Is a receptacle GFCI more reliable than a breaker GFCI?


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Old 06-09-15, 07:37 PM
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Is a receptacle GFCI more reliable than a breaker GFCI?

I recently had a new circuit added to crawlspace. The electrician first added a GFCI receptacle below the electric panel (in the garage) and then wire the crawlspace downstream of this receptacle. When asked why, he said the receptacle type GFCI is less likely to falsely trip than the breaker type GFCI.

Is this true?
 
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Old 06-09-15, 08:00 PM
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Both are designed to trip at the same level. I know of no data to support that claim.
 
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Old 06-09-15, 09:11 PM
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In my personal experiences I found the GFCI breakers to nuisance trip less than the GFCI receptacles, as well as last longer.
 
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Old 06-10-15, 01:47 AM
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I agree with Justin. I have two GFCI circuit breakers that are almost thirty years old and they are still just fine. I have had to replace a few GFCI receptacles that were less than ten years old.
 
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Old 06-10-15, 04:49 AM
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For the price difference I can replace two or three gfi receptacles for the price of the breaker.
 
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Old 06-10-15, 06:37 AM
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Just curious, isn't the benefit of a GFCI breaker that you can protect multiple circuits. Which would make it cheaper than multiple GFCI outlets.

Like this:




Do you loose effectiveness when you start adding circuits?
 
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Old 06-10-15, 07:11 AM
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GFCI does not lose effectiveness with multiple circuits, but it can increase the chance of a false trip. It is common practice in some areas (European countries) to install a GFCI-like device on the main breaker for the entire residential service to protect all circuits.

A GFCI breaker is necessary if you have a large appliance like a spa or pool pump that requires protection, but is hardwired instead of plugged in. It also would be necessary on a multwire (shared neutral) circuit which is common in Canadian kitchens for example. For general-purpose receptacle circuits it does not matter which one you choose as the breakers and receptacles are designed to the same protection standard of 5mA of current leakage.
 
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Old 06-10-15, 08:16 AM
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A GFI breaker or receptacle can only protect the circuit it is connected to. They do not protect other circuits.
 
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Old 06-10-15, 08:56 AM
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I meant multiple branches of the same larger circuit. Such as in the pictures of my panels r1 in the first and r1,r2, r3 in the second are GFCI protections for multiple individual branches of the circuit.

I'm assuming that by grouping the branches you end up having it be cheaper than GFCI protection for each individual branch.
 
 

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