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Old 02-12-2010, 06:22 PM   #1
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turning off the GFCI safe enough to work downstream?

I need to tap in an outlet downstream of a GFCI, if we press the test to trip the GFCI, all downstream outlets are off, beside the fact someone else could press the reset button on the GFCI and hurt me, is it safe to work on, because there is refrigerator upstream and I am considering not turning off the breaker.



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Old 02-12-2010, 06:26 PM   #2
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Don't take a chance, turn of the breaker and put the fridge on a cord until you finish.


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Old 02-12-2010, 06:32 PM   #3
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A refrigerator will stay cold enough for several hours with the power off. The less the door is opened the longer the time will be. Turn the breaker off.
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:33 PM   #4
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I'd turn the breaker off too...even if I'm the only one home
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:35 PM   #5
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Thanks, just trying to understand what the CGFI is switching though, for purely educational purpose
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Old 02-12-2010, 07:24 PM   #6
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A properly connected GFI will open both the hot and neutral when it trips.

In theory, it's completely safe to work on something downstream of a GFI if it's tripped, and if the downstream device is actually fed from the load side of the GFI.

Would I do it? I work a lot of stuff hot, and have done so for the past 20 years. If the downstream device is something I'd consider working hot anyway, then yes. But I'd work it like it was actually hot.

Standing in a foot of water? Absolutely not! I'd kill the breaker, and lock it out. Even if I was the only one around.

I would consider tripping a GFI to give me a slight edge on safety, but there's no way I'd depend on a tripped GFI if it was the only thing between me and death.



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