ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
Top Posters(30 Days)
Recent Posts
Feed to spa panel
by gfretwell. 06/24/17 10:22 PM
Weatherhead, POA, height?
by HotLine1. 06/24/17 02:37 PM
Windows 7 update problem
by ampherder. 06/21/17 07:01 AM
Norwegian power?
by dsk. 06/19/17 03:40 PM
Anyone ever take a Furnas A14D drum sw apart?
by gfretwell. 06/17/17 08:14 PM
New in the Gallery:
SE cable question
Popular Topics(Views)
238,208 Are you busy
173,424 Re: Forum
166,239 Need opinion
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 50 guests, and 10 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate This Thread
#180201 - 08/16/08 06:48 PM GFCI's: How Far We've Come  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
If you get E-mails from Mike Holt, you've already read his link to the April 1968 article about the then-new GFCI's. It's an interesting read.

Let's put things in perspective.

At the time, UL still had not developed a standard for them, so listing was problematic. They were not code required anywhere - indeed, would spend the next two decades earning acceptance.

Along the way, there were many, many re-designs. Everything was changed: better 'human engineering" to reduce miswiring, as well as better internal design to reduce nuisance tripping.

The article makes note of a portable GFCI, for use perhaps with a single extension cord, that weighed 8 pounds and cost $174.50. (I hate to think what that would be in today's money .... maybe over $1000?)

As a side note, I remember the controversy surrounding this device when it first appeared. There was considerable opposition .... up to that point, the preferred way to address shock hazards was with current limited, low voltage electrical systems.
If you ever enter a kitchen, flip a switch, and hear a 'thunk' from somewhere in the ceiling above, chances are you have found one of these lighting systems; they used relays to operate the circuits.
There was also a movement to 'go European" and limit bathroom power to a power-limited receptacle for your electric razor. (The 1800 giga-watt hair dryer had not yet reached the market.)

Another interesting note to the article is that many of the electrocutions described can only be attributed to exceedingly STUPID practices by the casualties. My favorite is the guy who sat in the lake, on an inner tube, while drilling a hole in his boat.


2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides

#180202 - 08/16/08 08:43 PM Re: GFCI's: How Far We've Come [Re: renosteinke]  
sparkyinak  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,326
Alaska
Originally Posted by renosteinke
My favorite is the guy who sat in the lake, on an inner tube, while drilling a hole in his boat.

Maybe he figured the inner tube would insulate him crazy

Last edited by sparkyinak; 08/16/08 08:44 PM.

"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa


Member Spotlight
Potseal
Potseal
Saskatchewan
Posts: 225
Joined: February 2013
Show All Member Profiles 
Featured:

2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

Shout Box
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.009s Queries: 15 (0.002s) Memory: 0.7450 MB (Peak: 0.8614 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2017-06-25 15:37:52 UTC