GFCI OR ARCI question


Old 09-22-06, 12:58 PM
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GFCI OR ARCI question

Recently, my Direct TV receiver (hereafter referred to as "stinkin black box" or "it") shorted & caught fire. Sparks flew, flames shot out, blackening my wood entertainment center. And it wasn't even turned on!!! Luckily, for no particular reason, I was home for dinner that day to witness the event and was able to quickly unplug the stinkin' black box. The whole house could have been up in smoke. Took 2 days to air the smoke out of the house, but everything is fine now.

Anyway, the stinkin black box no longer worked so I got another one. Used. I'm afraid to leave the house with it plugged in. It gets fairly warm, even when it is not turned on. So I unplug it every single stinkin' time we leave the house. And once a month I show everyone in the family where the fire extinguisher is and how to use one.

Would a GFCI or AFCI solve my unplug problem? Would an AFCI be better in this case? Other suggestions?
Thanks. SteveS
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Old 09-22-06, 01:33 PM
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I doubt that any AFCI or GFI device would make this any safer.

I would call the maker of the dish reciever and ask if they have any modles that are made in america. tell them what happened and explain that you would like a quality product.
Old 09-22-06, 01:40 PM
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Either could have helped, but there's no guarantee it would have. Unless the satellite receiver has a three-prong plug, the GFCI wouldn't do much good. An AFCI could though. Assuming you have a fairly modern panel, an AFCI breaker will run about $35.

I'm a little suspicious simply because this is a satellite receiver and therefore directly connected to both a metal pole outdoors and probably an antenna or CATV service also. Is your dish installed and grounded per electrical code, what about the antenna? Was there any lightning or thunderstorms that day? Could it have become energized any other way like by wind blowing your service lines into it?

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