circuit with appliance load, but that was not the way I went, as it complicated the wiring and was not really required by code. I think I will stay with GFCI receptacles rather than CB. I like the idea of seeing the status lights without going to the main panel
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:24 PM   #8
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Clarification please - GFCI outlets vs. circuit breakers


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Originally Posted by tpagel View Post
When I was reviewing my plan with my inspector, he suggested that electricians would probably put a couple outlets on opposite sides of the room on the same circuit, to avoid overloading a single side/circuit with appliance load, but that was not the way I went, as it complicated the wiring and was not really required by code.
Don't know where you are (please update your profile via User CP), but where I am you have to go other side of the room with the same circuit by code (this is for GFCI protected 20A circuit). ESA inspector would fail the work otherwise.
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:28 PM   #9
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Clarification please - GFCI outlets vs. circuit breakers


G-Mo, a circuit can run the whole room on all four sides up to the max outlets allowed. If the inspector fails the work because the circuit covers another wall, there is more to it.
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:59 PM   #10
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Clarification please - GFCI outlets vs. circuit breakers


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G-Mo, a circuit can run the whole room on all four sides up to the max outlets allowed. If the inspector fails the work because the circuit covers another wall, there is more to it.
Not here in a kitchen it can't!

Inside the GFCI zone, for 20A T-slot receptacles, GFCI protected by a breaker or in the first receptacle only 2 receptacles per circuit are allowed and the second receptacle on a circuit cannot be on the same wall.

Last edited by G-Mo; 05-30-2011 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:48 AM   #11
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That is because Canada has some screwed up rules.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:14 AM   #12
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Clarification please - GFCI outlets vs. circuit breakers


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That is because Canada has some screwed up rules.
No clue where the OP is. If he's been given advice by his building inspector that sounds Canadian, he/she might be in Canada... If so...
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:32 AM   #13
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Clarification please - GFCI outlets vs. circuit breakers


I live in Connecticut. My inspector did not make it sound like it was a mandatory issue, and nothing I have read online mentioned it as a code requirement.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:27 AM   #14
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Clarification please - GFCI outlets vs. circuit breakers


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I live in Connecticut. My inspector did not make it sound like it was a mandatory issue, and nothing I have read online mentioned it as a code requirement.
The use of either a GFI breaker or outlet is more of a choice. It comes down to the situation at hand in where it would be used. Take for example in my kitchen as I noted. I had to use Junction boxes, and using a GFI breaker was easier for that circuit for the two outlets that I had to wire, which after we are done, will have three outlets total.

It comes down to when you lay it out, and convenience to the breaker panel really, and costs. In a commercial situation, it makes sense to use GFI outlets, where as in a residential home the breaker is the better solution I think, where you have easy access to the panel.

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