Air conditioner LCDI?'s

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-13-20, 09:41 AM
CircuitBreaker's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 744
Received 30 Votes on 29 Posts
Air conditioner LCDI?'s

I did not want to "thread jack" the Current Leak thread but I have a question about a similar type of device which is the LCDI that are now placed on Air Conditioner cords.

@ telecom guy
The industry has been using several acronyms for the same type circuit.
All the leakage interrupters for personnel protection use from 4 to 6mA thresholds. Some mount in panels, some mount on device plugs, some combine as receptacles.
Even now, not all baths have GFCI protected receptacles; voila, mount the circuit on the device plug and call it a new name
I recently found an older (2005) 12K BTU air conditioner in the trash area in my apartment complex I took that (heavy) thing back to my apartment I waited two days to power it on as it was sitting A$$ side up. I plugged it in and the LCDI tripped I went to reset it it tripped again one more time it started smelling funny and smoking the 20A breaker in the panel tripped.

I cut the LCDI unit off and attached a normal NEMA 5-15P plugged the unit into a GFCI protected circuit I then powered on the AC on fan only for two minutes then put it on cool mode the compressor immediately started (no delay or struggle to start). A minute passed the AC was blowing out 40F air the cold coils were very cold and the floor was starting to get a puddle from the condensate dripping.

The hot wire has no continuity to the metal frame same with the neutral wire the cord is in good shape also, so I guess these can and do go bad? Are they needed? and if so where can I get another? The AC works fine and was probably tossed for that reason.

Thanks
 
  #2  
Old 12-13-20, 11:08 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 13,799
Received 252 Votes on 220 Posts
so I guess these can and do go bad?
Yes

Are they needed?
They are required by the current NEC.

where can I get another?
Here is one option: https://www.amazon.com/Replacement-A...7882832&sr=8-4
 
  #3  
Old 12-13-20, 01:38 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 60,786
Received 1,324 Votes on 1,224 Posts
I didn't realize the far reaching implications in the 2020 code. Outside A/C condensers will now need to be GFI protected also. I think this is getting a little extreme.

2020 GFCI information
 
  #4  
Old 12-13-20, 02:19 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10,754
Received 97 Votes on 87 Posts
Here's another option for replacement on a window A-C cord.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/ELEGRP-4...5PA2/314631266
 
  #5  
Old 12-13-20, 02:21 PM
CircuitBreaker's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 744
Received 30 Votes on 29 Posts
I think the NEC is going way too far now mandating this CRAP (AFCI's Tamper Resistant receptacles) I am now buying up all of the real devices I can find (No I don't get the residential grade Junk either)! No TR or AFCI's for me. Also the cord looked like This. I have a bunch of non LCDI cords in 14AWG variety I think I will just swap one of those on it but to even get to the control panel I have to remove the whole cover first I might just get an angle plug and be done with it. My old ac lasted 31 years it was a Fedders 8K BTU unit it went out the summer of 2020 (Probably just to add to the bad things that happened in 2020 LoL!)
 
  #6  
Old 12-13-20, 02:39 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10,754
Received 97 Votes on 87 Posts
Outside A/C condensers will now need to be GFI protected also. I think this is getting a little extreme.
I am going to go out on a limb here and say that this provision will be open to interpretation and will be causing mass confusion. In my opinion, the A-C circuit is rated 240 volts wouldn't fall in the category of 150 volts to ground or less. Yes, the 240 volt circuit is comprised of two ungrounded conductors each at 150 volts to ground, but each conductor is just part of the circuit. The complete circuit is a 240 volt circuit. Look at the actual wording again:
that are supplied by single-phase branch circuits rated 150 volts to ground or less, 50 amperes or less, shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.
I'd like to hear from a few code experts on this one and hear their opinions.

I do agree though that the code is getting a little extreme. The code is intended for safety and isn't supposed to be looking at design other than safety, but the code requires a neutral conductor now in each and every switch box. What does that have to do with safety? I also disagree with the new 2020 provision requiring a circuit breaker disconnect be incorporated into all new meter sockets. Yes, the intent is safety so the fire department can easily turn off the power, but this provision will just lead to everyone installing a padlock on their meter sockets.
 
  #7  
Old 12-13-20, 08:24 PM
CircuitBreaker's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 744
Received 30 Votes on 29 Posts
I think the NEC is now lobbying with the manufactures of said now mandatory "safety" devices and probably get kickbacks from the manufactures for making that CRAP mandatory.

The NEC was about safety you are right a neutral wire in every junction box does not improve safety but helps the manufactures sell their "smart" switches that need a neutral wire!

Anyway I went to Home Depot about 3.5 hours ago and bought a Leviton (I think) it was around $7 (much cheaper then a new LCDI cord) NEMA 5-15P Angle plug so problem solved.
 
  #8  
Old 12-14-20, 06:17 AM
Geochurchi's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 4,956
Received 88 Votes on 83 Posts
Hi, I believe I just read that ranges and dryers are also required to be GFCI protected and also a service disconnect is going to be required ahead of the meter.
https://www.dli.mn.gov/sites/default...f/NECFAQ20.pdf
Geo 🇺🇸
 
  #9  
Old 12-14-20, 07:19 AM
T
Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 1,693
Received 47 Votes on 46 Posts
I read there was a youngster fatality with an ungrounded outside condenser unit; this drove the 240V GFCI ruling.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...828-story.html
 
  #10  
Old 12-14-20, 10:42 PM
CircuitBreaker's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 744
Received 30 Votes on 29 Posts
I read there was a youngster fatality with an ungrounded outside condenser unit; this drove the 240V GFCI ruling.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...828-story.html
Oh WOW! what a sad story that sucks poor kid but He should not trespassed by jumping over the fence sorry to even say that but if He did not do that He would still be alive today.

I can see GFCI protection for outdoor AC units now but how often do you actually touch the unit? People not often animals probably quite frequently so I'm all for the GFCI now, never though that was possible.

Anyway I think the LCDI device does not actually protect the unit itself it is designed to detect a damaged power supply line cord as there are metal shields in the cord if they touch the hot or neutral and possibly ground wire the device trips. The cord was fine on the unit I found.
 
  #11  
Old 12-15-20, 05:35 AM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Ct.,USA
Posts: 1,902
Received 101 Votes on 88 Posts
My understanding is a power cord with integral LCDI uses shields on for the hot and neutral wires. Since the shield stops at the plug and appliance ends of the power cord, the power cord is the only piece being monitored by the LCDI. The breaker powering the outlet for the appliance with the LCDI power cord will open if its hot and neutral or ground short. The GFCI powering the outlet for the appliance with the LCDI power cord will open if its hot and neutral have a current imbalance. Seems to me the only thing the LCDI is detecting is a break in one of the shields. What am I missing?
 
  #12  
Old 12-15-20, 07:20 AM
T
Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 1,693
Received 47 Votes on 46 Posts
LCDI's are a response to pinched portable air conditioner cords, causing an arc hazard. They do use a shield as a sort of sensor. Since the shield surrounds the current carrying conductors, it will have a change in voltage if it becomes smashed against a conductor. This is sensed, and a trip state is performed. But, I've never actually seen a schematic for such a device, so this is only my semi-informed guess.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: