Why GFCIs on 240 volt equipment?

mbrooke

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for what reason? Recall to the entire line or just certain lot numbers that maybe were discovered to have a defect? They do recall other products within certain production dates at times because they found something defective that likely effected the entire lot.

Getting reimbursed sometimes has been tricky, enough that I am not certain I even want to replace items in the future. Not sure how much of it was Square D vs the supply house that had the issues. Had one time gotten credit, then several months later an in house audit of some sort somehow determined they needed to invoice me for those items again, and it was some I line breakers that were charged at "off the shelf" high prices instead of the discounted price the original breakers were purchased at on a small job quote that included the panelboard and other items.
I'm getting this: https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2004/cpsc-schneider-electric-north-american-division-announce-recall-of-afcis

700,000... could be worse. :/
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
It doesn't state why they recalled them, that I could tell anyway.

Here they weren't requiring us to install AFCI's at that time either, so this one mostly eluded me. We didn't really have AFCI requirements here until we adopted 2008 NEC, and that version was held up in being adopted partly because of the AFCI rules and the fact the state was no longer going to amend the AFCI rules out of the code.
 

mbrooke

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It doesn't state why they recalled them, that I could tell anyway.

Here they weren't requiring us to install AFCI's at that time either, so this one mostly eluded me. We didn't really have AFCI requirements here until we adopted 2008 NEC, and that version was held up in being adopted partly because of the AFCI rules and the fact the state was no longer going to amend the AFCI rules out of the code.
GE and Maytag had rinse aid drbbling on the wiring harness, the others were fires in or around the control board.
 

mbrooke

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Link to Square D AFCI recall you posted doesn't state why they recalled them.
Don't know the exact reason. Wish I did. But electronics are never destined to last. Why do you think code is now requiring SPDs?

The thing is, yes the code is corrupt, but we have a case that all these problems can be solved by others means or are not problems to begin with.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
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EC
Link to Square D AFCI recall you posted doesn't state why they recalled them.
Yeah it does:

"An electronic component failure inside the AFCIs can cause the devices to not detect an electrical arc. Although the AFCIs will function as regular circuit breakers, they may not detect an arc fault..."

Hey, those are the ones we want!

electronics are never destined to last. Why do you think code is now requiring SPDs?
Correct. So 10 years down the road how will anybody know that these things still work?

-Hal
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Don't know the exact reason. Wish I did. But electronics are never destined to last. Why do you think code is now requiring SPDs?

The thing is, yes the code is corrupt, but we have a case that all these problems can be solved by others means or are not problems to begin with.
But are you willing to spend your own $$ to lobby the code making panels enough to convince them that when the manufacturers probably have deeper pockets to lobby their side from? Until a large enough group gets together to do something about it nothing will change other than to keep adding rules the rest of us don't always agree with.
 

mbrooke

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But are you willing to spend your own $$ to lobby the code making panels enough to convince them that when the manufacturers probably have deeper pockets to lobby their side from? Until a large enough group gets together to do something about it nothing will change other than to keep adding rules the rest of us don't always agree with.

Every company invests in adverting, in this case panel members and destination science aka UL. A small amount off $$ upfront leads to a lot of $$$$$$$ down the road. Electricity is nearly perfected- its simplicity, reliability and durability are not economically sustainable in the eyes of the electrical industry. They need (want) planned obsolescence.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Every company invests in adverting, in this case panel members and destination science aka UL. A small amount off $$ upfront leads to a lot of $$$$$$$ down the road. Electricity is nearly perfected- its simplicity, reliability and durability are not economically sustainable in the eyes of the electrical industry. They need (want) planned obsolescence.
I have no problem with changes that result in more safety and understand they may have additional upfront cost.

I don't like forcing us to use things that have issues and still need more development, and dislike it even more when they make me the middle man in all of this with little to no compensation for my participation in dealing with what should be their design issues.

The new GFCI related requirements ever since about 2005, maybe even earlier than that, have been more about more sales than real need for GFCI protection IMO.

Where is GFCI needed? swimming pools, fountains, etc. and receptacle outlet primarily 5-15 and 5-20 types in areas where missing EGC in the cord cap can greatly increase shock hazards. Not many other plug/receptacles tend to have missing EGC pins. If one wants to play the "what if" card then it needs to apply to everything not just select instances, instead they ease a few more instances in at a time because they know it will be harder to justify suddenly changing it to include everything.

Some the two and three pole applications added in 2017 from my reading were justified by nothing more than "we now have the ability to make these devices" and not by actual field shock/electrocution incidents being much of a common thing with those two and three pole ungrounded conductors circuits.
 

mbrooke

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I have no problem with changes that result in more safety and understand they may have additional upfront cost.

I don't like forcing us to use things that have issues and still need more development, and dislike it even more when they make me the middle man in all of this with little to no compensation for my participation in dealing with what should be their design issues.

The new GFCI related requirements ever since about 2005, maybe even earlier than that, have been more about more sales than real need for GFCI protection IMO.

