I have a dedicated 20 amp line for my pool. I have a GFI outlet by the deck
for the filter. I want to install a single pole switch in the house to turn
the filter on and off from inside. If I install a switch, will the GFI trip
everytime you turn the power off to the GFI?
Why should switching power to a GFI trip it? A GFI works on difference
on current flowing in 2 parts of the circuit. Both are being started
and stopped at exactly the same time.
My holiday light setup involved a GFI that was switched like that, I
used if for about 40 days, and had not one trip that occurred when it
was being switched.
BUT a un-powered GFCI can permit some safe hazards to continue.
It is better to have the GFCI always powered and have the switch AFTER the
A powered GFCI will detect and "trip" a "fault" between neutral and ground.
A GFCI will NOT detect incorrect wiring whereby neutral and HOT are
switched. But a powered up GFCI will still trip when either of the two
load wires have a 5ma path to ground.
A further advantage of putting the GFCI before the switch is that it will be
indoors and less subject to contamination from aerosols.
Regardless, it's a GOOD idea to TEST the devices. They DO fail and outside
units fail more often. And they don't necessarily fail "safe."
I have a portable GFI that's intended to be used with extension cords or
portable tools. It's in the form of a 15 A extension cord (male plug on
one end, female socket on the other) with a GFI in between. It drops
out any time the input power is lost. You have to "reset" it initially
whenever you plug it into a new power source.
I assume this is a safety feature - you don't really want a power tool
restarting on its own after it has stopped because the line power went
away. So some GFIs do drop out on power loss, just like a magnetic
starting switch for a large power tool.
On the other hand, the wall-outlet type of GFI does not trip on power
loss. It behaves more like a circuit breaker.
Note that in houses wired according to code, the GFI-protected outlets
in the bathroom are on a different circuit from the bathroom lighting.
Nevertheless, Tony is correct; the GFI will not trip if you wire the
switch into the circuit. Make *very* sure you wire the switch in the hot
line, not the neutral line.
"Take sides! Always take sides! You may sometimes be wrong - but the man
who refuses to take sides must *always* be wrong! Heaven save us from
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