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Old 08-05-2014, 06:20 AM   #61
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Is this a common GFCI malfunction?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffnc
No, you are missing the point stickboy. GFCI saves from external ground faults as well. Grounding only helps within the circuit. I gave that example because it was easy to explain. I was hoping your imagination could figure out real world examples. Here are 2. In this house, all aspects of grounding are correctly installed and functioning. 1) A woman is washing dishes. Water is supplied to the house through an underground copper pipe, and all supply plumbing is copper. She turns on the water with her right hand, turning the metal faucet handle. At the same time she reaches to turn on the under cabinet lighting. Unfortunately when the lighting was installed, the power cable was slightly exposed, and the hot wire was nicked. She missed the switch on the light by a couple inches, touched the exposed wire , and was electrocuted because the circuit had no GFCI protection. 2) Meanwhile her husband is outside trimming the bushes with an electric trimmer. It has recently rained and he is barefoot in an area where water has slightly puddled. His extension cord is frayed from overuse, exposing a hot wire. He grabs the cord to pull it farther along, touching the wire. Fortunately for him, it was plugged into an exterior GFCI plug, and it tripped, saving him. He misses his wife though. In neither case could grounding be of any help, and therefore it can't "trump" GFCI. The 2 systems solve 2 separate problems, even if there is sometimes some overlap. This is why GFCI is installed in wet areas. The water can provide a path to ground external to the circuit.
Your examples are pretty far stretched, If your scenarios we're more true to life, gfcis would be required everywhere. IMO and this is a more likely, the NEC requires GFCI protection where it is impossible to maintain a continuous grounding path, which generally is at the receptacle where the grounding pin can be broken off.

This is the point you are missing, you can come up with as many odd ball scenarios as you want, but proper bonding/ grounding will always trump a gfci, it is how the NEC sees it. otherwise the NEC would require GFCi protection on every circuit, you know, in case a frayed wire were to exist..

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Old 08-05-2014, 07:20 AM   #62
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Is this a common GFCI malfunction?


http://www.robstubbinselectrical.com/news/tag/nfpa/


This is a fantastic article about gfci's, and in every requirement it is because of a chance of a failed grounding conductor, give it a read.....
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:24 AM   #63
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Is this a common GFCI malfunction?


Need for ground fault circuit interrupter protection has to do with the likelihood of some other part of a person's body making a not so poor conductive path to ground, such as being in contact with a not so dry bathroom floor or unfinished basement floor or the earth outside while at the same time the person touches something energized.

There is no argument requiring the need for equipment grounding conductors because circuits need them to be up to date anyway.

A failed EGC connection enters the electrocution picture only where the fault due to a damaged or exposed live component is to a metal tool body or other object or material that is supposed to be grounded and is intended to be held in hand or otherwise touched.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:46 AM   #64
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Is this a common GFCI malfunction?


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Your examples are pretty far stretched, If your scenarios we're more true to life, gfcis would be required everywhere. IMO and this is a more likely, the NEC requires GFCI protection where it is impossible to maintain a continuous grounding path, which generally is at the receptacle where the grounding pin can be broken off.

This is the point you are missing, you can come up with as many odd ball scenarios as you want, but proper bonding/ grounding will always trump a gfci, it is how the NEC sees it. otherwise the NEC would require GFCi protection on every circuit, you know, in case a frayed wire were to exist..
Sorry, that is nonsense. These are not oddball scenarios at all. These are scenarios where there can be a ground fault to a ground external to the circuit, and wet areas specifically are where this has a much higher chance of occurring. Obviously the NEC doesn't require GFCI on every circuit because not all circuits are near wet areas. They only require it in circuits near wet areas. That is, areas where potential for faults to external ground exists. There is no reason to think that grounding pins can be broken off more likely in a bathroom or kitchen than any other area.

Your article summarizes the history of GFCI, and that history is related to electricity near water, not grounding pins breaking off. It starts with underwater lighting, and goes from there.

From the same website:
"The NEC and Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) require GFCI protection in a large number of applications. The fundamental GFCI requirements are found in Section 210.8 of the NEC, although many other sections require them as well. Suffice it to say wherever electricity may be supplied in a potentially wet location, such as kitchen countertops, near sinks or outdoors, there is a good chance that GFCI protection is required there."

Nothing to do with grounding pins breaking off.

http://www.robstubbinselectrical.com...ci-protection/
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:56 AM   #65
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Is this a common GFCI malfunction?


A more concise view. Notice anything about the areas? Hint: has to do with water, not where grounding pins might break off.

http://www.mikeholt.com/documents/ne...ment_page2.pdf
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:42 PM   #66
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Is this a common GFCI malfunction?


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Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
Need for ground fault circuit interrupter protection has to do with the likelihood of some other part of a person's body making a not so poor conductive path to ground, such as being in contact with a not so dry bathroom floor or unfinished basement floor or the earth outside while at the same time the person touches something energized.
A "not so poor conductive path to ground" is actually the more accurate way of stating it, since water just happens to be the best example of it in most dwelling type settings.

