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  1. #1
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    Default Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    60's vintage home with newer panel. All the 110V circuits except for one were GFCI breakers. Refrigerator was on a GFCI protected circuit according to labels. Pretty unusually but not sure if I need to write something up about it. I know that Refrigerators will occasionally trip a GFCI and according to current building standards are usually on separate circuits. Since this is a newer panel don't know whether that should apply here,

    Clarification/ Ideas for wording,

    Thanks

    //Rick

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  2. #2
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    Rick,

    One thing I know.... nuisance tripping does not give you or the homeowner a fore-warning.

    This (gfci on the refrigerator) is not a code requirement or code issue. The problem is, when the unit is tripped, rarely are the occupants/ owners (of the food inside) standing there to realize what has happened. In-other-words, the problem is not a code issue as it is a problem with damages caused by something that *should* have been avoided. The installer/ electrician should know better. My guess is it was a journeyman who is fairly new.

    Insurance companies will NOT cover food spoilage unless it is a covered event. A tripped gfci does not constitute a covered event.

    Richard


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    Actually, if the refrigerator was built in the last 15-20 years, the allowable leakage current in the appliance is now so low that it *will NOT* trip a GFCI, and, if it does trip a GFCI - that indicates a potential problem with the appliance or something else on that circuit (if anything else is on that circuit.

    Before the tightening of leakage standards, the leakage current was allowed to be less than 50 ma, which - obviously - would trip a GFCI set at 5 ma.

    However, the newer standard (within the last 15-20 years) allows 0.5 ma, or 1/10th of what it takes to trip a GFCI.

    If the appliance is a 'modern day appliance', there is no such thing as "nuisance tripping" anymore - at least not caused by an appliance.

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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    Rick,

    Just curious, what's the block of wood doing in the panel?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    Rick, are you sure those are GFCI and not AFCI breakers?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  6. #6
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
    Richard Stanley Guest

    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    They look like AFs.


  7. #7
    Jon Randolph's Avatar
    Jon Randolph Guest

    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    I believe that with the new 2008 NEC, all kitchen receptacles are required to be GFCI protected, refrigerator or not.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    Just curious, what's the block of wood doing in the panel?
    Dom,

    Why ... that's holding the main disconnect in place so it does not fall out - because it is back fed and has no visible retainer to hold the front of the breaker in place (as is *required* for back fed mains).

    Or, how about that neutral conductor which is sticking through the neutral bar so far that the end of it is touching the enclosure?

    Or the unused and not closed off opening for NM cable.

    Or ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    .
    .
    .............Or ...
    .
    The multi White wires used as Hot and Not Permanently Marked.
    .
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    Billy,

    I don't see any whites used to breakers, only blacks and reds, but I do see other things, such as NM cable through knock out with not fitting ... once one starts to look at that photo for a while, other things start to show up.

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

  11. #11
    Donald Merritt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    I always write up refrigerator circuits on ground fault interrupter breakers or connected to ground fault interrupter receptacles. I donít want the phone call when a lightning strike in the neighborhood or some other spike in the electrical system for the house trips the circuit to the refrigerator and the homeowner finds all the food in the refrigerator has spoiled.

    Don Merritt


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    One other thing to remember with GFCI on a refrigerator circuit.
    Who the heck wants to pull a refrigerator out of the hole to reset a outlet GFCI?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    They were marked GFCI and not AFCI. I did note the amateur workmanship in the box and the lack of inspection sticker that is required in Washington. Good call on the neutrals on the right almost in contact with the box...

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    "The electrician installed GFCi breakers to compensate."

    I thought electricians drove really big trucks to compensate....

    Jim
    Arlington VA
    ASHI, NOVA ASHI, VAREI

  15. #15

    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    Good call on the neutrals on the right almost in contact with the box...

    //Rick
    Just curious, I agree that if the neutrals are too long they should be cut back, but aren't they already in contact with the enclosure by being bonded?


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Infelise View Post
    Just curious, I agree that if the neutrals are too long they should be cut back, but aren't they already in contact with the enclosure by being bonded?
    "aren't they already in contact with the enclosure by being bonded?"

    Yes, as that is the service equipment and the neutral appears to be bonded, however, would you want any current arcing through the end of the conductor to the enclosure should there be a problem with the bond? That arc could create other problems.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    I am going to agree with Fritz... looks like many of those circuits lack a ground wire, so a GFCI would be required if they wanted (or did) install 3 prong receptacles (but they must be marked at the receptacle as not having an equipment ground).


  18. #18
    Rick Maday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Vaughn View Post
    "The electrician installed GFCi breakers to compensate."

    I thought electricians drove really big trucks to compensate....
    ROFLMAO



  19. #19
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    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    There's irony for you .....

    All too often, I chide folks for trying to argue that simply complying with the law is not enough.

    Here, we have someone who went well beyond any code requirements .... and there's still that "I've never seen this, so it must be wrong" reflex.

    Look closer ... the guy probably use hospital-grade receptacles in non-hospital locations, as well!


  20. #20
    max kasten's Avatar
    max kasten Guest

    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    the current building code requires 2 dedicated circlets for the kitchen applances (refrigerator rang dishwasher cook top that type of thing) are not a loud to be tied into the 2 circlets

    if your applances are on their own breakers they should not be gfi


    Max Kasten
    Building code official


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    Quote Originally Posted by max kasten View Post
    if your applances are on their own breakers they should not be gfi


    Max Kasten
    Building code official
    Max,

    Actually, those appliances are 'allowed to be on' GFCI protected circuits.

    This is because, in the last 10-15-20 or so, the standards for acceptable leakage current in appliances dropped from 50 ma (which *would* trip a GFCI if the appliance were at or above 4 ma leakage current) to 0.5 ma.

    That means that if an appliance does trip a GFCI protection device, the appliance has too much leakage current and need attention, either a repair or a replacement.

    Decades ago (1-2 decades), yes, appliances on GFCI protected circuits *could* trip the GFCI, and, frequently did - creating the term "nuisance tripping" ... but that has not been the case for the last decade or two.

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

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    Max, I believe that you confused some general statements, and jumped to the wrong conclusions.

    If you meant to say something like "refrigerators, dishwashers, etc., are often on their own circuit, and need not be part of either of the (2005) code required GFCI protected kitchen general small appliance circuits" .... I agree with you completely.

    Yet, there is absolutely nothing wrong with putting a GFCI on any circuit that is not required to have one.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Dom,

    Why ... that's holding the main disconnect in place so it does not fall out - because it is back fed and has no visible retainer to hold the front of the breaker in place (as is *required* for back fed mains).
    The requirement for a retainer/hold down device did not show up in the NEC untill the 1990 edition as 384-16(f) ,and then would depend on how long it took to be adopted in a particular juristiction. So it has not been around for that long.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Breaker Box all GFCI Breakers????

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Meyers View Post
    The requirement for a retainer/hold down device did not show up in the NEC untill the 1990 edition as 384-16(f) ,and then would depend on how long it took to be adopted in a particular juristiction. So it has not been around for that long.
    Rollie,

    Good information to know, thank you, however ...

    1) That panel does not look that old.

    2) Safety knows no dates - electricity is just as unsafe on older installations for something which was allowed and which is no longer allowed as it is unsafe today if one were to install it the old way which is no longer allowed today.

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

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