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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Brew Stands > GFCI outlets
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:29 PM   #1
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Default GFCI outlets

Are people using these consistently with brewing projects to make things a little safer? Do you think they are unnecessary? I didn't use one on my kegerator but am def going to with my fermentation chamber. I'll have a heating element in the moist environment of the freezer so it seems like a must.

Also, what's the deal with standard wall outlets that have a "GFCI" sticker? Are they really? My understanding is that all GFCI outlets should have the set/reset buttons.

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Old 07-16-2012, 04:33 PM   #2
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GFCI can be added at the breaker as well.

I plug all my stuff into GFCI outlets.

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Old 07-16-2012, 04:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smittygouv30 View Post
...def going to with my fermentation chamber. I'll have a heating element in the moist environment of the freezer so it seems like a must...
Agreed, that was my thought process as well.

I use this Portable GFCI:
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b-boy
GFCI can be added at the breaker as well.

I plug all my stuff into GFCI outlets.
Ahhh, I see. I did not know that. Is there a difference between the two? My house has several GFCI with built in reset switches (mostly by sinks). And then several others that just have the stickers.
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:04 PM   #5
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Check you panel. You should have at least one GFCI breaker with a reset on it.

They work the same. The reset are just easier to get to on the GFCI outlets.

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Old 07-16-2012, 05:12 PM   #6
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when you are wiring a series of outlets, you only need the first in the series -- the one which feeds to your breaker box -- to be a gfci outlet with a breaker ('reset' button). all outlets down the line are protected by that first outlet. so you put a sticker on those if you want to.

in my living room, for example, all of my outlets are protected but only one has the reset button.

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Old 07-16-2012, 05:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Also, what's the deal with standard wall outlets that have a "GFCI" sticker? Are they really? My understanding is that all GFCI outlets should have the set/reset buttons.
Its my understanding that ordinary receptacles can be protected from a GFCI receptacle if properly wired. They are designed to do that. It is a way to save money. You may also consider a GFCI breaker if you have many receptacles to protect.
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:14 PM   #8
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I would recommend always using GFCI protected circuits in your brewery. Any use of electricity near moisture or liquids is very dangerous without GFCI. Especially, if your electrical equipment has any DIY elements.

Most, if not all, GFCI outlets have the ability to protect an electrical load of additional outlets downstream in the same circuit. Hot and neutral for the downstream outlets are attached to the LOAD terminals of the GFCI outlet. This will also result in the stickers being placed on them.

GFCI circuit breakers can also be installed in the breaker panel to protect the entire circuit.

The downside to this is that the entire protected circuit loses power when the GFCI trips.

As for standard outlets marked as GFCI protected, I would suggest testing them before depending on them. A cheap tester like this can be used.

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Old 07-16-2012, 11:24 PM   #9
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Awesome great information, thanks all. I'm a physical therapist by trade and no very little about electricity. However, I somehow find it awesomely interesting!
So what happens if you get a shock from a GFCI outlet? It senses abnormal flow of electricity and just cuts off? Do people still get electrocuted, just to a smaller extent?

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Old 07-17-2012, 12:02 AM   #10
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GFCIs trip at about 5 milliamps of current which is supposed to be well below a level that would effect a person's heart.

In reading up on this subject I found some interesting statistics reported.

"In addition, GFCI protection devices fail at times, leaving the switching contacts closed and allowing the device to continue to provide power without protection. According to a 1999 study by the American Society of Home Inspectors, 21% of GFCI circuit breakers and 19% of GFCI receptacles inspected didn't provide protection, leaving the energized circuit unprotected. In most cases, damage to the internal transient voltage surge protectors (metal-oxide varistors) that protect the GFCI sensing circuit were responsible for the failures of the protection devices. In areas of high lightning activity, such as southwest Florida, the failure rate for GFCI circuit breakers and receptacles was over 50%!"

TEST YOUR GFCIs REGULARLY

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