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Old 02-08-2015, 11:16 PM   #1
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Default Which do you trust more? (Grounding vs. GFCI)

Which do you trust more?

1) An electrical system that relies on solid equipment bonding (grounding)

2) An electrical system that relies on GFCI protection
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Old 02-08-2015, 11:19 PM   #2
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1) a good ole EGC.

A GFCI can fail, it doesn't stop shocks outside of electrocution; but it does make for a nice back up should an EGC fail.

Now, the best installations have both 1 and 2, both for safety and fire protection.
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Old 02-08-2015, 11:38 PM   #3
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In my opinion, a solidly grounded system is far better than a GFI.

I've seen way too many GFIs fail, and most failure modes are fail to trip during an actual ground fault.

Also, a grounded system is proactive while a GFI is reactive. In order for a GFI to trip, a fault has to have already occurred. Then, once it senses the fault, it will trip.....usually.

A system ground will conduct current instantly.

On the plus side of a GFI, they will work with no ground present. A grounded system with an open ground isn't grounded at all.
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Old 02-09-2015, 12:01 AM   #4
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I have tested a GFCI recep and I trust them.

The system and the grounded demo hammer didn't protect me from a frayed spot on the cord but the GCFI did.
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
I have tested a GFCI recep and I trust them.

The system and the grounded demo hammer didn't protect me from a frayed spot on the cord but the GCFI did.

Don't you check your cord and plug on tools you use.? Any tools from the shop are used and put away for the next guy.
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Old 02-09-2015, 05:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
I have tested a GFCI recep and I trust them.

The system and the grounded demo hammer didn't protect me from a frayed spot on the cord but the GCFI did.
If a cord is damaged to the point where there is exposed copper, it should have been cut off and the tool tagged defective about 100-150 uses ago.
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Old 02-09-2015, 05:46 AM   #7
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I am reminded of a scene from My Cousin Vinny, it's a trick question.

Why is it a trick question?

Let's see, GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. Well if you don't ground the electrical system, there will never be a ground fault (unless two separate conductors get a fault to ground at the same time) so a GFCI won't be needed (usually).

So, a GFCI is a solution to one of the problems created by using solidly grounded electrical systems.

Did I pass the test?
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobelectric View Post
Don't you check your cord and plug on tools you use.?
Rhetorical question?
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:18 PM   #9
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Given that GFCI's are designed, and required to protect, receptacles only (not circuits like AFCI's are), I'd say the good old stand-by.... the ECG.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by hardworkingstiff View Post
I am reminded of a scene from My Cousin Vinny, it's a trick question.

Why is it a trick question?

Let's see, GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. Well if you don't ground the electrical system, there will never be a ground fault (unless two separate conductors get a fault to ground at the same time) so a GFCI won't be needed (usually).

So, a GFCI is a solution to one of the problems created by using solidly grounded electrical systems.

Did I pass the test?
No trick at all. The question is which do you trust, not which is better. Given the choice between a system with all equipment bonding in place, I would choose that over a GFCI protected system that relies on electronics that can fail.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:22 PM   #11
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If i touch a grounded xfomer i'm safe.

If i touch a grounded meter i'm safe

BUT, if i stretch my wings out to touch each, am i still safe??

~CS~
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:39 PM   #12
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Rhetorical question?

When it was my turn to do the quarterly assured ground inspection on cords and tools, I wasn't suprised at how many ground pins were missing from the plug.
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:09 PM   #13
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This bobelectric guy is the best.
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:15 PM   #14
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A properly grounded system all the way.

I have, like some others posted, had GFCI's fail.

Never trust electronics over a solid (or stranded) wire.
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Old 02-10-2015, 01:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mxslick View Post
A properly grounded system all the way.

I have, like some others posted, had GFCI's fail.

Never trust electronics over a solid (or stranded) wire.
You should see most IEC RCDs But even then, those can fail.
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Old 02-10-2015, 01:54 AM   #16
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before cordless drills, breaking off the ground pin was the only way to drill energized bus bars.
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:45 AM   #17
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before cordless drills, breaking off the ground pin was the only way to drill energized bus bars.

Now that's working hot ! No Thanks.
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Old 02-10-2015, 05:25 AM   #18
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No trick at all. The question is which do you trust, not which is better. Given the choice between a system with all equipment bonding in place, I would choose that over a GFCI protected system that relies on electronics that can fail.
I think you missed my point. The only reason you need a GFCI is because you have a grounded system. Without a grounded system, the shock hazard drops tremendously. I believe that's the main reason they use isolated ground systems in operating rooms, to significantly reduce shock hazards.

If you don't have a grounded system, you really don't need a GFCI. It's not a choice of A over B, it's you need B because of A.
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Old 02-10-2015, 12:29 PM   #19
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Gfci protect people grounding protects equipmemt.
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Old 02-10-2015, 01:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Gfci protect people grounding protects equipmemt.
So, tools are grounded to protect the tool?

I don't think you thought that one through.
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