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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Q. is: are GFCI outlets effective or not? I ask specifically because....

I installed a new GFCI outlet in the bathroom, pressed the TEST button, it cuts the line as it should, and the green light showing it's actively working. So to me, everything seems good. (I have white, black and red wires and a copper ground in the outlet receptacle box. It has everything but the RED connected to it).

The problem is, someone told me that our electrician says the installation of a GFCI has to be done at the breaker panel. Else it won't trip quickly enough to prevent an injury/fatality. Well I'm not about to toss my electric shaver into a sink full of water to see if he's right, so....

The obvious question in my mind is, then why do they sell these all over the island of Montreal?? Is it because all the companies and stores selling them haven't consulted with our electrician? Or is he just wrong about them being ineffective, unless installed at the breaker?
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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The Q. is: are GFCI outlets effective or not? I ask specifically because....

I installed a new GFCI outlet in the bathroom, pressed the TEST button, it cuts the line as it should, and the green light showing it's actively working. So to me, everything seems good. (I have white, black and red wires and a copper ground in the outlet receptacle box. It has everything but the RED connected to it).

The problem is, someone told me that our electrician says the installation of a GFCI has to be done at the breaker panel. Else it won't trip quickly enough to prevent an injury/fatality. Well I'm not about to toss my electric shaver into a sink full of water to see if he's right, so....

The obvious question in my mind is, then why do they sell these all over the island of Montreal?? Is it because all the companies and stores selling them haven't consulted with our electrician? Or is he just wrong about them being ineffective, unless installed at the breaker?
Simple answer, the money.

Reasoning, he gets paid by you to install a breaker that he provides, he gets to tack on a percentage to the cost of the breaker, and get paid to work.

The inline GFCI s are fine and used extensively for the purpose that you are using it for.

ED
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's also what I thought. Thanks.

Surferdude2: Ok, an example of the "good stuff" GFCI outlet would be?


Simple answer, the money.

Reasoning, he gets paid by you to install a breaker that he provides, he gets to tack on a percentage to the cost of the breaker, and get paid to work.

The inline GFCI s are fine and used extensively for the purpose that you are using it for.

ED
 

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I consider the protection to be equal but with one reservation... I won't buy the $10 GFCI receptacles... the good stuff isn't that much higher.
Agreed - concerning quality.

However (in addition), as I have pointed out much earlier on this forum, it has become required in this country (Australia) that the GFCI/RCD/RCBO protection must be provided at the Panel/Switch Board/CU to provide the same protection to certain "users" who are "workmen" or the home owner working on non-electrical projects who happen to (inadvertently) penetrate a cable between the Panel and a Socket Outlet GFCI.
A GFCI at the "first" Socket Outlet in a circuit provides NO "protection" to anything before it.

This "requirement" in Australia was because several untrained "workmen" were killed when nailing insulation materials in ceiling spaces.
(https://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07...nstalling-insulation-were-not-trained/4799212 is one such reference to these deaths.)

As of 2018, Australian regulations provide that (virtually) all new or amended "domestic" circuits be protected by (what in Australia/UK are called) RCDs/RCBOs at the Panel (Switch Board/CU) - and you call them GFCIs.

I am sorry to say that "regulations" are often not changed in many countries until deaths have occured in those countries.
Such deaths might be prevented if the regulations were changed as the result of deaths in other countries.

All that I can say, in addition, is that "you now have been advised."
 

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A gfi breaker and receptacle needs to meet the same testing standards here in the US. I would assume Canada would be the same. Gfi technology has been proven for many years.
 

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As stated, or at least implied, above, GFI outlet and GFI breaker provide
the same protection for anything plugged into the receptacle. If you're
concerned about the wiring between the breaker and the outlet, when,
for instance, someone accidentally cuts into the cable, a GFI breaker will
be necessary.
Personally I'm fine with the outlets. For one thing I don't want to make a
trip to the panel (in the basement) when there's a nuisance trip...even
more so when it's the outdoor GFI.
 

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The problem is, someone told me that our electrician says the installation of a GFCI has to be done at the breaker panel. Else it won't trip quickly enough to prevent an injury/fatality.

I am not too sure that an actual electrician would make such a statement. Maybe there was something lost in the transition from what the electrician explained to the person that told you the information.


Both a GFCI receptacle and breaker will give the same coverage of personal injury protection.


