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Old 08-11-2013, 01:11 AM   #1
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In this example, will a GFCI save my son's life?


All my receptacle in my house that are being used are somewhat covered for safety. This is to prevent my 2 year old son from touching it. However when we vacuum the house daily, that is the only time I am worried. During that 10 minute vacuuming time it is possible for my kid to touch the plug and receptacle. My question is if all my receptacle in my house are GFCI, and my kid happens to shock himself unplugging the vacuum, will a GFCI prevent him from being shocked?

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Old 08-11-2013, 01:46 AM   #2
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In this example, will a GFCI save my son's life?


No not really. After the first or second time of playing with the plug, he will learn to not do it again, unless he is just one of those that it does not affect them, and then it comes down to being a parent by teaching them right from wrong.

I learned after plugging a DC motor into a outlet, when I was around six or seven. Ran really fast for a few seconds, before the windings in the motor melted, and caused a short, with magic smoke, sparks, and a breaker being blown.

When I was twelve, helping my father build a Heathkit H-89 computer. Dad was putting together the power supply for it, which had Capacitors the size of C & D cell batteries on the circuit board. Dad had been working around electronics and high voltage power supplies for well over forty years at that time, but never noticed that he had soldered one of the oil filled capacitors in backwards.

I was in the living room watching tv, heard what sounded like a shotgun going off. Walked into the Kitchen, to see dad under the Kitchen table looking like he needed to go change his drawers. After I asked what happened, dad had this sheepish grin on his face, and stated that he had one of those oops moments, and soldered the Capacitor in backwards, and never noticed, until he flipped the power to test the unit.

So regardless, even as adults, we do stuff that we shouldn't and get shocked at times, then learn not to do it again.

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Old 08-11-2013, 08:21 AM   #3
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In this example, will a GFCI save my son's life?


unless your kid have some small metal parts he can put in receptacle he will never be shocked by a receptacle, i have 2 kids and never blocked any receptacle
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:21 AM   #4
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In this example, will a GFCI save my son's life?


I would put my kid in a bubble if I was that concerned...
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Old 08-11-2013, 10:19 AM   #5
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In this example, will a GFCI save my son's life?


Glad to see someone take child safety seriously.

Generally, in order to get shocked by a receptacle. Your son would have to either also be inseting something conductive into the hot side, or touching something that was electrified at the same time as him being grounded, or connected to the neutral. He would almost have to do it intentionally. Which probably won't happen, as your wife will probably be watching him while she vacuums.

As much s we would all like to protect our children from all the hazards in the world. We can't. And even some of the things we can protect them from is almost being cruel protecting them from them. Things like tricycles, bicycles, motorcycles, skateboards, the neighborhood kids, jumping off the bed. Etc.

One of the best ways to protect them, is ensuring they know and understand the word, NO.

Unless you intend to keep him in your house only, until he is 3 or 4. Sooner or later he will be at a house where the receps aren't protected.
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:46 AM   #6
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In this example, will a GFCI save my son's life?


A GFCI wont completely stop all shocks,
But most of the time they will reduce the chances,
If there is a shock on a gfci circuit it will be very brief.
Sometimes so brief you dont realise it has happened.

So they do have uses,
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:54 AM   #7
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In this example, will a GFCI save my son's life?


Why not install tamper resistant plugs? They are kind of a pain in the ass but are required in my area.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:33 AM   #8
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In this example, will a GFCI save my son's life?


My 2-story addition is requiring the TR plugs....but to be honest, except for one or two occasions, I've had no trouble getting a plug in.

We are past the stage of worrying about the kids playing with the sockets....now they are plugging in the chargers for their DS's.

Child safety is a difficult thing to implement. Most of the dangers in a home are easy to address. Locks on cabinets with chemicals....making sure things can't fall on them...small objects that can choke them (most common)....pools or deep baths (second most common).

I rate outlets up there with fire. The hardest thing about teaching a kid that fire is hot is how to let them get burned enough so they know the fire is hot but not so much so that it does any damage.

The first time a kid touches a wire they should not, they will quickly learn why they should not touch it. You will never have to tell them again.

Now....that does not mean go let you kid touch the wire...If you can get them to not touch just from verbal orders...great.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:38 AM   #9
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In this example, will a GFCI save my son's life?


It would be tough to get a shock that way, but a GFCI should be effective; your son will get a shock, but the GFCI will break the circuit.

Like some of the other posters, I raised two children without worrying about something like this. It is unlikely to happen, and a serious result is extremely unlikely; it is hard (but not impossible) to be hurt on 120v.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:33 AM   #10
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In this example, will a GFCI save my son's life?


Quote:
Originally Posted by shazapple View Post
Why not install tamper resistant plugs? They are kind of a pain in the ass but are required in my area.
This sounds really interesting. What are they a pain to install?
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:41 AM   #11
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In this example, will a GFCI save my son's life?


Quote:
Originally Posted by stanlam View Post
This sounds really interesting. What are they a pain to install?
Not to install....to use...sort of.

The TR plugs have a plastic shield inside that prevents a kid from sticking something into just one side.

For us grownups....when you go to plug something in..the plug needs to be square with the face of the outlet and both blades have to be inserted at the same time....if you attempt to insert one side first, the plastic guards do not move out of the way.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:42 AM   #12
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In this example, will a GFCI save my son's life?


Quote:
Originally Posted by stanlam View Post
This sounds really interesting. What are they a pain to install?
Not a pain to install ......reread


Pain sometimes to use putting the plug in ..some times u gotta jiggle it ....usually just the first or second time use
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:45 AM   #13
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In this example, will a GFCI save my son's life?


Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
A GFCI wont completely stop all shocks,
But most of the time they will reduce the chances,
If there is a shock on a gfci circuit it will be very brief.
Sometimes so brief you dont realise it has happened.

So they do have uses,
Okay, I was getting confused because some of the replies I got on the first day made me think that a GFCI is not that important. However, when I read your response, it makes it appear that I should still get the GFCI installed. Your saying it might not stop all the shocks, but it's still could be a life saver.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:56 AM   #14
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In this example, will a GFCI save my son's life?


About the only way anyone could really be hurt is if you were to grab the plug blades, one with each hand and standing on something not conductive....then there would be a path through you only...that would not trip the GFCI...but it's also unlikely it would kill the person....most people let go real quick.

But if you grab one side and your standing on something conductive...once the current flowing through your body exceeds 5ma...the GFCI will trip. In most cases it would be so fast that you would only get a tingle.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:06 PM   #15
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In this example, will a GFCI save my son's life?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
About the only way anyone could really be hurt is if you were to grab the plug blades, one with each hand and standing on something not conductive....then there would be a path through you only...that would not trip the GFCI...but it's also unlikely it would kill the person....most people let go real quick.

But if you grab one side and your standing on something conductive...once the current flowing through your body exceeds 5ma...the GFCI will trip. In most cases it would be so fast that you would only get a tingle.
All houses have some type of flooring like carpet, tile, linoleum, wood, what are all non-conductive. Therefore, it would be impossible to trip a GFCI not unless you are standing outside on top of the dirt/earth? Is that right? However, most people that are outside have shoes are sandals on so again you are wearing something non-conductive.

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Last edited by stanlam; 08-12-2013 at 12:15 PM.
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