Gfci plug into gfci receptacle

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  #1  
Old 08-03-15, 08:21 PM
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Gfci plug into gfci receptacle

Some devices come with a built in gfci adapter. Will these still work properly if you plug it into a gfci receptacle?

Secondly, if water gets into a normal receptacle, what could happen? Sparks, just a short circuit? Ie if you have a gfci device plugged into a normal receptacle but water gets into the normal receptacle
- will the device pick it up
- what happens in the normal receptacle
 
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Old 08-03-15, 08:45 PM
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GFCI protected devices plugged into GFCI receptacles, or recepticals protected by GFCI breakers will produce nuisance trips, but will operate properly, doing their job. If water gets into a regular receptacle, it will, or can create a short between the hot and neutral or ground. GFCI receptacles are not protected before the wiring terminates in it. The mechanism is internal.
 
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Old 08-04-15, 05:42 AM
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If there's a short between the hot and neutral most likely it troops the breaker but can it start a fire also or overheat the receptacle?

I have a heat tape in an artesian well, which has its own GFCI plug.
However, it's all corroded. The receptacle it was plugged into was a normal 2 plug receptacle, also all corroded. It only ever had 1 plug in it, the other was full of dirt, probably ants and other stuff.
The entire thing was housed in a cover for the well but it's made of MDF.

I've cleaned off the GFCI plug with sandpaper but it's not perfect. I need to replace the receptacle, probably with a normal 1 plug receptacle but as the heat tape already has a GFCI, I wondered if this was ok.

My alternative is to cut the GFCI off the heat tape, connect it to a new plug, install a GFCI receptacle and an in use cover - more costly I guess and is the entire thing already has a housing, I'm not sure rain gets in. It seems humidity must though and/or condensation as it wouldn't have corroded otherwise? However, the heat tape does work so cutting off the GFCI might "break" things.
 

Last edited by qwertyjjj; 08-04-15 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 08-04-15, 08:05 AM
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Any of the three are possible depending on how good or bad the connection is that caused the short. With standing water in particular it can also just energize the water enough to not trip the breaker, but to be an electrocution hazard for anyone touching the water.

Generally speaking all outdoor receptacles should have GFCI protection. I don't know for sure if the well heat tape receptacle specifically requires it, but I would probably make sure it is protected. A GFCI breaker is a good option in this case.

If you get a weather resistant receptacle when you replace this one, it should last longer. Humidity and corrosion is a common problem around water pumps and the like.
 
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Old 08-04-15, 08:20 AM
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It wasn't a short as such, it just stopped working one day in the winter and the well froze, I went to look at it, and the plug was all corroded so it wasn't making good contact and the receptacle was corroded too.
A GFCI breaker costs a few hundred million dollars doesn't it?

I think it's on a 30A circuit actually so there aren't any GFCIs for that or receptacles? The circuit is labelled Garage and heating cable 30A / 30A dual pole.
Unless it goes to the garage first and then comes back out on a 15A circuit from the garage.
The garage has lighting and a few receptacles all rated 15A so I'm not sure. There's a panel in the garage with a shut off lever but it doesn't really look like a sub panel, more like a safety switch.
 

Last edited by qwertyjjj; 08-04-15 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 08-04-15, 05:48 PM
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More information just keeps trickling in The 30 amp breaker is most likely in your main panel and feeds the subpanel in the garage, where it is broken up into 120 volt circuits. GFCI breakers only cost half that much. Pull open the subpanel and post a picture for us to look at.
 
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