piclist 1999\09\15\191405a >
Thread: GFCI/RCD
picon face BY : Mike Keitz email (remove spam text)

On Wed, 15 Sep 1999 15:45:03 -0400 Sean Breheny <spamBeGoneshb7.....spamCORNELL.EDU>
> If so, AFAIK, RCDs are NOT standard in US homes.

They're required in new installations since about the '70s, but only in
certain places.  Definitely for any outlets outdoors or in a bathroom,
maybe some kitchen circuits as well.  Circuits for washing machines
dishwashers, etc. don't have to have them.  Older houses are under the
usual "grandfather clause."

In fact,
> I
> have never seen such breakers (that I recognized,anyway) on a whole
> circuit,only on individual low-current outlets (usually in
> bathrooms) and
> integrated into certain appliances (usually hair dryers).

Most makers of breaker boxes offer a unit the size of a standard breaker
that combines over-current and GFCI protection.  These can be recoginzed
because they have a "test" button.  In my experience they are more
expensive and less reliable than the type of GFCI that is built into an

The outlet type has output terminals after the GFCI on the back so it can
be wired to protect more than it's own outlet.  Most house circuits are
wired in "daisy-chain" fashion.  If the GFCI outlet is the first one
after the feed from the breaker box (and installed properly), all the
other outlets on the circuit will be protected.

It is quite common for GFCI units to fail in a way that they do not
detect leakage current.  The "test" button simulates a small leakage and
should cause the device to trip.

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