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I'm adding an outlet mostly for power tools in my garage. Sometimes the saw goes crooked and pulls an extra load. I would like to avoid going to the main panel to flip the circuit breaker. If I use a GFI at the outlet will a surge from the saw trip there instead?
puttster
 

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Licensed Electrical Cont.
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No. A GFI is NOT an overcurrent device.
Either way it doesn't matter, you need a GFI anyway in the garage. That is as long as this is a 15 or 20 amp 120v receptacle/circuit
 

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puttster -

is the current breaker a gfci or an afci?

seems odd that a momentary power surge would cause a breaker to go. if a 30 amp ac circuit breaker can handle the 40+ amps of the compressor start up, a regular breaker out to able to handle the saw.
 

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I'm adding an outlet mostly for power tools in my garage. Sometimes the saw goes crooked and pulls an extra load. I would like to avoid going to the main panel to flip the circuit breaker. If I use a GFI at the outlet will a surge from the saw trip there instead?
puttster

If the current outlet is on the same branch circuit of other things like a few lights and such then this may be part of the problem.

You might benefit from running a new line (12AWG) straight from your panel with a 20A breaker and a 20A GFCI in the garage and reserve that for your saw. This way the full 20A is available for the motor and not consumed by lights and other loads.

Also if your saw motor is configurable (some are under a service panel) maybe you can change the motor to 240V from 120V and then you'll halve the current used and reduce the voltage drop to the panel. You'd need to run a 240V circuit to the garage for this though so it might not make sense for you (then saw can only be used on 240V).

To me a dedicated 20A 120V GFCI in the garage is the best option for this.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
puttster -

is the current breaker a gfci or an afci?

seems odd that a momentary power surge would cause a breaker to go. if a 30 amp ac circuit breaker can handle the 40+ amps of the compressor start up, a regular breaker out to able to handle the saw.
The current breaker is AFCI. The surge is not really momentary, it might last 5-10 seconds, depending on the wood and the determination of the user.. :(
 

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The current breaker is AFCI. The surge is not really momentary, it might last 5-10 seconds, depending on the wood and the determination of the user.. :(
In garage it should be GFCI not AFCI.
 

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that is probably part of the problem.

I have 2 different AFCI circuits that will not work with my vacuum - "insta-trip". Funny is have 5 others in which the vacuum works just fine. Still troubleshooting that one after checking and re-checking every connection :wink:

In reality if the garage receptacle serves lots of other loads you should run a new circuit with either GFCI breaker or receptacle.

If it serves only garage/outdoor receptacle and lights loads ditch the AFCI and add GFCI protection where required.

I agree with cusious b though - new circuits solve a multitude of problems
 

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The current breaker is AFCI. The surge is not really momentary, it might last 5-10 seconds, depending on the wood and the determination of the user.. :(
The breaker could be weak if it's been tripped numerous times. Regardless, a dedicated circuit is a very good idea for heavy tools like this. As others have said, all receptacles in a garage must be GFCI protected.
 

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Ok, dumb question. I thought GFCI were only needed for bath and kitchen where there is water. Why would a garage need it?
 

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OK thanks, I went and got a GFI receptacle for an extra $8. I hope it pays off.
You have some answered question. What size breaker is tripping a 15 or 20 amp?
What size motor is on this saw?
The AFCI may be tripping from a noisy motor or a loose connection somewhere in the circuit.
 

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not a dumb question. gfci is used for 15 and 20a circuit receptacles where water and electrcity mix (code required). dont have the code section handy but a summary:

1. kitchen receptacles
2. bath receptacles
3. receptacles within 6 feet of sinks
4. outdoor receptacles
5. unfinished basements
6. garages
7. buildings under construction
8. crawl spaces
9. around pools
10. laundry
etc.....
 

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Ok, dumb question. I thought GFCI were only needed for bath and kitchen where there is water. Why would a garage need it?
Same reason. my garage gets wet for many different reasons. there are three big holes in the front that let all kinds of wet things in.
 

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Ok, dumb question. I thought GFCI were only needed for bath and kitchen where there is water. Why would a garage need it?
Even dry concrete is a very good conductor. A concrete floor is pretty much like a grounded metal slab.
 
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