garage/shop GFI wiring?

Hi All.
I have a question about GFI protection in an attached garage/shop. I've turned one bay of a 3 car garage into my shop (no comments on my screwed up priorities, please!).
Had an electrician run a 100 amp subpanel into my shop. He installed two circuits...one circut for switched lightbulbs and the other has a single GFI outlet (15amp-12GW).
Now, I'm getting ready to run the other circuts..plan is to install 2 15 amp - 120v cicuits (lighting), 4 20 amp - 120v circuts (misc tools) and 5 20 amp-240 circuts (dedicated circuits for dust collector, bandsaw, and table saw).
Now, this is in my garage and so I'm pretty sure I need to have my circuts GFI protected. Here's the problem...
I am using the single existing GFI duplex plug to power my equipment as I get the shop ready. Typically, I run a radio out of one outlet and a shop light or my contractor saw out of the other. I never run the shop light and the table saw at the same time.
When I unplug the shop light or turn on the table saw I almost always trip the GFI plug. Have to walk over and reset it nearly every time.
My intial plan was to use a 20 amp GFI outlet as the first oulet on the 120v circuits to protect all downstream circuits. But I don't want to reset the GFI breaker every time I use a tool. Is anyone else having this problem? Any suggestions? I'd prefer to not use GFI breakers if I don't have to (expensive!).
Also, do I need to GFI protect the 240v circuits?
Thanks!
Rick
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Easiest way to do this is to pull the circuit breaker and replace with a GFI breaker.
Also, there is something WRONG if it is tripping the GFI everytime you unplug something from the socket. Get the electrician back out to find out what I feel is a install problem that HE is responible for
John
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"Rick DeShon" wrote in message

It's either tripping because it is doing its job, or its faulty (cheap).
Electricians are noted for not using the best unless you pay for it. The first thing I would do is replace the receptacle with a hospital grade GFI receptacle and see if it continues to trip.
If it does, call your electrician back, he will know what to look for.
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Wow. I am a belt-and-suspenders kinda guy myself, but a hospital grade breaker? IIRC, aren't they mucho $$$ (versus regular, yet good GFI breaker)? Then again, I do suppose it is cheaper than a trip to the hospital. Seriously, do you actually use them? -- Igor
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"igor" wrote in message

Hell, he's only needs one, its much cheaper than a GFI c'bkr, and for the +/- $13 retail, it should be well worth the aggravation he's already put up with.
Besides, you only need one per circuit, and it pays to make that one a _good_ one. DAMHIK
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"Swingman" wrote in message

Sorry for the typo ... that should read $30. Actually, I get mine from one of my electricians for much less than that. YMMV
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Hospital grade is excessive in a shop, just try another name brand GFCI receptacle. Save the other one and if it doesn't fix anything you can use it on another circuit. If it is bad the electrician may swap it out for you. You don't need GFCI on 240v circuits, only 120v 15&20a receptacle outlets. It is best not to have your lights on GFCI. Stumpling around in the dark is not a good idea when power tools are involved, even if they are just spinning down..
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Like most blanket statements, and with the proliferation of cheaply made gfci devices, that is not always the case.
They do cost more, but they are manufactured to more exacting specs, have fewer nuisance trips as they age, last longer, need to be replaced less often, and in some environments, like lightining prone areas, will generally operate without nuisance trips, and provide protection, when the cheaper ones will not.
I saw data a couple of years back at a building seminar (put on by the American Society of Home Inspectors) that showed about 20% of standard gfci's tested failed to trip when they were supposed to, with a failure rate as high as 60% in area's with high lightining activity.
"You pays your money and you takes your chances."
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I have had both cases happen. In the case of the faulty GFI, a replacement cured the problem. In the case of the faulty equipment (a paint pump on an old Wagner power roller), scrapping that crap cured the problem. Hope your's is as easily fixed.
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Thanks for the help everyone!
Rick
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Rick DeShon wrote:

Rick,
My understanding is that, if "fixed appliance" is going to be dedicated to the outlet, it doesn't need to be GFCI. So, for example, in your laundry room, which would normally require GFCI outlets, your washing machine is probably plugged into a non-GFCI outlet, because it's a fixed appliance. Unfortunately I'm at work and don't have my NEC reference handy, but I'm sure someone will jump on^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hcorrect me if I'm wrong.
I don't know if I'll get away with it, but my current plan is to call my dust collector, air compressor, etc. "fixed appliances" and not GFCI them (not because of cost concerns, but because I don't see the practical point and don't want to put up with false alarms).
I also vaguely recall that there may be further loopholes having to do with height of outlets, distance from door or somesuch. But I'm sure that if you can claim a "fixed appliance" will be used (i.e., something that's there, not going away, and never going to be unplugged), you can avoid the GFCI outlet. Now, as to whether your tablesaw (or portable thickness planer, or drill recharger...) counts as a "fixed appliance," that probably depends on how recently you've taken your building inspector out for lunch...;)
-BAT
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"Brett A. Thomas" wrote in message

Do you mean a "dedicated circuit"? :)
No other lights or appliances can be on a dedicated circuit, so that will rule out the OP in this case.
IOW, he should still have GFCI regardless, if for no other reason than safety in a "garage/shop". Not to mention that his code almost surely requires it in a garage these days.
Also be careful, some "dedicated circuits" still require GFCI protection (portable spas and hot tubs for one), so you need to check with your local code keepers.
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Rick, I had a similar problem and spent too much money before I found the simple cause. Every morning, my wife would plug her hair dryer in to the receptacle next to the sink. When she unplugged it, the GFI breaker would trip and the lights would go out. Bright guy that I am, I concluded that the hair dryer was at fault. Bought her a new one; same problem. OK, the GFI breaker must be too sensitive. You're right, they are expensive, but nothing is too good for my family, right? The new one tripped too. Then I checked out the receptacle itself. The bare ground wire was running right alongside the neutral terminals on the side of the receptacle. When she unplugged the hair dryer, the wiggling motion was just enough to touch the bare ground to the neutral and trip the breaker. When I re-routed the bare ground safely away from the terminals, the problem disappeared. Good luck, and let us know what finally fixes it for you.
DonkeyHody "Every man is my superior in that I can learn from him." Thomas Carlyle
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