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  1. #1
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    Default GFIs on appliance cords

    I've been noticing a lot more GFIs built onto the cords of appliances over the years. Hair dryers, etc.

    It got me wondering.... are these the same 5 mA threshold to turn off as the standard wall outlet? Is there really any difference or is it just redundant and for the knuckleheads living in the 1960s who still don't have GFI protection at their sinks?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: GFIs on appliance cords

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    I've been noticing a lot more GFIs built onto the cords of appliances over the years. Hair dryers, etc.

    It got me wondering.... are these the same 5 mA threshold to turn off as the standard wall outlet?
    Yes.

    Is there really any difference ...
    No.

    ... or is it just redundant and for the knuckleheads living in the 1960s who still don't have GFI protection at their sinks?
    Yes,

    There are a lot of older homes which are wired without GFCI protection, and there are a lot of older homes wired with 2-wire ungrounded systems. Those GFCIs in the appliance cords are there to stop the populace from thinning itself due to people doing stupid things with electrical appliances.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: GFIs on appliance cords

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    I've been noticing a lot more GFIs built onto the cords of appliances over the years. Hair dryers, etc.

    It got me wondering.... are these the same 5 mA threshold to turn off as the standard wall outlet? Is there really any difference or is it just redundant and for the knuckleheads living in the 1960s who still don't have GFI protection at their sinks?
    During commercial inspections I have begun to see a lot more of these on vending machines, ice storage and the like. I have been recommending GFCI protection on exterior equipment for some time now. Seems that budgets and electrical contractors always seem to overrule my suggestions on this though...

    Alton Darty
    ATN Services, LLC
    www.arinspections.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: GFIs on appliance cords

    It should start to get easier for you Alton, the NEC has required GFI protection for vending machines for the last two cycles.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: GFIs on appliance cords

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    It should start to get easier for you Alton, the NEC has required GFI protection for vending machines for the last two cycles.
    It's still a struggle to get the AHJ, local contractors and business owners to comply. I get some assistance from insurance carriers who request copies of any inspections from business owners. Seems that the insurers quite often insist on compliance for some reason

    Alton Darty
    ATN Services, LLC
    www.arinspections.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: GFIs on appliance cords

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    ..... or is it just redundant and for the knuckleheads living in the 1960s who still don't have GFI protection at their sinks?
    So older people, who've lived in homes for many, many years, who've never renovated their kitchens and have never really had any electrical work done, are all knuckleheads??? Kind of an insulting philosophy if you ask me.

    On a regular basis I come across homes and people like this. Many still have no idea what a GFI even is. I don't think this qualifies them as "knuckleheads".


  7. #7
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    Default Re: GFIs on appliance cords

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    I've been noticing a lot more GFIs built onto the cords of appliances over the years. Hair dryers, etc.

    It got me wondering.... are these the same 5 mA threshold to turn off as the standard wall outlet?
    No not the same!

    Immersion Detection protective devices (which you find on hair driers) ID(C)Is for example are not all equal or all inclusive - i.e. last 10 yrs+/- not all consumer hair dryers provide immersion protetion when the device switch itself is in either the switch ON or switch OFF position, and although required to provide both by federal legislation and rules for over 10 years, many made it to marketplace without reliable protection for same, recalls continue as these devices find their way to stores without any IDCI present.

    "Listed products that contain IDCIs or ALCIs have been investigated for installation in pplications in accordance with Section 422.41 of the NEC."

    "IDCI (Immersion Detection Circuit Interrupter) -- A component device that interrupts the supply circuit to an immersed appliance. When a conductive liquid enters the ppliance and contacts both a live part and an internal sensor, the device trips when current flow between the live part and the sensor exceed the trip current value. The trip current may be any value below 6 mA sufficient to detect immersion of the connected appliance. The function of an IDCI is not dependent on the presence of a grounded object."

    "An ALCI is not intended to replace the use of a GFCI device, where GFCI protection is required in accordance with the NEC."

    Appliance Leakage Current Interrupters (ALCIs) and detection (which you find on portable, window, and through-the-wall air conditioners, PTACS, etc.,

    are different than the "plain jane" GFCI protection offered by GFCI combination receptacles.

    GFCI cordsets/extension cords are also different - in that they break the connection of the netural as well as the hot conductor.

    GFCI receptacles and GFCI breakers open or break only the hot conductor when tripped.

