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daveplot 06-10-2011 12:20 PM

GFCI Question
 
Since I have an 18 month son, and another on the way, I decided to check to make sure my kitchen and bathroom receptacles are GFCI protected. They arenít. I knew I had a GFCI breaker in the box, but it is for some of my basement receptacles (no all, don't know why, that's another issue). My house was built in the 1970s.

The two bathrooms and master bedroom are on a 15 amp circuit.

The kitchen receptacles, refrigerator, and dishwasher are on a 20 amp circuit.

Since I don't know which outlet comes first to wire the line/load on a GFCI outlet, are there any drawback, other than increased price, in just replacing the two breakers with GFCI ones?

Jim Port 06-10-2011 12:29 PM

GFI breakers are an acceptable way to provide the protection. You could also use GFI receptacles at each location and only use the LINE terminals.

You will need to move the circuit neutral to the breaker.

kbsparky 06-10-2011 03:36 PM

I do not recommend putting your fridge on a GFCI device. Too many factors can cause nuisance tripping, putting you at risk for spoiled food.

Jim Port 06-10-2011 04:23 PM

A properly functioning refrigerator should not trip a GFI. The allowable leakage current is about 1/10 of what the GFI is designed to trip at.

A saved life is more important than food.

daveplot 06-10-2011 04:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Port (Post 664718)
You could also use GFI receptacles at each location and only use the LINE terminals.

That sounds like a good plan. Probably what i'll do. Thanks.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kbsparky (Post 664817)
I do not recommend putting your fridge on a GFCI device. Too many factors can cause nuisance tripping, putting you at risk for spoiled food.

I read that somewhere, and it's a good idea, and with a wife who is going to be pumping and freezing breast milk, I would rather not feel the wrath of spoiled milk. I even have a wireless temperature alarm on the fridge and freezer just in case.

Leah Frances 06-10-2011 05:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daveplot (Post 664849)
That sounds like a good plan. Probably what i'll do. Thanks.

I read that somewhere, and it's a good idea, and with a wife who is going to be pumping and freezing breast milk, I would rather not feel the wrath of spoiled milk. I even have a wireless temperature alarm on the fridge and freezer just in case.

You want to protect LIVE meat (you, your wife, your kid) not dead meat. One is replaceable. One is not. Like Jim said.

If you have a temp alarm then you don't have to worry at all.

I've got a freezer plugged into a GFCI and don't have a problem with it.

kbsparky 06-10-2011 05:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Port (Post 664844)
A properly functioning refrigerator should not trip a GFI. The allowable leakage current is about 1/10 of what the GFI is designed to trip at.

A saved life is more important than food.

That is the mantra brought about by those bureaucrats on the CMP's and the lobbyists from those who manufacture and sell GFCI devices.

The truth is there are a lot of things that can trip out a GFCI that are not related to how "properly functioning" a refrigerator might or might not be.

A bad lightning storm or power surges can trip out and/or literally fry the guts of GFCI's. I've seen this many, many times. Those lobbyists and cmp members fail to consider such outside factors when implementing mandates.

Besides, refrigerators are not required to have GFCI protection. Why is that, if they are supposedly the cat's meow in the ultimate protection?

You talk about saving lives. How about saving a life from food poisoning?

kbsparky 06-10-2011 05:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leah Frances (Post 664876)
You want to protect LIVE meat (you, your wife, your kid) not dead meat. One is replaceable. One is not. Like Jim said.

If you have a temp alarm then you don't have to worry at all.

I've got a freezer plugged into a GFCI and don't have a problem with it.

I suppose you have never returned from a week's vacation to find a freezer full of rotting food, and tripped out GFCI? A temp alarm is not any good if you are not home to hear it bleep.

Jim Port 06-10-2011 05:47 PM

Refrigerators are required to be GFI protected in a commercial kitchen.

kbsparky 06-10-2011 07:32 PM

Geez, Jim. Commercial kitchens are beyond the scope of a DIY forum.

Besides, a commercial establishment is more likely to have someone present most of the time to deal with nuisance tripping of a GFCI.

A dwelling does not have as much supervisory presence, especially when the owners are away at work, or on vacation.

Leah Frances 06-10-2011 09:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kbsparky (Post 664883)
I suppose you have never returned from a week's vacation to find a freezer full of rotting food, and tripped out GFCI? A temp alarm is not any good if you are not home to hear it bleep.

No. I haven't and I've had fridge/freezer plugged into GFCIs, in different residences, for the last 10 years.

But I have been shocked by a fridge that had a ground fault that was not GFCI protected.

So, Sparks, you know I usually agree with you. But I emphatically believe that I would rather loose a freezer full of stuff than have someone get shocked or injured.

kbsparky 06-10-2011 09:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leah Frances (Post 665037)
....
But I have been shocked by a fridge that had a ground fault that was not GFCI protected. ...

Simple proper grounding would have prevented that. How old was the appliance?


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