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#85695 - 07/30/03 05:36 PM New GFCIs aren't quite what we thought?
Bill Addiss Offline
Member
Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3875
Loc: NY, USA
There's an article in the July EC magazine that talks about the new GFCI construction requirements. I was surprised to read that if these are miswired the button will pop out and they will not reset, (as we expected) but they will be energized?

Bill
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#85696 - 07/30/03 06:30 PM Re: New GFCIs aren't quite what we thought?
txsparky Offline
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Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 552
Loc: Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.
They remain energized just like the old style? ( except the old style would reset )
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Donnie
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#85697 - 07/30/03 06:40 PM Re: New GFCIs aren't quite what we thought?
Bill Addiss Offline
Member
Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3875
Loc: NY, USA
Donnie,

Yes, that's what it seems to say ...
I guess you're supposed to notice the button is popped out and realize something might be wrong, but if the outlet works is 'Joe Average' going to know or care?

Bill
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#85698 - 07/30/03 07:26 PM Re: New GFCIs aren't quite what we thought?
ThinkGood Offline
Member
Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 1081
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Here is the article: http://www.ecmag.com/editorial_detail.aspx?id=749

One of the "three of the most important changes in the certification objectives" is:

Quote:
Stopping power if the devices are improperly wired, although the receptacles will still work. GFCIs currently give no hints if they are not operating properly.


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#85699 - 07/31/03 02:37 AM Re: New GFCIs aren't quite what we thought?
pauluk Offline
Member
Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7520
Loc: Norfolk, England
I don't think I've ever looked closely at an American GFCI receptacle.

How are the two sets of terminals labeled? Line and load?
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#85700 - 07/31/03 04:13 AM Re: New GFCIs aren't quite what we thought?
ThinkGood Offline
Member
Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 1081
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Paul:

Exactly. In fact, the ones made by Leviton have a yellow warning label over the load terminals, to help prevent miswiring.
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#85701 - 07/31/03 06:54 AM Re: New GFCIs aren't quite what we thought?
JBD Offline
Member
Registered: 07/12/01
Posts: 599
Loc: WI, USA
I think it would be very cost prohibive if not physically impossible to manufacture a GFCI that would disconnect the receptacle face as a result of mis-wiring.

The block diagram for a properly wired device is similar to:

[incoming power]->[Line terminal]->[GFCI sensing]->[power disconnect]->[receptacle face]->[load terminals]->[down stream devices]

On a miswired receptacle the power is applied to the "load" terminals and therefore directly to the receptacle face. To prevent this from happening a second set of disconnect contacts would be required after the receptacle face. A possible block diagram would then be:

[incoming power]->[load terminal]->[power disconnect]->[receptacle face]->[power disconnect]->[GFCI sensing]->[line terminals]->[down stream devices]

The all but failsafe solution: use GFCI breakers instead.
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#85702 - 07/31/03 07:00 AM Re: New GFCIs aren't quite what we thought?
ccdave Offline
Member
Registered: 01/27/03
Posts: 59
Loc: culver city,calif. usa
I'm seeing alot of trip indicator lites on these but don't know if it shows miswiring or not.
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#85703 - 07/31/03 08:39 AM Re: New GFCIs aren't quite what we thought?
Bill Addiss Offline
Member
Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3875
Loc: NY, USA
JBD,

I'm sure it's not as simple as it sounds, most things aren't.

It's a surprise to me though, I assumed claims that it 'would not reset' had something to do with denergizing the receptacle so it couldn't be used if there was no GFCI protection. Didn't everyone think that would be the case?

Bill
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#85704 - 07/31/03 11:20 AM Re: New GFCIs aren't quite what we thought?
C-H Offline
Member
Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1497
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
This sounds like the GFCI receptacles are single pole breaking only.

GFCI receptacles here in Sweden (and presumably in all of Europe) are double pole breaking. Portable GFCI's are also double pole breaking. (It can be turned either way in the receptacle and fits both grounded and ungrounded receptacles.)

How much does a GFCI receptacle cost in the US? A portable GFCI?
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