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Old 10-14-2012, 07:41 AM   #1
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Most reliable way to test gfci circuit


We had OSHA inspectors enter our office and gave citation for unsafe outlet near a sink. They used a pen like device that lit up at the outlet. There was a gfci outlet on the same circuit that they were unaware of. Did they properly test this circuit? Should they have used different testing devices? Our electrician said that all was done to code and circuit was fine. I need proof of incompetence on their part to win my case. Any help greatly appreciated!

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Old 10-14-2012, 08:58 AM   #2
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Most reliable way to test gfci circuit


An electrician will be along with the name of the tool---but ,yes--there is a tester that you plug in--press the test button--and the gfci will trip if wired in correctly.

The inspector was using a 'non contact' tester-----wrong tool for testing the operation of a cfci outlet---

Electricians will be along as soonas they get up and moving----

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Old 10-14-2012, 09:05 AM   #3
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Most reliable way to test gfci circuit


I moved this thread to 'electrical' for you----
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:14 AM   #4
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Most reliable way to test gfci circuit


Mike is correct. The tester he used only reads if power is present, it cannot test for GFI protection. This can test for a GFI...


They are less than $10 at your local big box store. I am curious why you came to a DIY site to ask this question when you have consulted an electrician?
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:20 AM   #5
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I was not there when the electrician came to the office, my partner had him install gfci outlets at all outlets. This is because we had to immediately comply with resolving their citation.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:21 AM   #6
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Mike is correct.
. I am curious why you came to a DIY site to ask this question when you have consulted an electrician?
I bet I can answer that----

When the authorities falsely accuse someone of something----then force a man to defend himself----or pay a huge fine---a person looks for help where ever he can find it---

Been there----let's help----
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:23 AM   #7
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Yes, exactly......thank you.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:35 AM   #8
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Most reliable way to test gfci circuit


I used to work in a huge factory in maintance, OSHA showed up one day and asked to look around. My boss told him I do not have time for your bull shi@ today.
Got to know that OSHA guy pretty good over the next few months while he picked apart everything in a 750,000 sq. ft. factory.
Even had to get MSDS sheets on White Out in the offices, and distilled water in the fork lift area.
Only thing he ended up finding was a missing guard on one machine, did not seem to matter to him there was no power running to it while it was being rebuilt.

Guess the morel is, pick you battles carefully.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:38 AM   #9
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I was not there when the electrician came to the office, my partner had him install gfci outlets at all outlets. This is because we had to immediately comply with resolving their citation.
So was the GFI installed before or after the OSHA inspector showed up?
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:42 AM   #10
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It was installed before they came, it was just on an outlet that they did not see next the refridg.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:48 AM   #11
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You are going to need proof. You need to contact your electrician to write up the fact that HE tested the outlet with a proper GFI tester and found that the outlet next to the sink is protected by the GFI next to the refer. If your current electrician is the one who installed the circuit/GFI/outlets originally, have him dig up the paperwork that was done at the time of install.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:56 AM   #12
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K buz - I think those testers need a ground to inject a fault ?

My question is - if the GFI is marked "No equipment ground", but still GFI protected - would it pass in a sink location?
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:00 AM   #13
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K buz - I think those testers need a ground to inject a fault ?

My question is - if the GFI is marked "No equipment ground", but still GFI protected - would it pass in a sink location?
Yes, if the ungrounded wiring was existing and all that was done was to replace the ungrounded recept to a GFI. However, the tester I posted would not trip the GFI. If you read the instructions that come with GFI's, it states the only approved way to test the GFI is to use the buttons on the GFI.
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:13 AM   #14
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If a person has some electronics experience....it's easy to make up an external test rig.....

Most GFIC's are designed to trip when the difference current between hot and neutral is more than 5ma....in other words, if you have 10.000 amps going down the hot line but only 9.995 amps coming back...there will be enough current induced in the toroid in the GFIC to trip it.

A 5 ma current is about the equivilant of 24k ohms to ground.

So....if you take a 24K resistor (1w) and connect one end to either hot or neutral and the other end to an earth ground....the GFIC should trip.

Like K buz noted....if the GFIC does not have an active connected earth ground hooked up....the tester he showed will not work. No ground to shunt to....

Or.....you could just use the old hot air gun I have....trips the GFIC every time I turn it off....(works fine turning on, just the off that's an issue)
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
Yes, if the ungrounded wiring was existing and all that was done was to replace the ungrounded recept to a GFI. However, the tester I posted would not trip the GFI. If you read the instructions that come with GFI's, it states the only approved way to test the GFI is to use the buttons on the GFI.

Thanks - The reason I asked was because my brother in law got "dinged" on an inspection selling his house. It was easier to replace the cable with a grounded cable than argue.

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