GFCI Question - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-10-2011, 01:20 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Maryland
Posts: 66
Rewards Points: 75
Default

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?

Advertisement

daveplot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 01:29 PM   #2
Licensed electrician
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 8,053
Rewards Points: 2,904
Default

GFCI Question


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.

Advertisement

__________________
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 04:36 PM   #3
Electrical Contractor
 
kbsparky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Delmarva
Posts: 3,368
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

GFCI Question


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.
__________________
-KB

Life is uncertain -- eat dessert first!!
kbsparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 05:23 PM   #4
Licensed electrician
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 8,053
Rewards Points: 2,904
Default

GFCI Question


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.
__________________
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 05:28 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Maryland
Posts: 66
Rewards Points: 75
Default

GFCI Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
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 View Post
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.
daveplot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 06:20 PM   #6
Learning by Doing
 
Leah Frances's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Easton, Maryland
Posts: 3,156
Rewards Points: 2,000
Blog Entries: 7
Default

GFCI Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by daveplot View Post
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.
__________________
If I could only remember to THINK about what I was doing before I did it.
Leah Frances is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 06:24 PM   #7
Electrical Contractor
 
kbsparky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Delmarva
Posts: 3,368
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

GFCI Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
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?
__________________
-KB

Life is uncertain -- eat dessert first!!
kbsparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 06:26 PM   #8
Electrical Contractor
 
kbsparky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Delmarva
Posts: 3,368
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

GFCI Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leah Frances View Post
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.
__________________
-KB

Life is uncertain -- eat dessert first!!
kbsparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 06:47 PM   #9
Licensed electrician
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 8,053
Rewards Points: 2,904
Default

GFCI Question


Refrigerators are required to be GFI protected in a commercial kitchen.
__________________
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 08:32 PM   #10
Electrical Contractor
 
kbsparky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Delmarva
Posts: 3,368
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

GFCI Question


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.
__________________
-KB

Life is uncertain -- eat dessert first!!
kbsparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 10:13 PM   #11
Learning by Doing
 
Leah Frances's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Easton, Maryland
Posts: 3,156
Rewards Points: 2,000
Blog Entries: 7
Default

GFCI Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
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.
__________________
If I could only remember to THINK about what I was doing before I did it.
Leah Frances is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 10:23 PM   #12
Electrical Contractor
 
kbsparky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Delmarva
Posts: 3,368
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

GFCI Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leah Frances View Post
....
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?

Advertisement

__________________
-KB

Life is uncertain -- eat dessert first!!
kbsparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
gfci switch/outlet


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
GFCI Conduit question llenod Electrical 3 04-06-2011 01:09 PM
GFCI no more then 4 wires bryan1282 Electrical 3 03-22-2011 03:15 PM
Whirlpool GFCI circuit info conflict. 3detailer Electrical 29 05-17-2010 10:12 AM
GFCI question. Please Help. the banana k1ng Electrical 4 10-09-2009 08:35 PM
GFCI Question Mdbuilder Electrical 6 06-19-2008 04:15 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts