Author Topic: GFCI Outlets  (Read 1245 times)

Offline narcout

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GFCI Outlets
« on: May 29, 2016, 05:17:04 PM »
If you plug a multi-outlet power strip into a GFCI outlet, is everything plugged into the power strip protected?
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RPIScotty

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GFCI Outlets
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2016, 05:23:07 PM »
If you plug a multi-outlet power strip into a GFCI outlet, is everything plugged into the power strip protected?

Yes. The GFCI is your power source. Same rules apply if you have multiple loads or a single load on the GFCI. If you overload it it will trip regardless of what's plugged into it.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 05:25:27 PM by RPIScotty »

Offline denny

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Re: GFCI Outlets
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2016, 05:36:15 PM »
And remember to not use GFCI for inductive loads like fridges or freezers.  They are prone to trip with that kind of load.
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RPIScotty

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Re: GFCI Outlets
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2016, 06:07:33 PM »
And remember to not use GFCI for inductive loads like fridges or freezers.  They are prone to trip with that kind of load.

Good point Denny. Any inductive load, especially one that cycles on/off, is likely to have some level of in-rush current that would spurious trip the GFCI.

Offline narvin

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Re: GFCI Outlets
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2016, 06:20:41 PM »
And, any outlet downstream from the gfci on the same circuit is also protected.
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Offline narcout

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Re: GFCI Outlets
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2016, 05:50:34 PM »
Cool, thanks.

I want to plug my new pump into a power strip so I can use the strip's on/off switch to control it.  The strip will be plugged into a GFCI outlet.
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Offline denny

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Re: GFCI Outlets
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2016, 06:05:16 PM »
Cool, thanks.

I want to plug my new pump into a power strip so I can use the strip's on/off switch to control it.  The strip will be plugged into a GFCI outlet.

_Might_ be a problem when the pump starts up.  Maybe not.  You'll have to try it and see.
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Offline blair.streit

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Re: GFCI Outlets
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2016, 06:14:02 PM »
BTW - both of my ferm freezers and my pump are all plugged into the same GFCI circuit in my garage. It's the only power outlet in the garage so without calling out an electrician that's my only option.

No issues doing it this way for a couple years but good to know where to look if it happens.

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Re: GFCI Outlets
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2016, 06:27:40 PM »
BTW - both of my ferm freezers and my pump are all plugged into the same GFCI circuit in my garage. It's the only power outlet in the garage so without calling out an electrician that's my only option.

No issues doing it this way for a couple years but good to know where to look if it happens.

As long as the instantaneous currents present when the devices cycle doesn't exceed the GFCI rating there should be no problem.

Your limiting case is of course the concurrent cycling/startup of all loads at the same time. If that value is within the spec of the breaker then no worries at all.

Offline blair.streit

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Re: GFCI Outlets
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2016, 06:31:22 PM »
BTW - both of my ferm freezers and my pump are all plugged into the same GFCI circuit in my garage. It's the only power outlet in the garage so without calling out an electrician that's my only option.

No issues doing it this way for a couple years but good to know where to look if it happens.

As long as the instantaneous currents present when the devices cycle doesn't exceed the GFCI rating there should be no problem.

Your limiting case is of course the concurrent cycling/startup of all loads at the same time. If that value is within the spec of the breaker then no worries at all.
Good point. It would be a perfect storm if all three kicked on at the same time, but very unlikely. To feel more confident I should probably look at the surge rating for those freezers. They're both pretty new, which makes a big difference. My parents have a 30 year old freezer that I swear dims the lights in their house when the compressor kicks in.

Offline Stevie

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Re: GFCI Outlets
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2016, 06:38:18 PM »
I've noticed garages have gfi outlets in newer construction. Maybe it fall under "exterior" in the code.

I built this to run my two pumps. I plug it into a gfi outlet and have a portable gfi that I can use if I brew at a friends.


Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: GFCI Outlets
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2016, 10:08:42 PM »
Cool, thanks.

I want to plug my new pump into a power strip so I can use the strip's on/off switch to control it.  The strip will be plugged into a GFCI outlet.

_Might_ be a problem when the pump starts up.  Maybe not.  You'll have to try it and see.
I have never had a problem doing it as he describes.
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Offline wingnut

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Re: GFCI Outlets
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2016, 11:48:56 AM »
Quote

Good point. It would be a perfect storm if all three kicked on at the same time, but very unlikely. To feel more confident I should probably look at the surge rating for those freezers. They're both pretty new, which makes a big difference. My parents have a 30 year old freezer that I swear dims the lights in their house when the compressor kicks in.

Correct, most newer devices (fridge, saws, dehumidifiers... etc) have capacitors and other electronics on them to reduce the inrush at startup of motors.  Without going into a long boring explination... Electronics such as TVs and computers are very sensitive to surges and inrushes on the power grid, and consumer electronics has evolved to support demand.   So, indeed, if you have a 30 or 40 year old refrigerator, it may not be as kind to the power grid as a modern one.   However, even most newer GFCI's have evolved to better cope with this.    (The fridge tripping the GFCI was a real thing back when they first became "standard", but this is largely a thing of the past now)
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: GFCI Outlets
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2016, 11:52:06 AM »
Quote

Good point. It would be a perfect storm if all three kicked on at the same time, but very unlikely. To feel more confident I should probably look at the surge rating for those freezers. They're both pretty new, which makes a big difference. My parents have a 30 year old freezer that I swear dims the lights in their house when the compressor kicks in.

Correct, most newer devices (fridge, saws, dehumidifiers... etc) have capacitors and other electronics on them to reduce the inrush at startup of motors.  Without going into a long boring explination... Electronics such as TVs and computers are very sensitive to surges and inrushes on the power grid, and consumer electronics has evolved to support demand.   So, indeed, if you have a 30 or 40 year old refrigerator, it may not be as kind to the power grid as a modern one.   However, even most newer GFCI's have evolved to better cope with this.    (The fridge tripping the GFCI was a real thing back when they first became "standard", but this is largely a thing of the past now)

The chest freezer and fridge in the garage are on GFI outlets. Not a problem, but those are newer units.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: GFCI Outlets
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2016, 04:40:12 AM »
Both my food/hops freezer and my fermentation/keg freezer run on GFCI's with no issue. Well, I did have one issue. I had a contractor doing some work and they apparently tapped into the other socket on the food freezer's GFI to run some power tools off of. I don't know how the idiot didn't realize that he tripped the outlet, but I didn't discover it until almost a day later. There were some nasty emails exchanged after that. At least the hops survived...
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