Why not GFCI everywhere?

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Old 01-14-08, 06:11 PM
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I think adding GFIs to the entire house is a good idea. Especially if you have little ones running around licking everything in sight.

Why would anyone think negatively if every circuit had a GFI installed at the first outlet? Especially if they were cheap? I just dont see it. What am I missing?

I did install them on the first recepticle in each circuit in my cabin. Thank God because I had an faulty alarm clock pluged in. The GFI tripped, (it took me an hour to figure it out). It could have burned my cabin to the gound and possibly the entire forest from Mio to Lake Huron as it was in the early spring.
 
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Old 01-14-08, 06:30 PM
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The GFCI did not protect you from a fire. An AFCI breaker would do that, in the event of an arc fault, but a GFCI receptacle would not. The GFCI would protect you from a ground fault.
 

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Old 01-14-08, 08:16 PM
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Nevertheless, if you want GFCI everywhere, and are prepared to deal with occasional nuisance tripping, it will protect your youngsters. I see nothing wrong with it. Most people, however, would not want GFCI on their refrigerator and freezer.
 
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Old 01-15-08, 07:19 AM
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What am I missing?

Why do you let your little ones go around licking everything? ESPECIALLY electric outlets?

Tom
 
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Old 01-15-08, 07:22 AM
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Not to hijack the thread but did I hear correctly that the 2008 NEC is going to require most if not all breakers to be AFCI? Please correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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Old 01-15-08, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by MN_Jay View Post
Not to hijack the thread but did I hear correctly that the 2008 NEC is going to require most if not all breakers to be AFCI?
I believe that you're right. New residential construction will also be required to use tamper-resistant receptacles, which are supposed to prevent kids from inserting foreign objects into the slots and getting shocked.
 
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Old 01-15-08, 10:27 AM
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I understand that GFCI will not protect for arc faults but will protect ground faults (as in my case). I do not have the data but intuitively I would think that ground faults are more common that arc faults.

I have NEVER experience a nuicence trip. Every single time a GFI tripped, it was a "good" trip. I am using the newer GFIs with the exception of fridge, washer, furnace, micowave etc where there are single outlets. I plan on installing these at my primary home too.

To Tom Logan: "let" implies that the adult will "permit or allow" a child to lick or insert a pencil/crayon into the outlet. I cannot fathom any adult to permit or allow such action.

Most people do not keep their children on a tether, nor do they have CCTV looking at each outlet. Thus there will be a time where a 5 YO child is alone near an outlet without adult supervison. Agreed?

I personally would want to protect the outlet(s) with GCFI "just in case". I personally think $100 is cheap. How much money can you put on a human child's life?

Call me crazy but I will shortly have GFI/AFI breakers through out my house. My children are older but grandchildren are in the future (hopefully distant future).

Does anyone have a MTBF on the newer GFIs? My experience is about 5 years on the older style GFIs.
 
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Old 01-15-08, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Matsukaze View Post
I believe that you're right. New residential construction will also be required to use tamper-resistant receptacles, which are supposed to prevent kids from inserting foreign objects into the slots and getting shocked.
Can anybody link a picture of one of these? I've never seen one. Sounds interesting.
 
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Old 01-15-08, 12:44 PM
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When my daughter was 18 months old she received an electrical shock from sticking a penny between a cord plug and it's receptacle. This was in the days well before "child safe" outlets. Both my wife and I were in the room and we were both watching our toddler do her thing. We have no idea where the penny came from. We were distracted by the doorbell and that was all it took.

The resulting short blew the cord from the outlet and disintegrated the plug. My daughter suffered only minor burns on her fingers. It could have been much worse. We believe the penny may have hit the ground prong before touching the hot one.

It seems to me that a breaker could be designed that combined the features of both an AFCI and a GFI.
 
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Old 01-16-08, 07:57 AM
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Thank God that your daughter was not seriously injured. This proves my point, children are unpredictable. A GFCI would have tripped (hopefully) well before the current increased to the point of destroying the plug. Fortunately the fault went through the penny and into the ground and not directly through her. I would imagine that the temperatures were very high. The melting point of CU is
1083C. What did the penny look like? Was it distorted in any way?

Did someone say the NEC 2008 will require new construction to have child proof receptacles installed? I do not think that I have ever seen one before.
 
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Old 01-16-08, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by cwbuff View Post
It seems to me that a breaker could be designed that combined the features of both an AFCI and a GFI.
All AFCI breakers do provide at least some level of GFCI protection (usually 30 mA). Some AFCI breakers provide class A GFCI protection (5 mA) which is the level required for kitchen, bath, pools and other such areas.

Did someone say the NEC 2008 will require new construction to have child proof receptacles installed? I do not think that I have ever seen one before.
Yes, this is true. I believe they are called tamper-resistant or some other term like that.

http://www.cooperwiringdevices.com/p...ews.aspx?id=31
 
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Old 01-16-08, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Thonati View Post
A GFCI would have tripped (hopefully) well before the current increased to the point of destroying the plug. Fortunately the fault went through the penny and into the ground and not directly through her.
This is likely a case where a GFCI would have made absolutely no difference.

