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  • GFI Breaker or Recepticals

    I've got an older home that does not have GFI outlets in the kitchen or bathroom areas. I'm selling the house, and the inspector recommended GFI outlets in the kitchen, bath, and garage. Would it be acceptable to simply replace the breakers for these areas with GFI breakers and not mess with replacing all the outlets? Is there a reason that a GFI breaker would not be as safe as a GFI outlet?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: GFI Breaker or Recepticals

    GFCI Breakers work fine unless there's a little leakage to ground. In older houses they may trip for what seems to be no good reason. You can install just one GFCI receptacle and connect the rest in the same room through it. You'll need to be sure how things are wired and install it (GFCI receptacle) first in series with the other receptacles in that room. If it does trip all connected receptacles will go dead. Normally this is good where they are all in easy view of each other. Be sure to put the little labels on the plates/covers.

    If you go the route of the GFCI breakers and have tripping problems, unplug everything on that circuit and see if it continues to trip. Insulation breakdown and/or long wire runs will trip them. I would give it a try, but buy only one that's rated 15 Amps and try it on each circuit. Leave it installed a few days. If it doesn't trip, then note it and try it in another circuit that you want GFCI protection for. It may seem like a PITA but can save you some $$$. I hope this makes sence to you.
    Last edited by Woussko; 04-02-2007, 12:51 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: GFI Breaker or Recepticals

      Either a GFCI breaker or a GFCI outlet can be used. They both work fine and either will do the trick. The problem is that GFCI breakers are EXPENSIVE!!! You can buy 3 or 4 GFCI outlets for the price of one GFCI breaker. You should only need 3 or 4 GFCI outlets. One GFCI outlet will protect ALL of its downstream outlets. You should have 2 separate circuits in your kitchen and one in the bath and one in the garage. If you go with GFCI breakers you'll need 3 or 4 of them, one on each circuit. 3 or 4 GFCI outlets will cost you about 30-48 dollars where as 3 to 4 CFCI breakers will cost you about 90-120 dollars. Figureing out the outlets may take a little time but cheaper. Either method is OK though. Be sure you do not use a GFCI breaker on a "shared nuetral" circuit.....it won't work right and will trip. Lou

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      • #4
        Re: GFI Breaker or Recepticals

        If the house did not require GFCI's when it was built, then the inspector can recommend anything he wants, you do not have to comply.
        If you add them it will because you want too.

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        • #5
          Re: GFI Breaker or Recepticals

          I concur.
          Code at time of construction holds sway.
          Licensed Philadelphia electrician
          Philadelphia emergency lighting certification

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