We have a 1969 Fuse box, using 12 gauge copper wire, 100 amp service.
Long story short We were told by our home insurance and home inspection
people that in Ontario (Canada), there are no concerns with inspected copper
wired fuse boxes until they reach 50 years. So we are not rushing to
replace this box. However I wanted to install GFI receptacles for outside,
kitchen, and two bathrooms. There are none in place now. We also have a
240 volt outside outlet to run a pool motor.
Can GFI work on fuse boxes/panels? if so, does that GFI outlet, when
tripped, mean replacing the fuse? Do all the GFI's have to be on the same
Anyone have any advice on this matter?
Yes, but they obviously can't be the type that combine a circuit
breaker and GFCI into one in the panel. The seperate type, eg a GFCI
outlet, which can also protect any other loads downstream, is fine.
No, just the GFCI needs to be reset.
Do all the GFI's have to be on the same
No, you can have as many independent ones as you need.
The only thing I haven't seen is a 240V outlet that includes GFCI
protection, but seem like they should exist.
On Sun, 14 Mar 2010 08:50:02 -0700 (PDT), email@example.com wrote:
There are basically 2 ways to accomplish this. Both involve a breaker
in a separate box. You could mount a box next to your current fuse
panel with the GFCI in it or , better, just put a disconnect box next
to the pool pump with a GFCI breaker in it.
I know of no 240v GFCI receptacle combinations like the ones you have
for 15 and 20a 120v circuits.
Trader is right that this is the preferred method of providing GFCI
protection on 120v circuits. Not only does it get the GFCI device
close to the load (easier to find and reset if it trips) it is also
cheaper than a breaker. This is a fairly easy retrofit too since all
you have to do is replace the first receptacle in the circuit you want
to protect and feed the down stream receptacles from the LOAD
terminals of the GFCI device.
On Sun, 14 Mar 2010 13:26:04 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I don't know how this helps you, but those are the exact places I have
that are on a single GFI circuit breaker (because of the water, of
course). It was planned this way, so I believe they are the only
things on that breaker.
In your case the bathrooms I suppose might be on the same fuse as the
room next to them. You can make a pretty good map/list/diagram if you
gf's suggestion of a separate breaker box next to the fuse box would
work well for these too if the four receptacles you want to protect
are either on the same circuit, or on different circuits that don't
total more than a GFI breaker is designed to protect. I learned here
that you don't want a GFI breaker for a refrigerator or freezer
circuit, because it it trips you may ruin all that food. So if the
kitchen receptacle is on the same circuit as the fridge, that wouldn't
I've only had the outside outlet trip, and I never could figure out
why. The house was only 5 years old when this started. Eventually I
just replaced the breaker and that solved the problem. The new
breaker has worked for 25 years. I'm sure receptacles last a long
time too, and they are cheaper than breakers but you need more than
one, as many as four. OTOH, it's a one-time expense on a safety
People always say this, but it assumes either the person knows which
the first receptacle in the circuit is, or that he can figure it out
without TOO much effort and won't get confused doing so.
I have no idea which is the first receptacle anywhere on my second
floor, or on the first floor above the finished ceiling half of the
basement, or in the finished part of the basement. Or anywhere else
for that matter but where I can see the wiring I could figure it out.
To figure it out, aiui, I would have to guess which one, take off the
cover remove the receptacle, remove two of the likely 4 wires, and
then check which other receptacles are now dead. If I found one that
wasn't dead in the same room, I would have to do to that one what I
just did to the other one. If the same circuit fed more than one
room, or might, or a room was split into more than one circuit, it
would be even either more tedious or more complicated.
I don't see it being all that tedious or complicated, especially
considering you only have to do it once. I'd start with the first
outlet that you'd want to put a GFCI in that is closest to the fuse
panel. Usually wiring is going to be run to use the least possible
wire, so if outlets are daisy chained, it's more likely the start is
going to be closer to the fuse panel. Once you disconnect the
downstream at that outlet, you just have to go around checking to see
which of the other outlets that you want GFCI protected are off.
Then proceed to the next outlet that you want to protect that did not
go off in the above process.
The most expensive thing to do would be to use GFCI circuit breakers,
assuming you did want to replace the fuse panel. Just install GFCI type
outlets at the areas you want to protect, and do as the others recommend for
the 240 volt pool outlet.
Let me make sure I got this right. If not somebody tell me.
So I can use a GFCI OUTLET and that will give me protection without having
anything to do with the fuse box? It'll trip at the outlet only but offers
protection. I have fuses, not circuit breakers. I don't want fuses blowing
if the outlet trips.
If I can get protection at the outlet only, on a fuse system, that will be a
safe and sufficient solution? We will replace the fuse box for a circuit
breaker 5 years from now. Until then I want to avoid having to do ANY work
on the fuse box
Yes, that's all you need do. If you want to make sure, buy one and
replace one, and then push the Test button and see if you blow a fuse.
Last time I had fuses, I lived in an apartment and the owner made sure
they were slow-blo fuses, so he woudn't be bothered to replace the
ones in the basement all the time But I'm 99 percent sure all fuses
are slower to blow than GFI's are to trip. For one thing, there
isn't necessarily, usually isn't iiuc, almost never is maybe, any
short when a GFI trips. It trips because the ground wire is not good,
not connected or something. That's not a short.
As to the word only that you use. There is normally a string of
receptacles or ceiling lights or on some occasions a combination of
the two with the fuse or cb at one end of the string. The GFI
receptacle will, when wired the right way, not only protect itself,
but each of the receptacles that are further away, electrically, from
the fuse than the GFI is. Because if there isn't a good ground to
the GFI, then there isn't a good ground to any of the receptacles that
are further away either. Well that's garbled probably, but smething
Yes, and you can get a "three light tester" with a GFCI tester built in for
$10 or so, at your local HomeDespot. Plug it into any outlet, push the button
and see if that outlet is protected.
A GFCI tripping won't blow the *fastest* fuse. It doesn't have anything to do
with the current in the line, rather the current imbalance between the hot and
the neutral. If the current in the hot isn't the same as the current in the
neutral there is a Ground Fault and the Circuit is Interrupted. ;-)
THe GFCI measures the difference in the current in the Hot and Neutral wire.
The imbalance can occur anywhere after the measuring device and the switch
will trip. GFCIs even work in ungrounded circuits. Indeed, they're *highly*
recommended in places where there are no grounds.
Because it's a good idea but not an emergency repair.
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