Maybe you should speak to your electrician personally for a further explanation/clarification of what was actually stated by the electrician.
 

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I installed a new GFCI outlet in the bathroom, pressed the TEST button, it cuts the line as it should, and the green light showing it's actively working. So to me, everything seems good. (I have white, black and red wires and a copper ground in the outlet receptacle box. It has everything but the RED connected to it).
Screech! Crunch! WHAT??? Red wire???

Lemme guess, before, that attached to the receptacle, and you didn't really investigate what that's about... just decided to disconnect it because whatever, right?

Do you know *how* to investigate a red wire?

Tell me, at least, that you capped it off properly so it isn't going to touch something inside that box. (by the way DO NOT cut it off. Can't cap it properly if it's cut, and you may want it again someday).

Now, when you shut off the breaker while doing this (you did that, right???, did you notice anything special about the breaker? Was it a double-wide breaker? Did it have a TEST button, by chance?


The problem is, someone told me that our electrician says the installation of a GFCI has to be done at the breaker panel. Else it won't trip quickly enough...
Someone told you that our electrician says. Well, it's easy to see what happened here. When I read this the first time, I thought this was the usual situation of you have a 10 minute conversation, do you know how many words get said in 10 minutes? Thousands. And you mix up a few of them and you leave getting the wrong impression, sort of like the old game of "Chinese Whispers/Telephone". But this is worse. This actually is Chinese Whispers because a third party was in the middle, who had not seen your work.

I suspect the conversation actually had to do with that red wire, and how that bathroom outlet isn't wired conventionally (I suspect an MWBC, a fairly deluxe arrangement which allows use of 2 hair-care appliances simultaneously), how your work defeated the MWBC, and what the electrician had already done to render safe that bathroom outlet. (by fitting a 2-pole GFCI breaker).

And discussed how your and his work would interact... In actuality, annoying but not dangerous. We can forgive the electrician for not knowing that, since no electrician would ever do that deliberately! (unless his name is Xhibit).



One point goes to you, however. The work as you found it was indeed defective. When an outlet has GFCI protection from elsewhere, it must have a "GFCI Protected" label. Clearly yours did not. In my experience 95% of electricians do not install them, and when they do, they either fall off, or are removed by occupants, because they are ugly.


The obvious question in my mind is, then why do they sell these all over the island of Montreal?? Is it because all the companies and stores selling them haven't consulted with our electrician? Or is he just wrong about them being ineffective, unless installed at the breaker?
Which do you think is more likely? a) they sell defective product, b) they hand out electrician's licenses to complete morons, or c) poor understanding of highly technical communication relayed among 3+ people?

Pro tip: it's c). :)



Simple answer, the money.
Stop talking.

 

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wNCmountainCabin
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in 2004 I built a custom-built house, and listened to my electrician, who wanted all GFCI circuits to be protected by GFCI Breakers, not GFCI Outlets... sounded fair, from a professional...right?

well, what I realized fairly quickly is that I then had to go up two flights of stairs to get to that Main Panel, down a hallway, thru a bedroom, and into a attic area where it was located.... not fun when the wife is in the middle of drying her hair.

My motorhome has a GFCI master Outlet, which is in the bathroom, and very CONVENIENT when it trips. I works just the same, too.

I'll go with GFCI Outlets on the next home build : )
 
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in 2004 I built a custom-built house, and listened to my electrician, who wanted all GFCI circuits to be protected by GFCI Breakers, not GFCI Outlets... sounded fair, from a professional...right?

well, what I realized fairly quickly is that I then had to go up two flights of stairs to get to that Main Panel, down a hallway, thru a bedroom, and into a attic area where it was located.... not fun when the wife is in the middle of drying her hair.

My motorhome has a GFCI master Outlet, which is in the bathroom, and very CONVENIENT when it trips. I works just the same, too.

I'll go with GFCI Outlets on the next home build : )
DAMN a panel installed in an attic!!
 

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Agreed - concerning quality.

However (in addition), as I have pointed out much earlier on this forum, it has become required in this country (Australia) that the GFCI/RCD/RCBO protection must be provided at the Panel/Switch Board/CU to provide the same protection to certain "users" who are "workmen" or the home owner working on non-electrical projects who happen to (inadvertently) penetrate a cable between the Panel and a Socket Outlet GFCI.
A GFCI at the "first" Socket Outlet in a circuit provides NO "protection" to anything before it.

