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Thread: Warm GFIs

  1. #1
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    Default Warm GFIs

    I was hanging out with my electrician on one of our projects and they were using an IR camera. Anyway they let me play with it and I noticed the GFI receptacles that I was shooting were 75 and 80 degrees. Isnt that warm for a receptacle? I asked the foreman who said it was normal??

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  2. #2
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warm GFIs

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    I was hanging out with my electrician on one of our projects and they were using an IR camera. Anyway they let me play with it and I noticed the GFI receptacles that I was shooting were 75 and 80 degrees. Isnt that warm for a receptacle? I asked the foreman who said it was normal??

    GFCI receptacle should be (as far as I know) no warmer than the surrounding air unless it has one of those little lights on them that may warm it up slightly. It is not built like an arc fault breaker.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Warm GFIs

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    GFCI receptacle should be (as far as I know) no warmer than the surrounding air unless it has one of those little lights on them that may warm it up slightly. It is not built like an arc fault breaker.
    Unless current is being pulled through it, then the more current the warmer, and if there is a bad connection someplace on/in it, even warmer.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warm GFIs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Unless current is being pulled through it, then the more current the warmer, and if there is a bad connection someplace on/in it, even warmer.
    Ah, what about reverse neutral situation. Would that have an affect? Just a thought but I am thinkink no unless like you say it has juice being drawn through it to another location. Who knows, night light, charger, or like you say, loose connection.

    Or it is through it to a receptacle being used that should not be hooked into that GFCI circuit like a den outlet or something.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Warm GFIs

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Or it is through it to a receptacle being used that should not be hooked into that GFCI circuit like a den outlet or something.

    If it was a bathroom GFCI, the load may have been in another bathroom.

    If it was a garage GFCI, the load may have been the load the electrician was using with his power drill on another receptacle down stream from that one.

    Just don't know.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Warm GFIs

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc M View Post
    I was hanging out with my electrician on one of our projects and they were using an IR camera. Anyway they let me play with it and I noticed the GFI receptacles that I was shooting were 75 and 80 degrees. Isnt that warm for a receptacle? I asked the foreman who said it was normal??
    What was the surrounding temperature?
    Sounds cool to me, but I am used to warm weather, heck we had an 80 degree day this Jan.
    Point is 75 to 80 would be cool if the surrounding temp. was 80-85 or it may be way hot if the surrounding temp is 20 degrees.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  7. #7
    Daniel Leung's Avatar
    Daniel Leung Guest

    Default Re: Warm GFIs

    I always use my hand or IR thermometer to check the breakers. The GFCI and AFCI are warmer than room temperature. I think it is normal when the current pass through and generate heat.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Warm GFIs

    the place was empty and the interior temp was around 60 degrees. the other receptacles were very cool, interior temp compaired to GFI's. Oh yea, there were no loads imposed. this is a vacant building. Is it something with how it was wired? Im facinated with this situation...and the IR camera. that thing was cool.


  9. #9
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Warm GFIs

    They will always show more heat then a standard out let. they just run that way... You will find a lot of things with an IR Camera that look hot or look like they are overheating but they are not overheating at all.

    Now when you see something like these photos then you have a problem.
    loose connections. you can see the wire overheating inside the wall and extending up into the inaccessible attic area.

    Best

    Ron
    Santa Rosa Home & Business Thermal Inspections

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  10. #10
    J Bowman's Avatar
    J Bowman Guest

    Default Re: Warm GFIs

    Nice thread.

    In my past experiences we often found that the breaker didn't match the outlet rating. (i.e. 20-amp GFCI outlet connected to a 30-amp breaker).

    or, we found the common practice of a run having a mixture of 15 & 20-amp outlets. (NOTE: In these instances the outlets were used as the connection point, vice using the common "pig-tail" feed connection method)

    or, the GFCI was faulty or in the worse case scenario not UL approved.

    or, 14 gauge wire was used to feed the 20-amp GFCI.

    All of these along with those suggested above (i.e. loose wiring, etc.) could be the source of the warm cover.

    In any case, it should be tended immediately.

    Just my opinion.

    John B.

    Last edited by J Bowman; 02-24-2009 at 03:35 AM.

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