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Old 01-13-2010, 07:46 AM   #1
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GFI/GFCI Question with a certain appliance.


Quickly...and not my mai n question...what is the difference between GFI and GFCI?

Main Question:

My friends house in each room had a 20 Amp (looks like a normal outlet, but has that extra horizontal slit) outlet that had one receptacle as oppose to two. Anyway, air conditioner units would go in the windows nearest to those outlets and occasionally the circuit would trip. The circuit box is located in the basement and he would have to go down to reset the circuit, etc.

So, what he did was go out and buy 20 Amp Leviton 125 volt GFCI outlets as replacements (http://www.amazon.com/Leviton-012-07...3389715&sr=8-2). That is the model within the parentheses.

Since making the switch, the AC units have not tripped yet. Anyway, the reason he did it was so that if and when the circuit does trip, it will trip within the outlet and all he has to do is hit the reset button, as opposed to going downstairs to reset the circuit.

Is this safe...is this a good idea? I cannot think of any problems with this...looking forward to hearing your input..thank you!

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Old 01-13-2010, 07:51 AM   #2
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GFI/GFCI Question with a certain appliance.


Depending upon the AC it maybe required to ONLY have the single receptacle
Depending upon how power much the AC pulls
So might be a code violation

GFI = Ground Fault Interrupter
GFCI = Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter
Basically the same thing

Installing the outlet reduces the amount of wire AFTER the GFCI, possibly eliminating the false tripping on startup
I'm assuming downstairs was a GFCI breaker ?

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Old 01-13-2010, 08:07 AM   #3
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GFI/GFCI Question with a certain appliance.


Well while the outlet does have 2 receptacles only the A/C units are being plugged into it. What do you mean by downstairs is a GFCI breaker? The only thing downstairs is the circuit box...each room that uses an A/C unit had those single outlets...they have been replaced with the dual GFCI outlets. He simply did it because he was tired of going downstairs into the room where the circuit box is because someone is living in there and it is not always accessible. So, when the circuit trips in the future he will only have to reset it from the GFCI outlet, as opposed to going downstairs...does this make sense. he will just have to hit the reset button instead of going downstairs since it will not trip in the main box due to the GFCI outlet.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:09 AM   #4
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GFI/GFCI Question with a certain appliance.


If the breaker was tripping due to overcurrent, adding a GFCI will have NO EFFECT... a GFCI trips due to an imbalance of current, not an excess.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:13 AM   #5
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GFI/GFCI Question with a certain appliance.


Your friend is/was under the common DIY misconception that a GFI/GFCI is some form of circuit breaker or "overcurrent device". As HouseHelper said, it is NOT.

Why the breaker is not tripping now is anyone's guess. Could have been as simple as a loose connection in the old receptacles which was fooling the circuit breakers into tripping.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:20 AM   #6
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GFI/GFCI Question with a certain appliance.


Okay I think everyone is missing his intention..if the A/C unit does trip at this point...he will have to reset the Outlet as opposed to going downstairs to reset the circuit...is that correct?
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:27 AM   #7
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GFI/GFCI Question with a certain appliance.


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Originally Posted by Wolfies167 View Post
Okay I think everyone is missing his intention..if the A/C unit does trip at this point...he will have to reset the Outlet as opposed to going downstairs to reset the circuit...is that correct?
IF it trips the GFCI, yes, but from what you described, it is not a problem the GFCI would detect, but an overcurrent problem the breaker was detecting. If this overcurrent issue continues, the GFCI will not trip but the breaker will.
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Last edited by HouseHelper; 01-13-2010 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:28 AM   #8
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Okay, thank you.

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