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#211327 - 10/05/13 08:25 PM GFI testers  
togol  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 421
NW In. USA
What exactly is the purpose of these things ?

I ran into this particular problem on a house remodel about a year ago, when 2 inspectors I had to deal with insisted the recep wasn't functioning correctly because their tester wouldn't trip it.

I told them both that GFI testers, including my fancy adjustable Hubbell will not not work on ungrounded GFIs, I also tried telling them that the only way to properly test a GFI is with the test button on the device since most homeowners probably don't have a tester, but they both told me to fix it by adding a ground or , as one guy said, "just put a 2 wire outlet there"

So I wonder why we need these things since the tester needs a ground to trip the GFI, while accompanying install paperwork only calls for attaching a ground if one is available


Tom

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#211328 - 10/05/13 09:38 PM Re: GFI testers [Re: togol]  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,060
Estero,Fl,usa
It simply sounds like an inspector without a clue. I would talk to the CBO (respectfully) and confirm the fact that the AHJ is not amending 406.3(D) and work out from there.
Hopefully there will be a quiet "inspector tune up" and things will be better for everyone.


Greg Fretwell

#211338 - 10/06/13 01:47 PM Re: GFI testers [Re: gfretwell]  
togol  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 421
NW In. USA
No plans to clear the problem up through complaints, The E.I. is an old friend and working buddy and I have no desire to rock the boat in his pond. He cleared the permit and won't be back

The other guy ( the one with the 2 wire idea) is a Housing Authority inspector working off a checklistů.. no thinking involved
The house is a rental that ended up with a Sec. 8 tenant, which is why he showed up.

The GFI is in the kitchen next to the sink of course, so I changed it to a 2w, which can't be tested, then I re-installed the GFI after he left. He'll be back next Feb. for his annual inspection, he'll fail the GFI and I'll play his game again.

why the testers are even used since they need a ground to function


Tom

#211339 - 10/06/13 02:00 PM Re: GFI testers [Re: togol]  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,060
Estero,Fl,usa
You are not "rocking the boat" when you resolve problems like this you are plugging a hole in the boat.
If he really wants to go back to the 1975 code, you can grab a cold water pipe for your ground. Let him make a choice.



Greg Fretwell

#211342 - 10/06/13 08:24 PM Re: GFI testers [Re: togol]  
MarkC10  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 43
CA, Inland Empire
a good way I found to test the GFI without a ground is use an induction tester like the ol' wiggy .. hot to hot then the negative lead to any nearby grounded reference like the sink faucet, it always tripped the GFI ..

neat story, I was under a house once and came up against a box that had the same color for their two wire circuit . before slithering out from under the house to get a cord I thought, hmm .. I'm laying on Ground .. so I grabbed my large screw driver jammed it into the dirt, got my tester used the screw driver as my negative reference and was able to correctly determine the correct hot wire.. that was cool. ..")

Last edited by MarkC10; 10/06/13 08:25 PM.

Anyone claiming to know everything about Electrical, is wrong.

#211393 - 10/09/13 03:26 AM Re: GFI testers [Re: MarkC10]  
NORCAL  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 868
Originally Posted by MarkC10
a good way I found to test the GFI without a ground is use an induction tester like the ol' wiggy .. hot to hot then the negative lead to any nearby grounded reference like the sink faucet, it always tripped the GFI ..

neat story, I was under a house once and came up against a box that had the same color for their two wire circuit . before slithering out from under the house to get a cord I thought, hmm .. I'm laying on Ground .. so I grabbed my large screw driver jammed it into the dirt, got my tester used the screw driver as my negative reference and was able to correctly determine the correct hot wire.. that was cool. ..")


Not going to work when the plumbing is non-metallic or the flex connectors supplying the faucet & drain fittings are non-metallic


#211402 - 10/09/13 09:59 PM Re: GFI testers [Re: togol]  
JoeTestingEngr  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 782
Chicago, Il.
By testing a GFI, do you mean proving that it will trip, OR proving that it will trip at a current that won't be lethal to you??? We did this thread a few years ago. I need a Wiggy volunteer since I can't find a good spec. sheet for one. Test an outlet with your Wiggy in series with a Fluke on AC mA, and let me know how much current you're drawing. If its substantially greater than the value at which your GFCI should trip, (I'll bet it is.), then you're not performing a useful test. I tested an outlet at work once. 120V/10mA=12kohms. Ckt would dissipate 1.2W. I think I used a 12K, 2W resistor in series with a 50K pot, set to max., in series with my Fluke on AC mA. Going Hot to Ground, I decreased resistance slowly until the outlet tripped. I seem to recall that it was at about 7mA, a little more than I expected, but still safe. I was wondering what the spread would have been on several devices of the same part number.
Joe


#211416 - 10/10/13 09:08 PM Re: GFI testers [Re: JoeTestingEngr]  
togol  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 421
NW In. USA
I was trying to prove that the GFI was working as designed and all I wanted was for those 2 different inspectors to understand that their method of testing an ungrounded GFI ...during their respective finals... with a pocket tester was not the way to determine if the unit was functioning properly !

using wiggys, Flukes, and the kitchen sink for tests, while fun to do, are not things I want to do during final inspection(s)

As far as determining trip currents, Hubbells GFT2G adjustable tester ( which is the one I have used for decades ) incrementally increases the leakage up to 7ma, but it also requires a ground to work and would have failed to trip that particular GFI as well





Tom

#211417 - 10/10/13 10:33 PM Re: GFI testers [Re: togol]  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,060
Estero,Fl,usa
You simply push the test button and insure the down stream receptacles are deenergized.


Greg Fretwell

#211418 - 10/10/13 11:09 PM Re: GFI testers [Re: gfretwell]  
sparkyinak  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,313
Alaska
Originally Posted by gfretwell
You simply push the test button and insure the down stream receptacles are deenergized.


Ditto. That's the UL standard


"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa

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