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#212007 - 11/29/13 10:31 AM GFCIs in the past
switches Offline
New Member

Registered: 07/30/11
Posts: 9
Loc: FL
This may have been posted on, but I can't remember. I have read that code first required GFCI receptacles outdoors in 1973 and in baths in 1975.

I also read that the first GFCI receptacle was invented by Pass & Seymour in 1971, Leviton had one in 1972.

This is interesting to me, because I have never seen them used this early. My house was built in 1976 and has no GFCI breakers or outlets anywhere. About the earliest I had seen them used was in a relative's 1978 house. It had Square D GFCI breakers on two circuits.

I suppose our local code did not require them until about 1978, hence we never saw them until then.

Has anyone seen any from early-mid 70s homes? What did the first GFCI recepts look like anyway? The oldest I have are early 80s.

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#212009 - 11/29/13 10:42 AM Re: GFCIs in the past [Re: switches]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9012
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
Mike Holt has a chart

http://www.mikeholt.com/documents/nec/pdf/GFCI_requirement_page2.pdf

Basically the first use was receptacles near pools and outside (1971) Bathrooms came in 1975.
It expanded every cycle since.

Most jurisdictions have some lag time between new cycles being released and adoption. In Florida we are usually at least one cycle behind because of the difference in ICC building code cycles and NEC cycles along with the bureaucratic inertia of getting things adopted
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#212012 - 11/29/13 07:03 PM Re: GFCIs in the past [Re: switches]
NORCAL Offline
Member

Registered: 09/25/02
Posts: 805
Some of the GFCI receptacles were so bulky that a extension had to be used, the single pole GFCI circuit breakers took 2 spaces in the panel, one for the breaker & another for the electronics of the GFCI.

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#212027 - 12/02/13 04:26 PM Re: GFCIs in the past [Re: switches]
JBD Offline
Member

Registered: 07/12/01
Posts: 599
Loc: WI, USA
Originally Posted By: switches
What did the first GFCI recepts look like anyway?


The ones from Square D, looked like a standard duplex. The top half was a single receptacle and the bottom was the GFCI buttons. It was very convenient that they could be used with standard covers. They were a hassle, sometimes, in existing construction, as you ended up with a single instead of a duplex.

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#212028 - 12/02/13 05:37 PM Re: GFCIs in the past [Re: switches]
ghost307 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 877
Loc: Chicago Illinois USA
I wish I could still get the 'quasi-duplex' design from Square D.
I always end up with a mess when I use a cast FS box since nobdy makes a cover for it.
I end up with a surface mounted cast box with a plate that obviously is designed to be installed on a drywall surface.
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#212029 - 12/02/13 06:26 PM Re: GFCIs in the past [Re: switches]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9012
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
They make Decora handy box covers that will work on a cast FS box.

https://www.platt.com/platt-electric-sup...spx?zpid=404219
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#212031 - 12/02/13 08:01 PM Re: GFCIs in the past [Re: switches]
ghost307 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 877
Loc: Chicago Illinois USA
Many thanks, Greg.
The white plastic covers in an industrial setting always looked dumb.
Now the GFCI receptacles will look like they actually belong there.
smile
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#212040 - 12/03/13 08:28 PM Re: GFCIs in the past [Re: switches]
harold endean Offline
Member

Registered: 02/16/02
Posts: 2248
Loc: Boonton, NJ
The original GFI's that I used would come with a little spacer plate because the GFI receptacle was too thick to fit in the old metal boxes. I wish I could find a picture of it somewhere, I will have to look.

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#212042 - 12/03/13 11:33 PM Re: GFCIs in the past [Re: switches]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9012
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I think part of the problem was that they really squeezed a lot of wire in a small box in the olden days. I am not sure how old the fill rules are but they were cheating.
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Greg Fretwell

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#212063 - 12/06/13 06:02 PM Re: GFCIs in the past [Re: switches]
switches Offline
New Member

Registered: 07/30/11
Posts: 9
Loc: FL
I have seen the Square D GFCI outlets before. In fact I have one in my collection of old items, labelled as Bell. I also have an old GE GFCI outlet, posted in some old threads here.

Does anyone come across any of these old outlets anymore? The oldest I typically see are the Eagle ones with the sideways outlets. Even those only go back to the 1990s I guess. Leviton GFCIs in the 1990s and possibly 1980s looked pretty much like they do now, but without the indicator lights.

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