This "requirement" in Australia was because several untrained "workmen" were killed when nailing insulation materials in ceiling spaces.
(https://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07...nstalling-insulation-were-not-trained/4799212 is one such reference to these deaths.)

As of 2018, Australian regulations provide that (virtually) all new or amended "domestic" circuits be protected by (what in Australia/UK are called) RCDs/RCBOs at the Panel (Switch Board/CU) - and you call them GFCIs.

I am sorry to say that "regulations" are often not changed in many countries until deaths have occured in those countries.
Such deaths might be prevented if the regulations were changed as the result of deaths in other countries.

All that I can say, in addition, is that "you now have been advised."
NEC requires that the edge of any hole for wiring in framing be at least 1 1/4” from the face of the framing member or have a protective plate over it. There should not be damage to wiring if workmen don’t just carelessly plunge deeply into a wall. Codes are changed as needed to be safe. Bad things happen, code writers look into it and codes change. Codes are not forward looking and not everything is idiot proof.
 

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Wow - all this back and forth stuff. :vs_OMG:

If I were the OP my head would be spinning just about now.

A simple question was asked -
The problem is, someone told me that our electrician says the installation of a GFCI has to be done at the breaker panel. Else it won't trip quickly enough to prevent an injury/fatality.
A simple answer is no, a GFCI breaker will not trip faster than a GFCI receptacle. Nor is a GFCI breaker safer than a GFCI receptacle in giving you personal injury protection. Both will trip if there is an imbalance of 4 to 6 milli amp or more difference between the hot going into the receptacle/breaker and back out on the neutral.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Screech! Crunch! WHAT??? Red wire???
Lemme guess, before, that attached to the receptacle, and you didn't really investigate what that's about... just decided to disconnect it because whatever, right?

Do you know how to investigate a red wire?

Tell me, at least, that you capped it off properly so it isn't going to touch something inside that box. (by the way DO NOT cut it off. Can't cap it properly if it's cut, and you may want it again someday).
Dude, I think you should seriously consider going sugar-free for the next long while. Or at least, try breathing into a paper bag, or something. There is nothing that I wrote that should elicit a response that long, highly strung, or overbearing. Part of the reason I asked the question I did, was to maybe see if there is something special about the wiring in our building that might make it dangerous to install a GFCI outlet, rather than a GFCI breaker. Your bloviated rant notwithstanding, I'm convinced that I will be fine with the GFCI outlet alone, and that there is nothing special about the wiring in our building that would cause a GFCI outlet to trip more slowly, if at all, than a GFCI breaker.


Now, when you shut off the breaker while doing this (you did that, right???
Breaker? I'm supposed to shut off the breaker? Aww geez, so that's why it kept hurting so much when I installed the outlet! I thought that was normal with GFCI's! Gosh, I really should have posted here first before doing that! Yer so smurt!

, did you notice anything special about the breaker?
Yes. It glowed in the dark, spoke Japanese, and I swear I think it was flirting with me.

Was it a double-wide breaker? Did it have a TEST button, by chance?
Every GFCI outlet I've seen has a TEST button, and its not by chance.


Someone told you that our electrician says. Well, it's easy to see what happened here. When I read this the first time, I thought this was the usual situation of you have a 10 minute conversation, do you know how many words get said in 10 minutes?
The average is about 1,250-1,500. I'm guessing however, that would be closer to a million, in your case. But if we were to eliminate redundant words or just senseless talk, I'd say you probably average about one per minute.

I suspect the conversation actually had to do with that red wire, and how that bathroom outlet isn't wired conventionally (I suspect an MWBC, a fairly deluxe arrangement which allows use of 2 hair-care appliances simultaneously), how your work defeated the MWBC, and what the electrician had already done to render safe that bathroom outlet. (by fitting a 2-pole GFCI breaker).
You perfectly illustrate the problem with people who talk more than they think. If indeed you speak an average of 150 words a minute, it appears you readily make about as many ignorant presumptions in that time. Try asking questions when you don't know something, instead of pretending that you know everything, in order to feel important, and then basing your ignorant responses on what you don't know. Because besides wasting your time, you then waste other people's time having to correct your false assumptions all the time. But as a favour to you, I will lightly attempt to do so. This one time....