    Some devices are equipped with combinations of various forms of detection thresholds, time factors for performance, levels, etc. specific to the ratings of the appliance and appliance type, etc.


    Is there really any difference
    yes there are distinctions and differences in the detection circuits, triggering events, and the performance of the types of circuit, series and appliance protections afforded by various devices.

    or is it just redundant
    No, not just redundant.

    and for the knuckleheads living in the 1960s who still don't have GFI protection at their sinks?
    No, for those products which require the protection to meet the Standards for safety they are for everyone, not just "for knkuckleheads". Don't know why you've picked the 60s. Mid 60s we required grounding type receptcles, 70s required GFI for bathroom sink receptacles - mid 80s we expanded to kitchen counter areas near sinks, and so on. The early 90s (20 yrs ago) and subsequent have seen a multitude of advnces in the performance standards and applied technology requirements in Personnel Protection Devices for use on Appliances, for home/consumer, commercial, occupational, health-care, etc. environments.

    Standards for maximum allowable current leakage were strengthened much more recently for certain motor-containing consumer appliances - such as for sump pumps, refrigerator/freezers, vacuum cleaners, shop vacs, etc.

    You might explore the subjectS further at UL.com and the CPSC.

    Immersion, vs. leakage , vs. GFCI, vs. GFI class A or B, and the various standards and specifics regarding the various different GFI devices and the changing requirements for AFI devices.

    We've only recently required TR receptacles - yet another means to prevent shock and arc hazards to persons.

    Appliances which are designed (and the instructions indicate to unplug when not in use) for multiple cycle engagement/disengagement are therefore subject to damage/fatigue as well for the cord cap, the cord, and the cord connection to device. Appliances used in more hazardous conditions than purely dry and/or outdoors, and those when handled or used carelessly or spills, accidents, (clippers, etc.) could create a hazard should have such protections, but not part of the various standards or CPSC requirements in many categories, where used as intended where intended. Still lacking on bladed clippers (personal grooming & landscaping/garden & hobby materials-electric scissors, etc. such as heat clurlers, styling devices, electric scissors, clothes irons, solder irons, portable humidifying devices, footbaths, etc.

    "EGFPD (Equipment Ground-Fault Protective Device(s)) -- Intended for applictions such as fixed electric deicing nd snow melting equipment, as well as fixed electric heating equipment for pipelines and vessels, in accordance with rticles 426 and 427 in the NEC. This device operates to disconnect the electric circuit from the source of supply when the ground-fault current exceeds the ground-fault pick-up level marked on the device, typiclly 6 mA to 50 mA. Additionl informtion for Ground-Fault Protective Devices my be located under the UL Product Category FTTE."

    These different devices are used with appliances to reduce the risk of electric shock. The basic operational principals of these different devices have different nuances and the features required for each are not the same, including required response time calibration. Application for different appliances are based on a number of factors which include the type of device, the design/configuration of the device, the conditions of use including restrictions or considerations of the environment conditions anticipated for use i.e. limitations listing, etc.

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    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 08-13-2012 at 07:58 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: GFIs on appliance cords

    Matt,
    Ever stop to think why there seem to be so many really stupid in the world? They may be surviving and reproducing thus perpetuating their genitic stupidity. What happened to Darwinism ? Has it been subverted ?

    Speaking for the " knuckleheads living in the 1960s who still don't have GFI protection at their sinks" we seem to understand that you do not wash your toaster while it is energized. . We also have survived steel clamp on skates and tricycles. How did we ever survive our childhood much less as adults?


  9. #9
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    Default Re: GFIs on appliance cords

    As a knucklehead who grew up in the '60s I would add that my family owned cars that didn't even have seatbelts! Sometime in the late '60s my dad bought a car equipped with lap belts.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: GFIs on appliance cords

    Easy guys..... I never said anyone living through the 60's was a knucklehead.

    My point is people who don't indentify and adopt cheap, modern safety devices are "knuckleheads".

    There was nothing wrong with living in a house w/o a smoke detector 50 years ago because they weren't mainstream... but, today, yes you are a knucklehead if you don't have one


  11. #11
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    Default Re: GFIs on appliance cords

    You have made me concerned. I don't want to be a knucklehead. I am going to go to belt with suspenders. Especially since the new and improved suspenders have clips on them instead of requiring buttons.


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