ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
ShoutChat Box
Recent Posts
Beyond Belief
by BigB - 09/26/20 09:32 PM
Questioning the electrical norms
by LongRunner - 09/23/20 06:38 AM
Smoke & mirrors?
by HotLine1 - 09/21/20 03:42 PM
Pool Lights?
by Papa - 09/18/20 05:26 PM
Ever been afflicted by Gout?
by mbhydro - 09/15/20 05:50 PM
New in the Gallery:
Facebook follies, bad wiring
FPE in Germany pt.2
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 15 guests, and 13 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Page 2 of 2 1 2
Re: GFCI receptacle used as a disconnect? [Re: EV607797] #211398 10/09/13 01:37 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
EV607797 Offline OP
I'm glad that we're in agreement here. I just wanted to make sure that I hadn't missed something.

The installation consisted of a piece of UF coming up out of the ground (no physical protection) and into an FS box with a GFI receptacle in it. They came out of the back to feed the receptacles and lights inside the garage. In such an instance, the only way to disconnect the power would be to trip the GFI.

I knew it didn't get inspected.


"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."
2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
Re: GFCI receptacle used as a disconnect? [Re: EV607797] #211401 10/09/13 08:25 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
I rather like the idea. Not only does this help you meet the recommendation to regularly 'test' the GFCI, but the new (since 2001) GFCI's have an indicating light, to verify if they've been tripped.

The 2001 revision of GFCI requirements also took care of the old issue of a mis-wired GFCI not operating properly. Now a GFCI, like a disconnect, must open all the 'hot' conductors.

Unlike snap switches -which are often rated at less than circuit ampacity- a GFCI is rated for opening under load, even a motor load.

I say a GFCI meets the 'disconnect' requirement of the NEC. It does not, though, meet the LOTO requirements of OSHA.

Re: GFCI receptacle used as a disconnect? [Re: EV607797] #211404 10/09/13 10:08 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,528
gfretwell Online Content
The problem is GFCIs can fail "on", like when you have a bolted fault.

Greg Fretwell
Re: GFCI receptacle used as a disconnect? [Re: EV607797] #213658 06/23/14 06:26 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,432
Lostazhell Offline
What if the GFCI says "switch" with off/on at the test/reset buttons? (Not that I've ever thought of using a GFI for a switch, but to stir thought..)

[Linked Image from]

Re: GFCI receptacle used as a disconnect? [Re: EV607797] #213673 06/24/14 09:13 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,210
HotLine1 Offline
Guess I would read the instructions first, and IF it is a 'switch' check the rating & proceed from there.

I had a guy wire the rooftop light to the 'load' side of a GFI receptacle on a rooftop. He used the 'test/reset' for the light switch. I did not approve it. No debate, he installed a switch.

Re: GFCI receptacle used as a disconnect? [Re: EV607797] #213682 06/26/14 03:46 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,273
Tesla Offline
I can't see ANY inspector accepting a GFCI trip device as a safety switch.

The general public/ any servicing tech would NEVER 'make the connection.'

If you want to use a toggle switch -- with clear ON/OFF legends....

And, it would have to be suitably labled, and in a suitable location. (proximate)


EV WHY would anyone want unswitched lights?

As for firemen responding to trouble... well, at least it's a GFCI.

Except that GFCIs fail all the time....

They fail A LOT.


You're describing a hack job that is exactly why red tags are necessary.


Which gets back to a lot of hack thinking/ engineering.

Hacks can get something to 'work' that is so screwy that failure is sure to come.

And when it does fail, first responders are expected to be miracle electricians and dope out some crazy scheme on the hurry up.

Re: GFCI receptacle used as a disconnect? [Re: EV607797] #213686 06/26/14 10:53 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,210
HotLine1 Offline

Lostashell said a GFI with 'On/Off' at the tes/reset buttons. I have not come accross an animal like that.

I have (somewhere) a GFI-SP Switch combo device. I'll look for it when I get a chance.

Page 2 of 2 1 2


2020 National Electrical Code
2020 National Electrical
Code (NEC)

* * * * * * *

2017 Master Electrician Exam Preparation Combos
2017 NEC Electrician
Exam Prep Combos:
Master / Journeyman


Member Spotlight
Penn USA
Posts: 31
Joined: December 2011
Show All Member Profiles 
Top Posters(30 Days)
Trumpy 8
BigB 4
Popular Topics(Views)
270,047 Are you busy
204,436 Re: Forum
192,645 Need opinion
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3