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Old 03-23-2011, 05:41 PM   #1
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Test Breaker


I have Zinsco type breakers. One in the box has no lever and only the word "test", looks like a button to press. It does have a circular wire on one side like a GCFI. I have not tried it since moving in in 1978. What is the purpose and is it needed? With limited space, I sure could use another breaker.

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Old 03-23-2011, 06:52 PM   #2
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Test Breaker


What is on this circuit? It is probably a GFCI.

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Old 03-23-2011, 08:33 PM   #3
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Test Breaker


Sounds like a broken GFI breaker. Too bad the handle is broke. Fodder for the landfill ....
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:51 PM   #4
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Test Breaker


Took the front of the panel off and followed the wires. It is a GFCI but part one (or part two) of a breaker. Don't know why it is different than the rest. But thanks for the input.

What would be the benefit of having just one GCFI breaker? It does go to the outside outlets. Is it mandatory to have a GFCI breaker if the outside outlets are GCFI? Or is that over kill?

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Old 03-24-2011, 08:34 PM   #5
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Yes, it has been mandatory for almost 40 years to have GFCI protection for outside outlets. This requirement was first found in the 1971 edition of the NEC.

In them days, it was common to have only one GFCI device -- oftentimes a breaker in the main panel -- which fed all the required outlets. They used a single GFCI device due to the high costs associated with them, since wire was cheap.

Nowadays, wire is way more expensive, and the GFCI devices are cheap. Go figure.
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