Rplacing Regular Breakers With Gfci Breakers

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  #1  
Old 02-02-05, 04:44 AM
bobb
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Cool Rplacing Regular Breakers With Gfci Breakers

hello,

im going to replace a few standard 15amp breakers with gfci breakers, are all breakers standard, as far as the physical size of the breaker is concerned? can i just pull out the regular breakers and snap in the new gfci breakers, without worry about the dimentions and such of the new breakers?


bob b.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-02-05, 05:35 AM
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No. All breakers are not standard. Even if they physically fit the box, they are not necessarily correct.

Safest bet, if your breaker box is a Square D, get Square D breakers. If Siemens, get Siemens, etc. Even then, there are often more than one type of breaker. For instance, if you go to home depot, you will see two distinct lines of Square D breakers.


Question: Why not just replace the first receptical in each circuit with a GFCI receptical? This is usually cheaper, and does the same thing. Then you don't have to worry about finding the correct GFCI breaker.
 
  #3  
Old 02-02-05, 05:54 AM
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Must get a breaker listed for use in the box. Check the brand and type/style, look at the panel for info. Or pull out a breaker and take it to your friendly supplier. Note that some companies make breakers to fit into other boxes and other companies have been bought out so that names may have changed.
 
  #4  
Old 02-02-05, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Jedi9
...other companies have been bought out so that names may have changed.

Jedi,

On that last part you said: I am under the impression that Murray got bought out by Siemens. Do you know if that is correct?

I've also sensed a divergence in the force saying that Siemens and ITE are somehow related (I've noticed breakers listed as Siemens/ITE on ebay), but, being mearly a Padawan, I don't fully trust my senses (LOL, sorry, couldn't help it ). Any ideas on that one?

Do you know of any sources of info as far as who has bought out who?
 
  #5  
Old 02-02-05, 06:58 AM
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If you still decide to replace the current breakers with the GFI breakers you will need to find the neutral associated with that circuit and remove it from the neutral buss and attach it to the breaker neutral connection. The neutral pigtail on the breaker will then connect to the neutral buss.
 
  #6  
Old 02-02-05, 07:12 AM
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Why do you want to replace standard breakers with GFCI breakers?
 
  #7  
Old 02-02-05, 07:31 AM
bobb
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Cool Replacing Standard Breaker With Gfci Breaker

the reason i want to replace two of the standard breakers with gfci breakers is this is and old house and was wired with romex that has no ground wire. i tested the metal work boxes for grounding with a multi-meter and it shows no ground. no continuity from the common wire on outet to metal workbox, and no power from hot to metal workbox with power on. service is grounded tho, just not the outlets. i replaced all the old outlets with new grounded outlets, old ones were no ground (two prong) and wore out. i was told by an electrictian i know, that replacing the standard breakers in those circuits with gfci, would be the easiest way to go. wont ground the outlets, but provide more protection.

bob b.
 
  #8  
Old 02-02-05, 08:02 AM
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Chirkware, I used to know more about them so I won't try. Seimans bought out furnace, Cultler Hammer bought out Westinghouse, Murray was bought by someone. Murray, ITE, Gould, Bryant, Westinghouse, Cutler Hammer will fit the same buss, I'm thinking, but if its not listed for use in the panel, its against code. Someone makes a breaker that is actually listed for use in Sq D QO Panel. American used to and stilll may make breakers to fit FPE.
 
  #9  
Old 02-02-05, 08:10 AM
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Bobb, all you need to do is replace the first receptacle in ea circuit with a GFCI recep to get the protection. Label it "No equipment ground" . The rest of the receptacles on the circuit will be labeled "GFCI protected, no equipment ground.
 
  #10  
Old 02-02-05, 08:33 AM
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If this is an old house, there may not be a "first" outlet on the circuit. The circuit may be octopus wired.

So bobb, end the speculation and tell us what brand your panel is anyway.
 
  #11  
Old 02-02-05, 12:22 PM
bobb
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hello,

the service panel is made by GE.
 
  #12  
Old 02-02-05, 01:46 PM
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Then be sure to use a GE GFCI breaker which is of the correct type for the model of your panel.
 
  #13  
Old 02-03-05, 08:38 AM
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Suggest AFCI vesus GFCI in Combo

Bob,

You may want to look into AFCI versus GFCI in the older home situation due to Parralel Arc situations and so on if the situation is not a real GFCI location issue.

Yes, GFCI will provide the protection partly in a ungrounded system but the reason issue is fire due to older wiring and so on.

Now I am not sure if GE makes a AFCI so it might be a moot point but I would suggest you look into that as it would provide a bit more protection in regards to the issue you have on the older home and wiring.
 
  #14  
Old 02-03-05, 08:40 AM
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Also....forgot to mention that it is not openly known that makers of the AFCI also have a element of GFCI protection in them as well but many do so check with the manufacturer of the unit you get if you use AFCI as a option but either way I would be more concerned about issues AFCI can protect over what GFCI can protect in your situation....

Now...if it was in a unfinished basement, near the sink and basin and so on that is another story...but if you are just looking for added protection to the wiring in the branch circuit then a feel AFCI is the way to go.
 
  #15  
Old 02-03-05, 12:08 PM
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GE makes an AFCI for their current boxes.
 
  #16  
Old 02-03-05, 12:12 PM
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Thanks Jedi.....I knew Cutler H and Square D did........guess they all are jumping on that AFCI bandwagon...lol
 
  #17  
Old 02-03-05, 01:12 PM
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ungrounded three prong outlets?

Originally Posted by bobb
i replaced all the old outlets with new grounded outlets, old ones were no ground (two prong) and wore out. i was told by an electrictian i know, that replacing the standard breakers in those circuits with gfci, would be the easiest way to go. wont ground the outlets, but provide more protection.
Are you saying that you now have three prong outlets that are not grounded? Isn't this a problem?
 

Last edited by John Nelson; 02-03-05 at 01:55 PM. Reason: fix vBcode
  #18  
Old 02-03-05, 01:51 PM
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It is acceptable to have three prong outlets that are not properly grounded, as long as they are GFCI protected and are labeled "No Equipment Ground".

However, the user needs to understand what no equipment ground means. There are certain types of electronic equipment that may not work properly without a ground.
 
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