The path was likely between the hot and the neutral, through the penny. A GFCI will not trip in this case. The regular breaker will trip, which it did.

Remember that very few indoor home electric devices have a ground wire. Most lights, radios, televisions, vacuum cleaners, etc. have no ground.

GFCIs are great, but they do not protect against every problem. Remember that a GFCI will not trip if the path of the current is between the hot and neutral, even if that path is right through a human body.

Several years ago my wife cut the extension cord with the electric hedge trimmers. Flash, smoke, burned cord, done. The circuit breaker tripped, not the GFCI. Why? The ground wire was not damaged. Only the neutral and hot wires were cut and shorted together.
 
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Old 01-16-08, 08:45 AM
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Old 01-16-08, 09:31 AM
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Wow, those are cool! Has anybody here used them? Does it feel any different when inserting a cord? I would imagine not.

Is there any reason other than price not to install these now? I wonder how much they cost. Oh, I just noticed--$9 per receptacle. Ouch, that is versus about 30 cents for a regular 15 amp receptacle. That's crazy, I guess maybe I'll get these when I have grandkids. They should be reasonably priced in about 20 years.
 
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Old 01-16-08, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by MN_Jay View Post
Not to hijack the thread but did I hear correctly that the 2008 NEC is going to require most if not all breakers to be AFCI? Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Yes if Your State do adopt the new 08 code cycle some state are on diffrent code cycle i know some are on 05 code cycle and some are on 02 code cycle and some are on older than 99 code cycle and once a while some spot there is nonexesting code in their area [ belive or not but it is true ]


Originally Posted by Thonati
Call me crazy but I will shortly have GFI/AFI breakers through out my house. My children are older but grandchildren are in the future (hopefully distant future).
Yes, the Combo AFCI/GFCI breaker is required all circuit expect Bathroom , Kitchen , Garage and Unfinished basement. as the rooms i mention they are mantory GFCI but however the 08 code cycle did cut off the loopholes in GFCI reqirement so there is no more extempt on this so that mean everything have to be GFCI'ed.


Did someone say the NEC 2008 will require new construction to have child proof receptacles installed? I do not think that I have ever seen one before.

Unforteally yes it is true but for tamperproof repectale itself is not a new item it been used in children room in Hospital and Doctor office wating room for quite few years.

yeah i know they are not cheap ATM but later on the time the price will fall down as soon the demand and supply catch up with it.

Again let me and few other electricians remind you please check your local codes because there is on going changes on the state / local codes as the time progress being adopting new 08 code requirement.

As i am typing ATM AFAIK 2 state is allready adpoted the 08 and few other states inline getting in the 08 requirement so by time next few weeks/ months more and more states will add along the way.

Thanks for your time being patince with me with this info


Merci, Marc
 
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Old 01-16-08, 11:38 AM
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All the old outlets in our house, circa 1947, are the "old" child-resistant type, with the round twist-cap on the frint of them. They're a pain, and some of them no longer work. Most of these outlets are being replaced with GFCI, because of a (mostly) 2-wire system.

Also... I didn't realize the child-proof receptacles were going to be REQUIRED by the '08 NEC. The '08 NEC has so many types of changes!

One thing I'm very worried about is that, just like the AFCI issue, this is going to encourage "average joes" to not get permits/inspections. If "Average Joe" wants to install a new outlet in a bedroom and his cost rises ten thousand percent - from a 50 cent outlet and some wire to a $9 outlet, some wire, and a $40 AFCI breaker... yeah, he's not going to do it "right" no matter what the guy at Home Depot says.

The only way to really bring these changes in would be, IMO, to stop selling the cheap stuff to consumers. But then it'd be like the banned (at least in some areas) high-flow showerheads that there's a small black market for now!

Here's hoping prices drop quickly! Not holding my breath on the AFCI's until the makers have made their money, though...
 
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Old 01-16-08, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by TheWGP View Post
One thing I'm very worried about is that, just like the AFCI issue, this is going to encourage "average joes" to not get permits/inspections. If "Average Joe" wants to install a new outlet in a bedroom and his cost rises ten thousand percent - from a 50 cent outlet and some wire to a $9 outlet, some wire, and a $40 AFCI breaker...
Yes, I agree. The '08 changes alone will increase the wiring cost of a new house at least $1k with all AFCI breakers, more GFCI receptacles, and tamper resistant receptacles. Twenty standard breakers is about $60 at the supply house; the same set of AFCI breakers is $600-700. Add to that a few dozen TR receptacles...

My biggest complaint is that the required AFCI breakers and TR receptacles are patented or mostly patented designs which virtually guarantees a huge profit margin for the manufacturer with no lower cost brands available for many years. I like that these safety devices are available, it just bugs me that they're required (or soon to be required) in many places when there are no lower cost alternatives on the market.

I hope that Marc is right about the price on TR receptacles dropping, but so far that hasn't happened with AFCI breakers even though they've been out for years -- still $40 retail.
 
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