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Thread: Open Service Neutral GFCI/RCD Detector

  1. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by tersh View Post
    Please tell me. Is it normal for any appliance to leak 1mA?

    One problem with the concept of Siemens GFCI 2-pole 240v breaker is it's suppose to be used for the tubs and spa. Meaning for only one circuit or appliance. Whereas. . . my plan of putting it in the Siemens subpanel is for one 30A GFCI breaker to drive the outlets of an entire room (with 5 appliances) and I'm afraid the 5mA may be too sensitive (the Europe uses 30mA for multiple circuits precisely to avoid the tripping). Is this reasoning correct? Or shouldn't any appliance leak even 1mA?

    Tersh,

    Your GFCI (as you said) was designed specifically for tubs and spa. As such, it may have been designed to operate within a threshold that will offer optimal protection.

    I have a spa and nobody has died of electricution.

    It has no GFCI-- just generic 2P circuit breakers. The heater is natural gas and the air bubble motor and circ pump are 240 volts--mounted away from the tub. All control buttons mounted at the edge of the tub within arms reach are activated by pneumatic latching relays. . .so, no wires carrying line potential are around the tub. Except the 12 volts for lighting.
    Just quarter inch pneumatic tubing are extending from the tub to the control panel to activate/deactivate the motor starters..

    This has been like this for almost 30 years.

    Since there were no GFCI's at the time when this was built, I used a 12volt underwater filament type bulb normally used on swimming pools for lighting below water level. This is powered by a two winding 120/12v Xfmr. These are working up to this writing. I drain it regularly and I check the water PH balance to protect metal components.

    Your plan to use the 2P Siemens GFCI CB to provide power for appliances (not for spa) would be considered outside the design parameters. . . and not guaranteed to work as designed. It may work, but then again, it may not.

    One thing that I doubt whether it will function satisfactorily is the fact that those appliances that will be plugged in could have been manufactured with a plethora of varying standards. Some Chinese, Japanese,European and US.

    US appliances may have been manufactured that adhere to ANSI, ASTM or the more stringent MIL-SPECS. Can't guarantee those from China.

    The insulating property of each appliance from different manufacturers could have different dielectric properties. For example the insulating property used in magnet wires for motors.

    Different dielectric insulating property may allow certain leakage which result in different levels of current in milliamps.

    So, what would be the best approach to rein in this aberrant behavior would remain elusive in my book.

    Have a good day.

    BTW: All the above installations passed with flying colors from local AHJ.



  2. #132
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    Tersh, don’t get hung up on my it. The gfci works on multiple appliances at one time normally... you could put individual gfci outlets in your home using pigtail wiring, but at the same time, from a cost perspective, one breaker or gfci outlet can protect several outlets. So far, the makers and the code have not yet specified the number of outlets covered by one gfci...
    in the UK, the RCD covers more than one circuit, each containing many outlets... in fact, the outlet number is not specified, only the square meters covered by the circuit... it is possible to put a thousand outlets on each breaker, and six breakers on each RCD ina british home and it would be covered as safe.

    in the USA NEC there is also no limit to the number of outlets per circuit breaker in a home, unless it has an appliance that uses more than a certain amount of the power of the circuit... then it should be switched to a designated circuit...

    thus, from design standards in both countries, the concern is not as necessary for each single appliance but for the overall condition of your wiring, grounding, etc...
    Student of electrical codes. Please Take others advice first.

  3. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adamjamma View Post
    Tersh, don’t get hung up on my it. The gfci works on multiple appliances at one time normally... you could put individual gfci outlets in your home using pigtail wiring, but at the same time, from a cost perspective, one breaker or gfci outlet can protect several outlets. So far, the makers and the code have not yet specified the number of outlets covered by one gfci...
    in the UK, the RCD covers more than one circuit, each containing many outlets... in fact, the outlet number is not specified, only the square meters covered by the circuit... it is possible to put a thousand outlets on each breaker, and six breakers on each RCD ina british home and it would be covered as safe.

    in the USA NEC there is also no limit to the number of outlets per circuit breaker in a home, unless it has an appliance that uses more than a certain amount of the power of the circuit... then it should be switched to a designated circuit...

    thus, from design standards in both countries, the concern is not as necessary for each single appliance but for the overall condition of your wiring, grounding, etc...
    You forgot to think that the GFCI is 5mA and not 30mA. You could drive many outlets with the 30mA RCD.. but with a single 5mA GFCI. Won't it trip a lot if you have 5 outlets connected to it?

  4. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by myspark View Post
    Tersh,

    Your GFCI (as you said) was designed specifically for tubs and spa. As such, it may have been designed to operate within a threshold that will offer optimal protection.

    I have a spa and nobody has died of electricution.

    It has no GFCI-- just generic 2P circuit breakers. The heater is natural gas and the air bubble motor and circ pump are 240 volts--mounted away from the tub. All control buttons mounted at the edge of the tub within arms reach are activated by pneumatic latching relays. . .so, no wires carrying line potential are around the tub. Except the 12 volts for lighting.
    Just quarter inch pneumatic tubing are extending from the tub to the control panel to activate/deactivate the motor starters..

    This has been like this for almost 30 years.

    Since there were no GFCI's at the time when this was built, I used a 12volt underwater filament type bulb normally used on swimming pools for lighting below water level. This is powered by a two winding 120/12v Xfmr. These are working up to this writing. I drain it regularly and I check the water PH balance to protect metal components.

    Your plan to use the 2P Siemens GFCI CB to provide power for appliances (not for spa) would be considered outside the design parameters. . . and not guaranteed to work as designed. It may work, but then again, it may not.

    One thing that I doubt whether it will function satisfactorily is the fact that those appliances that will be plugged in could have been manufactured with a plethora of varying standards. Some Chinese, Japanese,European and US.

    US appliances may have been manufactured that adhere to ANSI, ASTM or the more stringent MIL-SPECS. Can't guarantee those from China.

    The insulating property of each appliance from different manufacturers could have different dielectric properties. For example the insulating property used in magnet wires for motors.

    Different dielectric insulating property may allow certain leakage which result in different levels of current in milliamps.

    So, what would be the best approach to rein in this aberrant behavior would remain elusive in my book.

    Have a good day.

    BTW: All the above installations passed with flying colors from local AHJ.


    I already have 6 pcs of Siemens 2-pole 240v GFCI breakers (5mA) just waiting for Siemens to confirm it's not counterfeit.



    To ensure they won't trip. So they must be used for one appliance each, for example.. existing bathroom multipoint heater circuit which can't be used on GFCI receptacles because of the huge 6000w power.. as well as washing machine and water pumps or aircons too.

    I'd like to know if you can use a 30mA RCD before the Siemens panel housing those 6 pcs of 5mA GFCI breakers. Assume each GFCI breaker reach 5mA. Total is 5mAx6= 30mA. But if that happens. All the 6 GFCI breakers would trip. This means 30mA would be enough for the RCD to be put before the Siemens panel just to protect it from the bus melt melting the plastic basepan and touching the panel chassis (or feeder wire touching the chasses) all accidentally worse case scenario of course? The Siemens panel would be connected to the local electrode ground rod so what I have is a TT system just like Europe (without directly conductor path to the transformer due to difficulty in getting neighbors approval to demolish the driveway just to add the ground wire).

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