The original bathroom outlet was intended as a razor only outlet. I don't know that the electrician ever looked inside the bathroom outlets to see how they are wired. I especially never said the electrician installed a GFCI breaker, so now you're just making stuff up out of your head or "wherever". I doubt he did work on GFCI anything here, since he was never hired for that. The red wire therefore, has existed there for 40 years, capped, and no, I did not touch it. It is not required by a GFCI outlet.

And discussed how your and his work would interact... In actuality, annoying but not dangerous. We can forgive the electrician for not knowing that, since no electrician would ever do that deliberately! (unless his name is Xhibit).
Oh good grief.... Dude, please don't post "meme" images in response to a technical question on electrical matters. Unless you're trying to convince people you're a 12 year old boy on the internet, who managed to get a hold of his mother's laptop. Also, you don't know what the electrician in question does or does not know, said or did not say. So there you go, basing your comments on sheer ignorance again.

I might try to confirm that he did indeed say what my colleague said he did. But since I have a working GFCI outlet that passes its own test mechanism, I remain unconvinced that a GFCI breaker installed at the panel is necessary, just for my bathroom alone. I am more persuaded by the argument that the electrician just wanted to fatten his pockets. Especially as it would not be the first time I've caught him trying to do that.

One point goes to you, however.
Oh, you're keeping a score count as well?? How lovely. :icon_rolleyes:

The work as you found it was indeed defective. When an outlet has GFCI protection from elsewhere, it must have a "GFCI Protected" label. Clearly yours did not. In my experience 95% of electricians do not install them, and when they do, they either fall off, or are removed by occupants, because they are ugly.
Yah, that's because I'm the one who installed the outlet brainiac, which is the only thing I actually said. I threw those labels out, because I already know what I installed. Don't make use of the word "clearly" when you "clearly" have no idea of what you're talking about.


Which do you think is more likely? a) they sell defective product, b) they hand out electrician's licenses to complete morons, or c) poor understanding of highly technical communication relayed among 3+ people?

Pro tip: it's c).
:)

Pro tip: Are you at all familiar with what a "rhetorical question" is? Apparently not


Stop talking.
You should really try taking your own advice, some time, dude.
 

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QUOTE - someone told me that our electrician says the installation of a GFCI has to be done at the breaker panel. Else it won't trip quickly enough to prevent an injury/fatality.

Pure B / S !

the mere fact that the outlet GFCI is closer to the razor than the panel would tell you that is NOT true.
 

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If there is a "red wire", then I suspect your electrician is suggesting you put in a two pole GFCI breaker, because you cannot split a GFCI receptacle into the two circuits that exist in that box.

Now the truth is that there are times when a GFCI will not work. As an example, if you had a pail of water and dumped whatever was connected into it, it would not work. That is because the water is isolated to the ground it needs to trip.

We can see this in home that have plastic plumbing. So if you bathroom sink was full of water, the plastic drain pipe was dry and the water was not running, if you drop your shaver in the sink it will not trip.

There are a few videos on youtube that show this situation
(I think this is the correct one anyway).

Cheers
John
 

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If there is a "red wire", then I suspect your electrician is suggesting you put in a two pole GFCI breaker, because you cannot split a GFCI receptacle into the two circuits that exist in that box.

Now the truth is that there are times when a GFCI will not work. As an example, if you had a pail of water and dumped whatever was connected into it, it would not work. That is because the water is isolated to the ground it needs to trip.

We can see this in home that have plastic plumbing. So if you bathroom sink was full of water, the plastic drain pipe was dry and the water was not running, if you drop your shaver in the sink it will not trip.
You can still install a GFCI receptacle in that box. The restriction is that whatever is connected to the "load terminals" has to be a completely independent circuit not part of a multiwire branch circuit and not interconnected with any of the other wiring or circuits in the box..

The GFCI whether a receptacle unit or a breaker unit still provides near perfect protection from accidental electrocution even in the situation where the hair dryer got dropped in the bucket of water..
 
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JUSTA MEMBER
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Dude, I think you should seriously consider going sugar-free for the next long while. Or at least, try breathing into a paper bag, or something. There is nothing that I wrote that should elicit a response that long, highly strung, or overbearing. Part of the reason I asked the question I did, was to maybe see if there is something special about the wiring in our building that might make it dangerous to install a GFCI outlet, rather than a GFCI breaker. Your bloviated rant notwithstanding, I'm convinced that I will be fine with the GFCI outlet alone, and that there is nothing special about the wiring in our building that would cause a GFCI outlet to trip more slowly, if at all, than a GFCI breaker.




