GFCI device

I am aware that GFCI circuit breakers exist, but when installing an additional 15 ampere branch circuit, an electrician installed a GFCI device within an one gang electrical box. How does such a GFCI device compare to use of a GFCI circuit breaker ? Cost? Reliability? False alarms ?
How might I go about testing the newly installed GFCI device ?
The additional GFCI branch circuit is required for running a Panasonic exhaust fan within the wet area.
If I had known of such independent GFCI devices, I would have made use of it rather than individual GFCI duplex outlets when I added a circuit branch for auxillary outdoor and garage duplex outlets.
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As far as I know, the function and reliability of a circuit breaker type GFCI and one installed elsewhere is the same. The main difference is one installed as a breaker will protect all devices on that line, while one installed elsewhere will protect the outlet it is installed in plus anything connected downstream of it. When installing outlet type ones, a single one is frequently used to protect multiple outlets downstream.
To test it, just push the test button and it should trip.
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wrote:

In a survey of installed GFCIs by central Florida electrical inspectrors the device type actually showed lower failure rates than the breaker type. That article may still be in the magazine archives at IAEI.ORG
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The other two posts answered most of your questions. The remaining one is cost: a GFCI breaker costs anywhere from about 3 times to 10 times (or even more) as much as a GFCI outlet.
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GFCI breakers usually cost 2X to 3X more than GFCI receptacles. The test button is on the breaker rather than on a receptacle which is usually more inconvenient and results in less frequent testing. Because the entire circuit is on GFCI, nuisance tripping can be more frequent. I've had problems with fluorescent lights with magnetic ballasts causing nuisance tripping of GFCI breakers when the lights are switched to the off position. The collapse of the magnetic field in the ballast when the switch was put to off apparently caused a small current pulse through the neutral and tripped the GFCI. In one case because of this, I had to take out a GFCI breaker and install GFCI receptacles.
A GFCI breaker works best when the circuit will have only multiple outlets that require GFCI by code and where the breaker panel is reasonably convenient for periodic testing.
Mike ---------------------------------------------------------------- Vince wrote:

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wrote:

Just to be clearer, the GFCI device to which I am referring does not include any receptacles. It has just the Reset/Test switches. The one installed here is located adjacent to the circuit breaker panel in my basement, secured to the overhead joist. It supplies power to the Panasonic fan motor, the two 13 watt florescent lamps via a ballast transformer, and a 4 watt incadescent bulb.
I do not know the cost of this device, but the electrician that installed it mentioned that a 15 ampere GFCI circuit breaker would be about 130$us. I will search for a (Leviton) part number and attempt to obtain local pricing info to satisfy my curiosity.
I am located on Long Island in New York.
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"I do not know the cost of this device, but the electrician that installed it mentioned that a 15 ampere GFCI circuit breaker would be about 130$us. "
A GFCI breaker should cost about 1/3 of that, unless that price includes installation. Also, it's not clear to me why an electrician would put a seperate GFCI in it's own box in the basement to service a bathroom fan instead of just putting in a GFCI breaker. The later would seem easier, less confusing, and less labor.
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On 7 Dec 2005 13:00:24 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Material cost and labor cost, in this instance, were included under the contract pricing for the bathroom remodelling/gutting.
When I get the chance, I will telephone a local electrical supply house for a price quote on both a 8895-01x and a GFCI circuit breaker for the service panel.
That electrician is judged to be a flaky individual. He initially put in 14 gauge wire rough wiring for a GFCI outlet near the sink, (later claimed that that was because he did not have 12 gauge wire on his truck that particular day); initially failed to install power feed wire for the night light; installed a plastic, single gang JB that was missing the nails; and did not secure the wire to/from that JB with staples.
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wrote: <<SNIP>>

Apparently, this device is a Leviton 8895-01x and is described here http://www.leviton.com/pdfs/gfci/GFCI_Brochure.pdf as a SmartLock High Current GFCI, on page 14. The markings on the actual item are too small for me to read. Next trip w/magnifying glass ...
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protect other outlets downstream in addition to itself? Check the wiring diagram that comes with the packaging.
The standard dual outlet GFCI is your best bet in terms of cost. If your wiring is accessible, you only need one per circuit (to protect the whole circuit). I have seen these on sale for as low as $5 but usually they are just a little bit more.
I've seen the GFCI only (no outlets) models you mentioned. They probably cost more and are harder to find as replacements, but they also still should be able to monitor the entire circuit depending on how they are wired.
By the way, the electrician you mentioned is an idiot and a danger to the life and property of your family. Wire gauge goes by circuit rating, #12 for 20 amp circuits and #14 for 15 amp circuits. If he installed the wrong size, you've got a problem (regardless of what he had on the truck).
Beachcomber
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On Wed, 07 Dec 2005 23:21:52 GMT, not snipped-for-privacy@xxx.yyy (Beachcomber) wrote:

Not Always. One time I installed some GFCI's for someone who had outlets on either side of her sink. These were on the same circuit but neither one was "downstream" from the other. It took 2 GFCIs.

