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Dedicated 20amp outlet GFI or not??  

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi all,
I have a close friend that is in the construction phase of a new house with a dedicated HT. He has a dedicated 20 amp circuit feeding the room but the builder put in GFI outlets. My question is, is this correct? Should they be GFI or not and why?
Thanks in advance

Ira Solod isolo@qwest.net
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 

Ira Solod isolo@qwest.net
post #3 of 6
Ira: I'm not an electrician, but I do most of my own electrical work.

In many areas of the country, Ground Fault Interrupt (GFI) outlets are not just recommended, but are now required by code. They should not affect the integrity or quality of the supplied power. In fact, they usually are equipped with a second "reset" breaker on the outlet itself, adding an extra level of security against a forced ground or spike.

The use of GFI outlets should be fine. As always, your friend should also use a high quality surge suppressor to protect the equipment.

(yes, spelling is correct!)
post #4 of 6
The installation of GFI may be because of the original use of the area. Is this a basement? Did it originally have a bare concrete floor?

If you plug a surge-protected outlet strip into a GFI outlet, you risk tripping the GFI when a surge is absorbed by the surge protector. GFI detects any current imbalance on the "hot" and "neutral" power lines. The imbalance is assumed to be caused by a "path" to ground -- the amount of power 'from' the wall outlet is not exactly equal to the power back 'to' the wall on the other wire.

If there is a spike on the power line, the surge protector may absorb the spike by (very briefly) shunting the line to ground. The GFI circuit may sense the current as a short to ground and "protect" everyone by tripping itself.

post #5 of 6
This should be ok. The GFCI should only cut the hot side of the circuit..both grounds should be ok.

Mike Frank
post #6 of 6
There is no harm in using a GFCI outlet and some possible benifits as mentioned in these threads. But you may have problems with "nuisance tripping". As mentioned surge protectors and filtered power strips may fool the GFCI into tripping but a lot of equipment these has built in surge protection and filtering which can cause the same tripping.

I would have it replaced with a standard 20amp specification grade receptical. Isolated ground is not required if all equiopment is in the same room on the same circuit. Some electricians will suggest isolated ground for electronics but is mostly for commercial and not needed in a home. The spec grade receptical is better built, grips the prongs better, and is a true 20amp device.
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