Where is GFCI needed? swimming pools, fountains, etc. and receptacle outlet primarily 5-15 and 5-20 types in areas where missing EGC in the cord cap can greatly increase shock hazards. Not many other plug/receptacles tend to have missing EGC pins. If one wants to play the "what if" card then it needs to apply to everything not just select instances, instead they ease a few more instances in at a time because they know it will be harder to justify suddenly changing it to include everything.

Some the two and three pole applications added in 2017 from my reading were justified by nothing more than "we now have the ability to make these devices" and not by actual field shock/electrocution incidents being much of a common thing with those two and three pole ungrounded conductors circuits.
Not much I can say other than I agree. don't forget that more and more things are becoming double insulated.

There is also the issue of folks running circuits that are to long without upsizing the EGC which is being used as a case to push GFCIs and GFPs for all circuits and feeders.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Not much I can say other than I agree. don't forget that more and more things are becoming double insulated.

There is also the issue of folks running circuits that are to long without upsizing the EGC which is being used as a case to push GFCIs and GFPs for all circuits and feeders.
To me that is code enforcement issue and not a code content issue.

If they are not subject to inspection then there is more chance they won't increase the EGC nor will they use the GFCI anyway.
 

mbrooke

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To me that is code enforcement issue and not a code content issue.

If they are not subject to inspection then there is more chance they won't increase the EGC nor will they use the GFCI anyway.
What would you use to fail such an installation?
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
What would you use to fail such an installation?
For the too long of a circuit - if they upsized ungrounded conductors there is requirement to proportionally increase EGC size.
If long circuit and no increase in ungrounded conductors there is no code in violation.

Whether or not there should be is different. GFCI probably not a great solution either though. GFCI isn't recommended for long circuits to begin with, potential for capacitive leakage causing undesired tripping.
 

mbrooke

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For the too long of a circuit - if they upsized ungrounded conductors there is requirement to proportionally increase EGC size.
If long circuit and no increase in ungrounded conductors there is no code in violation.

Whether or not there should be is different. GFCI probably not a great solution either though. GFCI isn't recommended for long circuits to begin with, potential for capacitive leakage causing undesired tripping.
Thats my point, there is no code violation or anything to fail someone where the run is so long and it won't trip a breaker. Manufacters have "enlightened" the NFPA on that. Unfortunetly their solution is GFCIs, which should not be the remedy. That in of itself stands as bias going against the code's mission statement.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Thats my point, there is no code violation or anything to fail someone where the run is so long and it won't trip a breaker. Manufacters have "enlightened" the NFPA on that. Unfortunetly their solution is GFCIs, which should not be the remedy. That in of itself stands as bias going against the code's mission statement.
As long as the available current is higher than the OCPD it will still trip, just will take longer. May or may not be good design, kind of depends on some things. Branch circuit and feeder OCPD's is there mostly to protect the conductor not other components - those may need some supplemental protection in some cases. If conductor doesn't get hot enough to be damaged then the OCPD did it's job.
 

mbrooke

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As long as the available current is higher than the OCPD it will still trip, just will take longer. May or may not be good design, kind of depends on some things. Branch circuit and feeder OCPD's is there mostly to protect the conductor not other components - those may need some supplemental protection in some cases. If conductor doesn't get hot enough to be damaged then the OCPD did it's job.
Right, but nothing in the code stops me from running 12/3 UF 1,500 feet to a pool house.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Right, but nothing in the code stops me from running 12/3 UF 1,500 feet to a pool house.
No, but in that instance if the EGC is raised to 120 volts above earth for extended time,so what, the equipotential bonding required for the pool should still keep everything within reach of a pool user at same potential.
 

mbrooke

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No, but in that instance if the EGC is raised to 120 volts above earth for extended time,so what, the equipotential bonding required for the pool should still keep everything within reach of a pool user at same potential.

But not the everything outside the pool. Not ball field lighting, fences, ect.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
But not the everything outside the pool. Not ball field lighting, fences, ect.
Correct. The pool is the highest shock danger of most anything and the reason it requires the EPB system.

Next most dangerous IMO is boat docks, marinas, etc with power. There it is impractical to have an EPB system and simple voltage drop on grounded conductor ahead of the service can impose a voltage rise on the EGC of the circuit to the boat dock and cause shocks or electrocution.

Incidents do occasionally happen at fences, light poles, etc. Certain conditions can make the same fault more deadly in some conditions than others as well, like wet soil vs dry soil can be good or bad for the potential victim.
 

mbrooke

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Correct. The pool is the highest shock danger of most anything and the reason it requires the EPB system.

Next most dangerous IMO is boat docks, marinas, etc with power. There it is impractical to have an EPB system and simple voltage drop on grounded conductor ahead of the service can impose a voltage rise on the EGC of the circuit to the boat dock and cause shocks or electrocution.

Incidents do occasionally happen at fences, light poles, etc. Certain conditions can make the same fault more deadly in some conditions than others as well, like wet soil vs dry soil can be good or bad for the potential victim.

Which reveals a "blind spot" in the code.
 
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