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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Re: Follow-up Billy Bob Electrical Question

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John T

06-19-2013 04:23:29

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As most know its been yearsssssss since I retired from active AC Power Distribution Design Engineering buttttttttttt back in my day when GFCI was required, it was permissible (in most situations, likely some exceptions I'm sure) to place the device EITHER in the panel OR out at the required location i.e. a GFCI receptacle.

My engineering anaylsis (albeit a tad rusty lol from what I recall from NEC study and seminars back then) of how the NEC treated and justified that was the overcurrent protection device was there to protect the feeders and prevent a fire while the GFCI purpose was for Life Safety (electrocution prevention). At the GFCI receptacle site if Billy Bob plugged in a defective appliance or heck even if Billy Bob Jr stuck his fingers in the outlet HE WAS PROTECTED while the overcurrent protection device at the panel protected the feeders and was for fire prevention. The GFCI, having to do with Life Safety, is concerned with LOCATION such as outdoors and within x feet of kitchen sinks and bathroom lavatorys etc. where Billy Bob has a greater chance of some part of his body being in contact with a potential fault return path whereby current could flow through his ticker and kill him dead.

Soooooooo wayyyyyyyyy back when I was current and had to attend NEC seminars and knew this stuff pretty well GFCI required "locations" were sufficiently protected by a GFCI receptacle orrrrrrrrr a GFCI breaker in the panel BUT NO WARRANTY THE NEC HASNT CHANGED SINCE THEN.

As far as "nuisance tripping" is concerned the greater distance of the circuit and the more splices and junctions and moisture is concerned, the greater the chances of a nuisamce trip, since it only takes something like 5 milliamps to trip the GFCI.

Ya gotta love when electrical or legal questions are asked here as everyone and their brother in law (including Billy Bob and Bubba) crawl out of the woodwork with opinions (some professional other strictly lay) and theres no finer group of gents anywhere all willing to try n help WHICH IS WHY I LOVE IT HERE and do my best to help when I can GOD BLESS YALL

NOTE there are "right" ways to do electrical installations and there are tonsssssssss of Billy Bob and Bubba non NEC approved and perhaps???? less safe ways that will still "work" and its your home and your familys lives at stake SO ITS YOUR CHOICE how to do them, DO NOT take any of my advice, consult local trained competent PROFESSIONAL Engineers and Electricians and local authority is my advice before you risk a fire or life by doing something Billy Bob (NO professional training or knowledge whatsoever) recommends........

John T Toooooo Longgggggggg retired EE

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