Personally I don't even like the name GFCI because it's confusing. Current leakage device or something would be more meaningful. Anyway, it's no coincidence that the first leakage detectors were invented for mining operations, another area where both electricity and "not so poor conductive path to ground" exists.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground-...d_nomenclature
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:09 PM   #67
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Is this a common GFCI malfunction?


Why so much concern about ground or no ground, wet or dry. Any imbalance to hot and neutral current is a fault and the GFCI is a brilliant low cost device to detect this.

Gfcis have saved many lives.

I can't understand why the debate rages on for a 30+ year old device.
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:42 PM   #68
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Is this a common GFCI malfunction?


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Originally Posted by curiousB View Post
Why so much concern about ground or no ground, wet or dry. Any imbalance to hot and neutral current is a fault and the GFCI is a brilliant low cost device to detect this.

Gfcis have saved many lives.

I can't understand why the debate rages on for a 30+ year old device.
The debate isn't about the device, only that people understand why they exist. The NEC views them entirely different than JeffNC, and his opinion is his to have, but it is not the NECs view on it.
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:55 PM   #69
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Is this a common GFCI malfunction?


Im really confused on how JeffNC does not see why GFCI's are required only because the grounding conductor can be compromised.


What Is GFCI?

The definition of Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter appeared in Article 680 (in the 1968 edition) as “a device whose function is to interrupt the electric circuit to the load when a fault current to ground exceeds some predetermined value that is less than that required to operate the overcurrent protective device of the supply circuit.” GFCI was still only one of the protection methods permitted for underwater fixtures. An interesting requirement was that conductors on the load side of the GFCI device were to be kept entirely independent of all other wiring and electrical equipment.



It was not until 1971 that GFCI protection became a “required” protection method. Even though underwater lighting fixtures were the first allowed this protection they were not the first required to have it. A failed grounding connection presents an electrical hazard, particularly with the number of handheld power tools and extension cords used around a construction site. So the first GFCI requirement (first simply because it occurred in Section 210-7) was for all single phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles used at a construction site. A few sections further, GFCI protection was required for all outdoor 120-volt, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles in residential occupancies, essentially for the same reason as for construction sites. This section also specifically permitted GFCI protection for “other circuits, occupancies and locations” if added protection was desired. In Article 680, protection included all electrical equipment used with storable pools and all receptacles within 15 feet of an indoor pool . The expansion of GFCI protection had begun.

Ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection requirements took time to expand. Concerns about the new technology, false tripping, financial burden, and the lack of data were cited as reasons. Still, 210-8(a) of the 1978 NEC added GFCI requirements to garages of dwelling units, partially due to concern with the amount of grounded (concrete) surface, and the fact that many hand-held tools did not have an equipment grounding conductor (for the younger crowd who have only used double-insulated ABS tools, metal used to be the hand-held power tool housing material of choice). Data regarding a grounding system that was verified as being intact supported the addition of an exception to the 210-8(b) construction site requirements. This exception introduced the assured grounding program as an alternative to GFCI protection. GFCI protection also became a requirement for marina receptacles (Article 555).

More Exceptions

Exceptions for garage receptacles that were not accessible — or were used for appliances in a dedicated space — first appeared in 1981. Thirty years ago, many appliances had high leakage currents, and ones with motors often were capable of tripping a GFCI device; therefore, fixed appliance locations were exempted. Non-accessible receptacles — such as on the ceiling for a garage door opener — were likewise exempted, with the expectation that the receptacle would not be used with extension cords or hand-powered tools.

The GFCI requirements expanded in 1987 to additional dwelling unit receptacles. The Code required the installation of at least one receptacle in a basement. With the concrete and portable tool use in this area, GFCI protection became a requirement for that one receptacle. The intent of the wording “above the countertop and within 6 feet of a kitchen sink” was clarified to exempt appliances (disposal, refrigerator, etc.) from the GFCI requirement. Additionally, dwelling boathouses (due to the nature of the location and the use of portable tools) became another protected location. The receptacles in commercial garages (Article 511) were included for the same reasons as those in a dwelling unit garage.

Many pool pumps at private clubs and apartment complexes are hard-wired, and these pools are often maintained by personnel not familiar with bonding and grounding requirements. The concern for protection of the public using these facilities warranted adding the GFCI requirement in the 1999 Code to 125- or 240-volt, 15- and 20-ampere pool pump motors, whether they were direct connected or cord-connected. This edition also brought another change to temporary installations (which were at that time in Article 305) when it expanded GFCI requirements to cover 125-volt, 30-ampere receptacles as well as any other receptacle used temporarily.

I can keep going, but i am done with this conversation.... proper grounding and bonding trump GFCI's, END OF STORY. Take commercial kitchens for one last example, every receptacle must be GFCI protected, this is not because of sinks, it is there because cleaning crews are relentless when moving appliances around and jerk the cord and break the grounding pin off of cords, the GFCI is required in case the equipment has a fault and provides secondary protection if that fault stays energized.

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Old 08-05-2014, 07:11 PM   #70
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Is this a common GFCI malfunction?


Because it says all over the place it's because of wet areas and external ground faults. If you read the first link you posted, and then the history of NEC code updates, and you can't figure out the requirement is for external ground faults due to wet areas, then nothing I say can convince you. You will note that bathrooms and kitchens are not particularly important places for power tools to be used, yet are top priority for GFCI. I'm starting to think you don't even know what GFCI does.

NEC requires GFCI where wet, damp, or "earthy" areas can provide an external path to ground. You simply have a fundamental understanding of why this was invented.

And if you are actually an electrician, and you can't comprehend that people die in the example scenarios I described previously, you really shouldn't be practicing.
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:14 PM   #71
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Is this a common GFCI malfunction?


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Originally Posted by jeffnc View Post
Because it says all over the place it's because of wet areas and external ground faults. If you read the first link you posted, and then the history of NEC code updates, and you can't figure out the requirement is for external ground faults due to wet areas, then nothing I say can convince you. You will note that bathrooms and kitchens are not particularly important places for power tools to be used, yet are top priority for GFCI. I'm starting to think you don't even know what GFCI does.

NEC requires GFCI where wet, damp, or "earthy" areas can provide an external path to ground. You simply have a fundamental understanding of why this was invented.



And if you are actually an electrician, and you can't comprehend that people die in the example scenarios I described previously, you really shouldn't be practicing.
You are entitled to your opinion, but your ignorance on the NEC destroys your lack of judgement. Being a damp/wet location is only part of the issue, as I already pointed out in Commercial kitchens.... If you want, post your comment on Mike Holts forum as see how you make out. This is a DIY site, so this debate is not worth my time trying to educate someone that isn't ready to be educated. You just lack the basic knowledge of electrical. And of course we always have the issue of someone admitting they are wrong. Have a good night!

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Old 08-05-2014, 07:38 PM   #72
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Because it says all over the place it's because of wet areas and external ground faults.
Lets analyze this scenario for a second, all pools supplied by 15 & 20 amp branch circuits require gfci protection, but we all know they make gfci's up to 50 amps, but the NEC does not require gfci protection if you say, use a 25 amp breaker or larger, same goes for 3 phase pool equipment, non gfci required, but we are looking at the same pool scenario as with 15 & 20 amp circuits. Both wet locations, correct?

Here is MY guess as to WHY gfci is not required in those scenarios, and it is simply because qualified personal will be servicing this equipment, not a homeowner, when unqualified people are involved, the NEC has to step up the protection by adding secondary protection to protect the less educated. And I mean this by making sure the proper grounding and bonding is in place.

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Old 08-05-2014, 08:11 PM   #73
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Is this a common GFCI malfunction?


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What Is GFCI?

The definition of Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter appeared in Article 680 (in the 1968 edition) as “a device whose function is to interrupt the electric circuit to the load when a fault current to ground exceeds some predetermined value that is less than that required to operate the overcurrent protective device of the supply circuit.” GFCI was still only one of the protection methods permitted for underwater fixtures. An interesting requirement was that conductors on the load side of the GFCI device were to be kept entirely independent of all other wiring and electrical equipment..
If the subcircuit connected to the load terminals of a GFCI had an interconnection with any other circuit or subcircuit then an imbalance between/among currents on the current carrying conductors monitored by the GFCI unit will happen.
Quote:
Lets analyze this scenario for a second, all pools supplied by 15 & 20 amp branch circuits require gfci protection, but we all know they make gfci's up to 50 amps, but the NEC does not require gfci protection if you say, use a 25 amp breaker or larger, same goes for 3 phase pool equipment, non gfci required, but we are looking at the same pool scenario as with 15 & 20 amp circuits. Both wet locations, correct?
Here is my wild guess.

Higher amperage circuits are more likely to serve motorized equipment where there is a greater likelihood that there would be power factor issues and/or phantom (induced) currents that are greater than the threshold required by a GFCI unit to prevent electrocution. The lack of the GFCI requirement for higher amperage circuits is a tradeoff between the ability to install and use such motorized equipment at all, versus provide maximum safety for persons. Alternative methods of reducing electrocution hazards, such as equipotential grounding grids, are called for at swimming pools.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 08-05-2014 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:13 PM   #74
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Is this a common GFCI malfunction?


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If the subcircuit connected to the load terminals of a GFCI had an interconnection with any other circuit or subcircuit then an imbalance between/among currents on the current carrying conductors monitored by the GFCI unit will happen.
I agree, not sure where they were going with that comment, other than they were only dealing with underwater luminaries, so who knows what they did in the past....
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:14 AM   #75
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You are entitled to your opinion, but your ignorance on the NEC destroys your lack of judgement. Being a damp/wet location is only part of the issue, as I already pointed out in Commercial kitchens.... If you want, post your comment on Mike Holts forum as see how you make out. This is a DIY site, so this debate is not worth my time trying to educate someone that isn't ready to be educated. You just lack the basic knowledge of electrical. And of course we always have the issue of someone admitting they are wrong.
Right. Why don't you explain to us how the NEC has determined that grounding prongs are going to be breaking off power tools in bathrooms, kitchens, and wet bars, but not in bedrooms, living rooms, or attics?

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