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On Wed, 07 Dec 2005 23:21:52 GMT, not snipped-for-privacy@xxx.yyy (Beachcomber) wrote: <<SNIPPED>>

1650 watt load and 12 gauge/20 ampere is good for up to 2250 watt load, IIRC.
No, he was caught ahead of time. Fortunately, I have spare space within the (150 ampere) circuit breaker panel.
I questioned the contractor why I was seeing only 14 gauge wire. THat is when I was given the excuse of the electrician not having 12 gauge wire on his truck. The solution was to run two circuit branches from the ckt brkr panel: 20 ampere breaker in panel with 12 gauge wire "home run" to a GFCI duplex outlet located above sink area, and a 15 ampere brkr in panel, followed by the 8895-01x GFCI device, with the Panasonic fan motor, its florescent lamps and incandescent bulb, and a newly installednon-GFCI duplex outlet on the hallway wall as the load.
Maybe the electrician had a 8895-01x sitting on his truck; I don't recall that he made a trip to a supply house.
I think this configuration is safe and complies to code (I am on Long Island in New York).
Thanks for your comments.
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I had one of those no outlet GFCI's in my bathroom right across from the 'business seat' where I have sat and contemplated this issue on many occasion... It was on a dedicated circuit for the jetted tub. I have since replaced it with an outlet type GFCI so I could use a space heater etc. The jetted tub is rarely used and the space heater was overloading other circuits. I am pretty sure I have seen the GFCI without outlets at HD/Lowes etc. Kevin
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wrote:

It is interesting how the outlets seem to get more publicity than the circuit breakers. This house was built with one and it serves the outlets in all 3 bathrooms, the outlets near the kitchen sink, and the outdoor outlet.
Interestingly enough, it used to trip every month or so, and eventually I became sure there was nothing wrong (except with it). So I bought a replacment CB 15 years ago, and no trouble since then.
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wrote:

Lot's of electrical contractors are cheap and will furnish the absolute minimum GFCI's (generally two) to protect the required circuits (kitchen, outdoors, bathroom, garage).
This sometimes results in GFCI's being placed in awkward, out-of-the-way places. The one controlling my bathroom outlets was placed in the garage. It doesn't trip often, but it sure is inconvienient when I want to test it.
Beachcomber
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On Thu, 08 Dec 2005 14:19:40 GMT, not snipped-for-privacy@xxx.yyy (Beachcomber) wrote:

The absolute minimum is more like 4 You need 2 in the kitchen. one for the bathroom counters and another for all the other GFCI required loads. That is "hold your nose" legal.
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On Thu, 08 Dec 2005 14:19:40 GMT, not snipped-for-privacy@xxx.yyy (Beachcomber) wrote:

I guess I'm lucky in that. The electrical contractor who wired these 100 houses bought one of them himself and lived here at least 10 years. You could tell his house because it had lots of lights (lining the sidewalk, for example) and he had an outlet from his stove fan that came out over the front sliding glass door.
He wasn't cheap but he, or his guys, also made three (small?) mistakes in my house. a) The 2 double throw switches for the front hall light were wired wrong so that if the first was ON, the second could turn the light on or off. b) the switches at the stairs, for the stairway going up and the stairway going down were interchanged from the logical and usual way they are placed.** and c) the switch for the powder room was on the inside of the door frame, but on the hinge side instead of the open side. Maybe that's how they did it where he came from. I should check the neighbors to see if the other houses are the same way.
When I mentioned one or two of these problems to him, not complaining because I fixed them easitly (except for C), just telling, he was indignant and denied making mistakes. I'm sure he thought he didn't.
**This led to an interesting occasion. The first summer I was here, I came home 8Pm on a Sunday with my girlfirend to find the door kicked in. For some reason I was willing to check upstairs without calling the police first, but unwilling to check the basement. So the police came, and he had (maybe his flashlight out) and his gun drawn iirc, and he was heading down the stairs. My girlfriend thought she would help him by turning on the light in the stairway above the first floor, but instead turned OFF the lights where the cop was. I"m surprised he didn't think it was a trap and shoot something! And the first thing he probably saw on the workbench was a hatchet! I don't remember why it was there, but it was.

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