Breaker? I'm supposed to shut off the breaker? Aww geez, so that's why it kept hurting so much when I installed the outlet! I thought that was normal with GFCI's! Gosh, I really should have posted here first before doing that! Yer so smurt!



Yes. It glowed in the dark, spoke Japanese, and I swear I think it was flirting with me.



Every GFCI outlet I've seen has a TEST button, and its not by chance.




The average is about 1,250-1,500. I'm guessing however, that would be closer to a million, in your case. But if we were to eliminate redundant words or just senseless talk, I'd say you probably average about one per minute.



You perfectly illustrate the problem with people who talk more than they think. If indeed you speak an average of 150 words a minute, it appears you readily make about as many ignorant presumptions in that time. Try asking questions when you don't know something, instead of pretending that you know everything, in order to feel important, and then basing your ignorant responses on what you don't know. Because besides wasting your time, you then waste other people's time having to correct your false assumptions all the time. But as a favour to you, I will lightly attempt to do so. This one time....

The original bathroom outlet was intended as a razor only outlet. I don't know that the electrician ever looked inside the bathroom outlets to see how they are wired. I especially never said the electrician installed a GFCI breaker, so now you're just making stuff up out of your head or "wherever". I doubt he did work on GFCI anything here, since he was never hired for that. The red wire therefore, has existed there for 40 years, capped, and no, I did not touch it. It is not required by a GFCI outlet.



Oh good grief.... Dude, please don't post "meme" images in response to a technical question on electrical matters. Unless you're trying to convince people you're a 12 year old boy on the internet, who managed to get a hold of his mother's laptop. Also, you don't know what the electrician in question does or does not know, said or did not say. So there you go, basing your comments on sheer ignorance again.

I might try to confirm that he did indeed say what my colleague said he did. But since I have a working GFCI outlet that passes its own test mechanism, I remain unconvinced that a GFCI breaker installed at the panel is necessary, just for my bathroom alone. I am more persuaded by the argument that the electrician just wanted to fatten his pockets. Especially as it would not be the first time I've caught him trying to do that.



Oh, you're keeping a score count as well?? How lovely. :icon_rolleyes:



Yah, that's because I'm the one who installed the outlet brainiac, which is the only thing I actually said. I threw those labels out, because I already know what I installed. Don't make use of the word "clearly" when you "clearly" have no idea of what you're talking about.



:)

Pro tip: Are you at all familiar with what a "rhetorical question" is? Apparently not




You should really try taking your own advice, some time, dude.
:clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:



ED
 

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The GFCI whether a receptacle unit or a breaker unit still provides near perfect protection from accidental electrocution even in the situation where the hair dryer got dropped in the bucket of water..
Yep, if you're grounded and grab it from the water and contact any dangerous level of voltage, it'll trip the GFCI circuitry almost instantly.

BTW, one thing a GFCI won't protect you from is a line to line shock. In that situation, you are no different than any other connected load on the circuit. Now don't go testing that... :wink2:
 

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After about 24 hours, I note (as far as I have seen) that I have not been "castigated" for my comments.

Hopwever, this has been written.

NEC requires that the edge of any hole for wiring in framing be at least 1 1/4” from the face of the framing member or have a protective plate over it. There should not be damage to wiring if workmen don’t just carelessly plunge deeply into a wall. Codes are changed as needed to be safe. Bad things happen, code writers look into it and codes change. Codes are not forward looking and not everything is idiot proof.
Interesting is it not?
(I do not care about any damage to the "wiring". However, i do really care about "damage" to the "workmen.)

So, because of a "protective plate", "There should not be damage to wiring if workmen don’t just carelessly plunge deeply into a wall"

That is the whole point.

Possibly inexperienced workmen (and homeowners) do do such things. The "workmen" in my example were working in a ceiling space, oblivious of the danger of "nailing" into "lighting" cables - and nowhere near a "Wall Stud", which may or may not have any such "protective plate".

May I please draw your attention to this quotation : -
"Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones"

I am sure that most of you know who said that (United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld )

AS far as is possible, it is essential to protect everyone from unknown unknowns.

The one so "protected" may be you.

(You just don't know.)
 
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