GFCI is supposed to save everyone since the person being shocked supplies the grounding path. I am not thrilled with that scenario but, if the GFCI is actually working that is only a 5ma shock for a short time.
GFCI is supposed to save everyone since the person being shocked supplies the grounding path.
If there is no grounding path then the GFCI will not provide protection. If you place a two wire appliance in the water where there is no metal piping or other path to ground, the GFCI will not trip, but there may be enough current flowing in the water to kill. This is really the same as when you are touching the hot and neural...the GFCI does not provide protection. Don
I just checked my hair dryer. I can plug it in above the vanity and it will touch the bottom of the tub. If my 5 year old angel lived here, I would cut the cord a few inches below the GFCI module. I would shorten the cord and splice, solder and heat shrink it so it couldn't reach the tub without yanking the plug out.
I'm not saying that this happened in this case but in today's society, more and more barbarians are murdering their children rather than finding loving homes for them. They say that many cases of SIDS are really murder. Not too far from me a woman murdered her two small children and actually set her home on fire to cover it up. So whether it's a cop's 3rd wife drowning in an empty bathtub or a child being electrocuted in one, I sure hope there is physical evidence on the scene to support it. Joe
Don, you still need a current path through the body and that is usually to ground somewhere. The L/N path would not go through the body in this scenario. We already know there wasn't a GFCI and I am betting the ALCI in the plug was either bad or not there at all
Atkinson said he thinks a ground fault circuit interrupter installed in the outlet or contained in the dryer would have prevented the tragedy.
On a hairdryer my mom had when I was little I saw a tag with the usual warnings including this one: "WARN CHILDREN ABOUT THE DANGER OF DEATH DUE TO ELECTRIC SHOCK" My parents did a good job of this obviously.....
My opinion: When designing the bathroom, one should not locate any receptacle on the same side of the room as the tub or shower unless it is greater than 6 feet away from the tub or shower. Since most dryer cords are 6 feet, this would fix the problem.
But what about the sink? Shocks through an energized sink are probably less likely to be fatal due to the reflex reaction that would occur when someone put their hand in the sink that was energized. Mechanically (ease of escape) and electrically (less contact surface area) the sink scenario is less dangerous. It would probably knock you on your butt though and you could kill yourself by whacking your head....
Oh well.... you can't save every idiot. Natural selection WILL occur and there's no way to stop it.
Much as we all deplore tragedy .... there's only so much that can be done. Sometimes, "stuff" happens. Other times, attempts to eliminate one danger create others. There is also the influences of 'progress' and 'change.'
I remember when bathrooms typically had NO receptacle. Or, if there was one, it was in the side of the light. Indeed, my own bath has no receptacle, but for the one in the light.
Of course, those were also the days before the electric toothbrush, the hair dryer, the towel warmer, the curling iron, the curler heater, etc. All that got plugged in was an electric razor.
Another 'detail' is bathroom size. I recently read an article specifically about designing 'small' bathrooms. Their smallest was at least 50% larger than mine .... and mine is larger than some I've used!
Finally, there is the issue of bathroom remodels. This forum has posted several pics of baths whose receptacles became located above the tub - when the 'standard' tub was replaced with a wider whirlpool tub.