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Old 03-13-2012, 05:49 PM   #1
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GFCI Breakers vs Receptacles


Hello.

I recently purchased a home that has a a new grounded breaker panel but none of the outlets themselves are grounded save the hvac system in the basement. I had an electrician come and he said the fastest way to get it done is to switch the appropriate breakers to GFCI breakers in my service box and then I can change the outlets and then just put the stickers that say ungrounded etc on the new 3 prong receptacles. he called the inspector to double check and the inspector told him that he can't do it this way but he needs to find the first outlet in the loop from each breaker line and change that receptacle to a gfci and then we can change each receptacle to 3 prong in that loop.

Wouldn't just changing the breaker do the same thing? also if I did just install a Gfci receptacle on the first outlet in the loop, if it breaks wouldn't the rest of the outlets behind that gfci not function until I replaced the Gfci outlet where as a breaker would just pop and I can simply go turn it back on?

Just wanted to get some opinion from the experts as I'm willing to spend more on doing gfci breakers and am confused as to why the inspector suggested the way he did

Thanks for any help!

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Old 03-13-2012, 05:59 PM   #2
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GFCI Breakers vs Receptacles


The inspector has no idea what he is talking about.

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Old 03-13-2012, 06:13 PM   #3
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GFCI Breakers vs Receptacles


Thanks for the reply! So are you saying that installing the breakers is the same? everything I've read indicates that this is so....

I'm really hesitant to have my electricity rely on a couple gfci receptacles (am i correct in thinking that if the gfci goes out thn the rest of the outlets on that loop will not function until i fix the gfci?) in my mind breakers are a bit more reliable
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:32 PM   #4
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GFCI Breakers vs Receptacles


Its probably the fact that the gfci needs to be tested often. And it's easier to test it just before you plug something in.

If you're worried about one thing tripping the entire circuit, put a gfci at each plug (:
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:40 PM   #5
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GFCI Breakers vs Receptacles


Why do you want to change to 3 wire receptacles.? If you think that will protect your electronics, it will not. You need a real grounded circuit for that. If you are protecting kitchen and bath circuits for personnel protection, GFCI is a valid option.

BTW, the inspector is wrong unless there is a local amendment to support him.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:28 PM   #6
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GFCI Breakers vs Receptacles


There are two advantages to the breaker vs the GFI receptacle. One, you don't need to find the first receptacle. Two you don't have to squeeze the GFI into the box with the old fragile insulation.
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:38 AM   #7
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thanks for the reply everyone. I'll see what options I have after I talk with my electrician again today.

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