GFCI protection vs. Ground Protection

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  #1  
Old 02-24-06, 12:16 PM
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GFCI protection vs. Ground Protection

Could any of you explain the difference of the protection that you receive from a GFCI outlet compared to the protection received from the ground wire? I know that both are important, but which one is actually safer?

Just trying to understand...and haven't really found the answer to this...

Thanks!
 
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Old 02-24-06, 12:58 PM
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GFCI is a thousand times safer, but you need both. The functions are not equal and a GFCI does not duplicate all the functions of an EGC.

A GFCI detects a diversion of current from the circuit and shuts the power off at a level that is not fatal to most people. Though if you are clever, you can easily shock yourself with it.

A ground attempts to collect electricity that escapes from the circuit and tries to return it to the sender. The breaker won't trip until more escapes than the breaker permits.

This can be thousands of times more current (and duration) than it takes to give a fatal shock.
 

Last edited by bolide; 02-24-06 at 01:13 PM.
  #3  
Old 02-24-06, 01:27 PM
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an equipment grounding conductor puts all metal non current carrying parts at earth potential and provides a low impedance path for fault current to return to the source if a ground fault conditon occurs.
a gfci is a ground fault circuit interupter that uses a turodial transformer to measure an imbalance in current flow from the hot to the neutral. the trip amount is 4-6ma.
 
  #4  
Old 02-24-06, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by umtigers
but which one is actually safer?
GFCI, however the ground and the GFCI serve different purposes and both must be present. The only exception is that GFCI protection can be used in lieu of a ground in older homes that do not have ground wires. This protection does not actually add a ground, but makes the circuits much safer from electrocution.
 
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