Recently, when I had a new circuit breaker box installed, the electrician
installed a GFCI outlet right outside of the breaker box. It looks to me as
if the wiring from this outlet then goes back into the box. Is this so the
entire house will be protected by this one GFCI outlet?
And if this is the case, will my whole house shut down if the outlet is
i shudder to think it, but if it actually does go back in the box, maybe the
'electrician' did indeed put more than one circuit on it...
barring opening the panel, see if tripping the gfi requires you to turn off
two or more breakers to achieve the same results.
Sounds like he saved a trip to the store by installing a GFCI outlet at the
breaker panel and connecting the rest of the circuit to this instead of
installing a GFCI breaker. No big deal, having an extra outlet at your
breaker panel may come in handy one day. This probably feeds outside
circuits or a bathroom. Wire a neon indicator lamp into a plug and plug it
into the outlet. This will give you the status of the circuit at a glance.
Why not? I can't think of any rules against it.
It makes a very neat installation, and gives you an extra convenience
outlet and keeps the GFCI right there near the panel.
I just installed the same thing at my garage subpanel, and the
electrical inspector who was riding my ass and nitpicking everything
else didn't have a problem with it.
A lot of inspectors use this
312.8 Enclosures for Switches or Overcurrent Devices.
Enclosures for switches or overcurrent devices shall not be used as junction
boxes, auxiliary gutters, or raceways for conductors feeding through or tapping
off to other switches or overcurrent devices, unless adequate space for this
purpose is provided.
They make the installer prove the panel manufacturer provided the necessary
Any appeals board would hand them their ass. Unless the wiring gutter
is filled to more then forty percent of it's cross sectional area there
is nothing wrong with routing the wires back through the panel unless
the panel is for emergency power and the circuit is not emergency powered.
You are not a builder are you?
While you were waiting for an appeals board to GET OFF THEIR OWN ASS your
houses would sit with yellow/red tags on them.
I will not defend the actions of some inspectors, in fact I agree with you on
this issue but you have heard the analogy about arguing with an inspector being
like mud wrestling with a pig.
In the real world folks usually just say "what do you want" and do it. My wife
is a builder and she always gets mad at me when I say she should fight some of
the dumb things folks do here. It costs her about $600 a day for a house that
misses schedule. That assumes she has another way to keep the trades busy and
she doesn't have any materials or concete issues. It can cost a LOT more.
You are correct I'm not a builder but if the cost of the additional work
goes high enough even a lowly electrician like me has to appeal. I've
done it three times in thirty five years in the craft. I won all three.
Imagine your wife has a development of 100 homes and the electrical
inspector orders her to expose the footer reinforcing steel for use as a
grounding electrode. The appeal would cost less that the thousands of
dollars that work would cost. The NFPA published a formal
interpretation that rebar that is not available at the time the service
is installed is not available for code purposes.
How about the apartment house with over two hundred panels were the
inspector tried to apply the very section were talking about against my
employer when the panel cabinets were used as raceways for the heat pump
branch circuits. My employer won that appeal as well.
What I think we are both saying is that you have to do the cost benefit
calculation on any appeal. If the cost of the change is less than the
cost of the appeal you make the change but if your smart you get the
order in writing so that it can be used against the inspector later if
you have to get down and dirty. States that operate state wide appeals
processes are eliminating these problems because the consequence of too
many successful appeals is the decertification of the county enforcement
authority and a state take over of enforcement.
Bad example, that is part of the footer inspection. If they poured without an
OK they SHOULD be cutting some concrete.
The problem is how many foreign conductors in a panel is "too many"? If you
start putting "opinion" in you will start getting away from "law". That is why
AHJs get to sound like pricks. They hire folks at lousy salaries, expect them
to do 25-30 inspections a day scattered across a county. These guys need strict
rules to do their job.
Yeah that's gonna happen. I WAS a state inspector for 8 years. They terminated
the whole program (all EIGHT of us!)
. Just exactly how do you think the state is going to "take over" a building
department with 100 people that are overworked?
There is NO real consequence to losing an appeal. If the state did want to stop
a rogue building department all they could do is take them to court.
Whats all the confusion about ?
My guess would be that the GFCI was added to to conform to the code ,
assuming the panel is located in an unfinished basement or garage (Op
never told us where the panel is). I would bet that a feed was taken
from the panel to feed the GFCI. He may have used the load side to
protect a bathroom or out side outlet no big deal.
im not saying you shouldnt use the gfci outlet there and use it in lieu of a
gfci breaker, but you're basically running the wire into the panel just to
pass it back out the panel again to connect it to the gfi. to me it makes
more sense just to run the wire straight to the load side of the gfi outlet
instead of passing it through the panel first. but i guess it doesnt matter
I bet this is just lazyness. The installer didn't have a GFCI breaker on the
truck. By the time he buys a GFCI receptacle, box and wire plus the labor to
install it, he cost his boss money. If this was really intending to provide a
needed receptacle in that location he should have taken the downstream load out
of that box.
Breaker - about 3.00
GFCI receptacle - about 9.00
GFCI breaker - 32.00 minimum.
Could have been a simple economic decision. Many contractors install a seperate
GFCI device instead of using a combination GFCI-Circuit breaker because it's
cheaper, and easier to diagnose problems over the phone. Breaker trips -
Overload or short but definately not a ground fault. GFCI trips - defective
GFCI or an actual ground fault, but definately not an overload or short
I have not heard of "entire house protection," but then again I'm only
an electrician wanna-be. If there is a "test" button on the GFCI you
can find out. Whenever I install a new circuit (from the main or sub
panel) I install one GFCI for each circuit that requires protection.
You didn't say where your new panel is located. I'm guessing that it is
either in an unfinished basement or a garage in which case all receptacles
need GFI protection. The electrician may have added a convenience outlet
close to the panel and also used it to provide GFI protection as required
under current code.
Your whole house will not shut down when it is tripped, but I suggest that
you do push the test button to determine exactly what it is protecting.
What I would like to know is; Why didn't you just ask the electrician who
did the work?
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