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Old 10-07-2003, 01:36 PM   #11
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Thanks for the explanation! It is always good to know how thing work.

My fuse panel is old, no breakers, so the in wall's replacements are the only way to go without replacing the main panel
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Old 10-07-2003, 01:39 PM   #12
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My fuse panel is old, no breakers, so the in wall's replacements are the only way to go without replacing the main panel
Ohhh yeah... It will be much cheaper to buy some outlets... Re-wiring a building totally blows. I am fretting having to do it soon to a building we just bought...

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Old 10-07-2003, 03:13 PM   #13
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Would swapping an outlet with a GFI outlet the put every other outlet behind the one you replaced on the GFI? Sometimes a GFI can be a hassel.

A surge with a GFI seems like a good idea.
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Old 10-07-2003, 04:24 PM   #14
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Would swapping an outlet with a GFI outlet the put every other outlet behind the one you replaced on the GFI?
As long as they are downstream of the GFI, then yes, it will protect the entire circuit. Threre are are two pairs of connections on a GFI outlet. One labeled "Line" and the other "Load". Make sure the incoming hot is connected to "Line". Then if you connect the "Load" to the rest of the downstream, it will protect everything downstream of the outlet.

Downstream in this sense means that the electricity must pass through the GFI before it reaches the outlet(s).

It may sound a little complicated but it is really easy to hook these up.
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Old 10-07-2003, 04:49 PM   #15
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My point was that by adding the GFI outlet for the tank, you are actually putting other outlets on the GFI as well.

You could therefore have the GFI kick for an outlet other than the on on the tank and have the tank lose power too.

This is probably not a big deal most of the time. I know I have seen many people that have fridges or freezers in the garage lose power and think the unit died when actually the outlet was tied to a tripped GFI. Kind of depends on how good or bad the wiring was done in the house. Some new houses can have a lot of outlets on one circuit.
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Old 10-07-2003, 05:07 PM   #16
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My point was that by adding the GFI outlet for the tank, you are actually putting other outlets on the GFI as well.

You could therefore have the GFI kick for an outlet other than the on on the tank and have the tank lose power too.
Oh, ok. I thought you were asking if you "could" do it? I misunderstood...

Yeah you are right about another device tripping the GFI even though that device wasn't on the actual GFI itself. This is the number one reason to run a dedicated circuit to the aquarium...
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Old 10-07-2003, 05:24 PM   #17
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Yeah you are right about another device tripping the GFI even though that device wasn't on the actual GFI itself. This is the number one reason to run a dedicated circuit to the aquarium...
That is a good point! I am finishing my basement where the tank will end up. I am wiring a dedicated circuit for the hot tub, better do the tank too.

Great idea
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Old 10-07-2003, 05:33 PM   #18
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[ If it detects that even the smallest difference in current between these two (4 milliamps), it trips the circuit thus shutting off power.

It doesn't have anything to do with ground. That is a whole other class...

I could be wrong here, but I thought the ground was a very important part of the GFCI. If the gfi is not grounded properly, it will not work correctly. In some older houses with the two pronged outlets, it is necessary to ground it by either running a bare copper wire to the box if it is metal or a better alternative would be to ground it to a cold water pipe under the house.
If there is a leak in the curren't the GFI will shut the power off at the breaker and the power that is leaked will go through the ground and not through you.
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Old 10-07-2003, 05:58 PM   #19
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By definition, the GFI really doesn't have anything to do with ground. It is simply monitoring "traffic" to make sure all the current that comes into the device also goes out in equal number.

Now of course you should ground it just like you should ground everything electrical. This will prevent equipment from being destroyed.

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If there is a leak in the curren't the GFI will shut the power off at the breaker and the power that is leaked will go through the ground and not through you.
There has to be a physical connection from the leak to the ground. For instance, say there is potential (voltage NOT current) in the aquarium because a device is malfunctioning. Just because you have a ground on the outlet doesn't mean the voltage will magically "jump" to that ground. There has to be a connection. You, standing on the ground, will make that connection when you put your hand in the water. As soon as the GFI sees that the current is now leaking, it will trip.

If you could magically levitate and then touch both the hot and neutral prongs on a GFI protected circuit, nothing would happened. You wouldn't get shocked and the breaker wouldn't trip. You would have voltage (potential) running through you but no current. But as soon as you contacted ground.... ZAP!!
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Old 10-07-2003, 11:13 PM   #20
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In a perfect electrical world, incoming (hot) current is run through a electrical device and then the exact ammount that was hot is now returned through the outgoing (neutral) wire. It is basically a loop from the transfer station. A GFI constantly monitors the outgoing current to make sure it is the same amount as incoming. If it detects that even the smallest difference in current between these two (4 milliamps), it trips the circuit thus shutting off power.

It doesn't have anything to do with ground. That is a whole other class...
Ditto.
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