What Does A GFCI Do That A Circuit Breaker Doesn't Do? - 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 02-27-2013, 02:01 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 34
Rewards Points: 25
Default

What does a GFCI do that a circuit breaker doesn't do?


Can someone clarify what a GFCI does that a circuit breaker doesn't do? I just opened one and the pamphlet inside says:

"In the event of a ground fault, a GFCI will trip and quickly stop the flow of electricity to prevent serious injury.....A GFCI receptacle does NOT protect against circuit overloads, short circuits, or shocks."

But, if there was a ground fault, wouldn't a circuit breaker do the same thing? And if the GFCI doesn't protect you from shocks, what exactly is its purpose? And why are they typically only required in wet locations?

Advertisement

lmorsino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2013, 02:15 AM   #2
" Euro " electrician
 
frenchelectrican's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: WI & France { in France for now }
Posts: 5,369
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

What does a GFCI do that a circuit breaker doesn't do?


Quote:
Originally Posted by lmorsino View Post
Can someone clarify what a GFCI does that a circuit breaker doesn't do? I just opened one and the pamphlet inside says:

"In the event of a ground fault, a GFCI will trip and quickly stop the flow of electricity to prevent serious injury.....A GFCI receptacle does NOT protect against circuit overloads, short circuits, or shocks."

But, if there was a ground fault, wouldn't a circuit breaker do the same thing? And if the GFCI doesn't protect you from shocks, what exactly is its purpose? And why are they typically only required in wet locations?
What the GFCI purpose to do is reduce the amount of chance of getting electric shock.

It will read the inbalance between the line and netural and if both are reading the same numbers ( like even load ) the GFCI will stay on but once the load get unbalanced like something causing slow current leakage it will trip the GFCI breaker or receptale.

However the GFCI do not protect if you have the short circuit show up the conventinal breaker section will do this.

The reason why it required in wet location due it very easy to get electrique shock due maybe a bad drill housing ( metal ) and you are on wet ground the GFCI breaker or recepetale will sense this and trip it out before any serious harm will happend.

The following areas will that required GFCI protection:

Swimming pool
Spa
Outdoor receptales
Kitchen small appalince branch circuits
Bathroom
Unfinshed Basement
Garage ( it don't matter if enclosed wall or open stud walls )
Pump house
Boat house

There are few more but I will have to take a look what it on the listing due I am well verised with French codes but pretty good with NEC ( National Electrical Code )

Merci,
Marc

Advertisement

__________________
The answer will be based on NEC ( National Electrical code ) or CEC ( Cananda Electrical code ) or ECF ( Electrique Code France )
frenchelectrican is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2013, 02:33 AM   #3
Wire Chewer
 
Red Squirrel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,221
Rewards Points: 2,020
Default

What does a GFCI do that a circuit breaker doesn't do?


A breaker will only trip if the ground fault causes more amps than it's rating to pass through.

Say you stick one finger in the hot of an outlet, and another finger on a metal pipe that is grounded. Your body will not be causing a dead short situation that would normally trip a breaker, however it will be drawing some current, and you will be getting a shock.

If you were to do this with a GFCI, it will trip, because it detects that the current that is "coming out" of the hot, is not returning to the neutral. GFCIs basically ensure that the amount of current on hot and neutral are always the same.

Also I'm not sure how GFCIs react to a dead short, I don't think they're designed to handle them and might even be damaged.
Red Squirrel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2013, 03:48 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Eighty Four, Pa.15330
Posts: 1,414
Rewards Points: 826
Default

What does a GFCI do that a circuit breaker doesn't do?


In my travels, I've noticed gfi receptacles will fail under a surge condition and act as a surge protection device.
bobelectric is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2013, 07:50 AM   #5
Lic Electrical Inspector
 
electures's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Great Police State of New Jersey
Posts: 1,762
Rewards Points: 1,102
Default

What does a GFCI do that a circuit breaker doesn't do?


SAfe money.
__________________
All responses based on the 2011 NEC.
If you live in New Jersey click here. All other states click here.
Please check with local, county and state officials as laws may vary.
Sizing motors here. Online motor calculator here. Online calculators here.
electures is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


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
Did My GFCI Circuit Breaker Fail? Jazan Electrical 8 08-04-2012 04:44 PM
GFCI as part of light circuit? iceracer Electrical 5 07-05-2011 09:05 PM
Whirlpool GFCI circuit info conflict. 3detailer Electrical 29 05-17-2010 10:12 AM
20 amp GFCI breaker pops when pool pump is turned on. jagrunner Electrical 11 03-19-2010 05:31 PM
Can I replace a breaker w/ gfci myself secutanudu Electrical 12 07-28-2009 12:41 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts