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Discussion Starter #1
This afternoon my dog pulled an extension cord into to our in-ground pool. It had been left alongside the pool plugged in and she somehow managed to get most of the cord into the pool, including the female end. I didn't discover it for a few hours after I'd let her in and I'm surprised that the breaker didn't blow. . . Shouldn't it?
 

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I=E/R
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Is the receptacle that the cord plugged into a GFCI? Is this receptacle still live? How did you get the cord out of the pool?
 

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Not really, but the gfci should have tripped.
 
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Master Electrician
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It may not have tripped the breaker. Did you look to see if any GFI's tripped though?
 

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............... I'm surprised that the breaker didn't blow. . . Shouldn't it?
Why would it? Do you think the water alone would create a dead short? Or enough resistance to trip a 15 or 20A breaker?

Hint: No, it will not. :thumbsup:
 
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Discussion Starter #6
A GFCI is the button on the outlet between the plug? If so, no, it doesn't have that. The outlet is not working anymore, but the breaker was not tripped.

I got the cord out by unplugging from the outlet and pulling the rest out of the water.
 

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No it wouldn't, but this exactly why you need a GFI on any outdoor circuit, good thing "Mans best freind" didn't decide to go for a swim!

Mark
 

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A GFCI is the button on the outlet between the plug? If so, no, it doesn't have that. The outlet is not working anymore, but the breaker was not tripped.

I got the cord out by unplugging from the outlet and pulling the rest out of the water.
You have a tripped gfci breaker, or receptacle somewhere.
Check the receptacle inside the garage.
 

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Licensed Electrical Cont.
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You have a tripped gfci breaker, or receptacle somewhere.
Check the receptacle inside the garage.
...or even in the bathroom.
That's how my 1975 home was originally wired. :huh:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don't understand. . . How could dropping an extension cord into the pool blow GFCIs in the bathroom or garage? The cord was plugged into an outdoor outlet?
 

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Lic Electrical Inspector
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I don't understand. . . How could dropping an extension cord into the pool blow GFCIs in the bathroom or garage? The cord was plugged into an outdoor outlet?
GFI's protect themselves and any receptacle connected to the load side of the device. A lot of houses have GFI's @ the beginning of the circuit and are wired so as to protect everything downstream. They are generally located closest to the panelboard.
 

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I don't understand. . . How could dropping an extension cord into the pool blow GFCIs in the bathroom or garage? The cord was plugged into an outdoor outlet?
As posted by others,
A GFCI receptacle will protect itself and it can be wired to protect several more receptacles in other rooms or outdoors. In my past house, the bathroom GFCI protected the receptacle in the garage. It took me a while to find that out when my garage outlet quit working.:huh:
 

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When ever I get around to it, my basement outlet that powers my workshop will be wired to the GFCI on the outside wall on the otherside of the shop. That will be a fun one for the next homeowner to figure out. Right now, it feeds off of another circuit that never got rewired, but on my list to do it once I am able to be back to better health to do this stuff.
 

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WHen GFI's were first introduced in the mid 70's (and I remember installing the first ones) we had problems with them tripping from refrigerators plugged into the garage receptacles. We used to wire all receptacles in the garage, basement, bathrooms and outside through one GFI. If the panel was in the garage then the garage receptacle got the GFI. If the panel was in the basement then the GFI went in the basement. SUcked when somebody on the second floor tripped the GFI and had to run to the basement in a bathrobe to reset the GFI. But that is what you get for low bid. Ironically there are those who think that a GFI will trip if something which is plugged into it is dropped into a tub. It probabely won't unless the drain system is metallic. With the new drain systems being plastic and the supply lines also being plastic the GFI will not trip. That is why hair dryers and other bathroom appliances have immersion detection devices molded onto the end of the cords.
 
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I'm just trying to learn: If the GFCI won't trip when you drop a hair dryer into the tub, then why have GFCI's ?
Electricity is used by many but many don't understand it.
For current to flow there has to be a complete path. Birds can sit on a power line and not get shocked because there is no path for current to flow.
A fiberglass bathtub plumbed with plastic pipe is a very poor conductor and therefore doesn't provide a return path for current to follow.
A ground fault receptacle monitors the current in the two straight pins. If it is equal then there isn't a fault. If it is different then current must be flowing through some other path other than the hot and neutral.
By dropping a hair dryer into a bathtub plumbed in plastic there is no "third conductor" and all the current in hot pin can only return through the neutral pin and so there is no fault.
Plastic plumbing has removed many of the ground paths that used to be in a house.
 

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I'm just trying to learn: If the GFCI won't trip when you drop a hair dryer into the tub, then why have GFCI's ?
In order for the GFI to trip there must be a ground fault. Hence the name Ground Fault Interupter. The device monitors the current leaving and returning to the device. If it is same, then the sensing circuit does nothing, however, if there is less current returning then leaving then that means it is returning to the the source (grounded side of the service) through another means (ground fault). The sensing circuit senses the unbalance and trips the circuit. If a hair dryer is dropped into the tub and there is no path to ground (all plastic) , the GFI will think it is a nomal load and not open. Since water is not a perfect conductor (it offers some rsistance) the breaker will not trip either. That is why all all hand held bathroom type appliances (hair dryers, curling irons, flat irons) have immersion detection devices (the little box with the test/reset button) on it).
 

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So can i sit in a plastic bathtub full of water with the hairdryer with me? What good is a GFCI in a bathroom?
Since the electrical code doesn't dictate the plumbing code, it is entirely possible to have copper pipes supplying the water. The NEC establishes a minimum for safety. Having a GFCI doesn't hurt anything either.
 
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