To give you an idea of the
numbers involved, a person can receive a potentially fatal shock from as little as ten-thousandths of an amp, represented
as 10mA (milliamps) or 0.01A (amps). A GFCI device like a receptacle or circuit breaker can detect leakage current in the
range of 4 to 6mA and trip.
By comparison, it takes a MINIMUM
of 15 amps to trip a circuit breaker attached to a regular outlet, and sometimes as much as 20 amps. Regular circuit breakers
are designed to protect your property from fire due to electrical circuit overload; Ground Fault (GFCI) circuit breakers and
GFCI receptacles are designed to protect YOU from electrocution.
Remember, there is NO SUCH
THING as nuisance tripping when it comes to a GFCI device, no matter what any ‘expert’ tells you. If the appliance
is tripping a GFCI device and the GFCI device is testing as OK, then you need to address the problem with the appliance before
using it any further.
Appliances are replaceable items.
Your life is not.
What outlets in a kitchen need to be ground fault protected?
Only countertop receptacles and any others near water. However in commercial applications,
all receptacles must be GFCI protected.
We recently had an earthquake in my town. Previously, the GFCI outlet
in my bathroom was working fine when I plugged in my hair dryer. Since the earthquake, it stopped powering that appliance.
Other appliances still work fine when plugged into the GFCI and the hair dryer work when plugged into outlets in other rooms.
I've pressed the TEST and RESET buttons on the GFCI outlet. Is there anything else I can do?
When you plug the appliance into the GFCI receptacle, does it trip the button on
the face of the outlet?
If so, try plugging it into another GFCI receptacle in another part of the house (kitchen perhaps?).
Does it trip the button in that receptacle as well? If it trips both receptacle buttons (not the circuit breaker), then you
may have a bad appliance. If it has only a ground fault, then it will work in a regular receptacle with no problem, but you
are exposing yourself to the possibility of electrocution.
More GFCI outlet questions