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ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
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reply to severach

Re: GFI outlet/refrigerator question

said by severach:

I vote to remove the GFCI, or at least move the GFCI down the line so most of the garage outlets are protected.

I'm not impressed with GFCI anyways. I tried to trip one by pulling the plug out a bit and short from hot to ground with finger and thumb (with shoes and other body parts for certain not grounded). It didn't trip.

I can tell you that GFCI's will trip if flesh comes into contact. Recently, I was putting up waynescoating (sp?) in my kitchen and I pulled the plugs out of the wall to slip them through the wood. While that wasn't a problem, later on I was pushing the sockets back (hot) and my finger slipped, hit the hot, I got a good bite and I heard the GFCI socket trip.

Would I do it again that way? You betchya.

Personally, if the GFCI socket the fridge in the garage is plugged into starts to become a nuisance like that, I'd replace it with a regular socket in a heartbeat and not give it a second thought. But that's just me.


cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to robbin

said by robbin:

I really doubt that you can keep contact inside the outlet and be able to touch with finger and thumb. I bet a tongue could get in there though!

One of my kids found out that a penny also works. Arc welded the penny across the prongs of a night light.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
reply to AVonGauss

When I was a kid, I wanted to learn how toasters worked, so I touched the red wires while the toaster was on. I felt an electrical wave of sorts travel from my hand to my feet. It seemed to take about 2 seconds before I was able to remove my hand.

And then there was the time I wanted to learn how staplers worked...



Annmarie
Lillian
join:2000-11-11
kudos:5

1 recommendation

reply to cdru

A spoonful of apple sauce also works.
Hey! You know that outlet looks like a little face and may need to eat every so often.



mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3
reply to severach

said by severach:

I tried to trip one by pulling the plug out a bit and short from hot to ground with finger and thumb (with shoes and other body parts for certain not grounded). It didn't trip.

Bet ya' you went Neutral to Ground....


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
reply to alkizmo

said by alkizmo:

So what you pulled off was pure luck (And I was also lucky to wake up unhurt).

Not really, so long as there isn't a path to ground or a reason for the electricity to cross your heart.

so long as it stays on the one hand and doesn't cross the chest you'll likely be fine.

For a time I did something similar.
(keep in mind I was much younger)
pull the light switch out of the wall then with it off (ie so the full 120v would be at the 2 screws and not with a quick path)

I would put 2 fingers from the same hand on the screws, I found unlike many other people my hand would try to open and not close so it made it quite hard to keep my fingers on the screws, it actually felt pretty good, though enough power to even light the lights didn't pass through. and the moment I let my hand do as it wanted it released the switch.

And once I touched a finger from the other hand and then the shock was far more.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

said by DarkLogix:

it actually felt pretty good, though enough power to even light the lights didn't pass through.

Ah so you completed the path to the lights with your hand. I think since there was a resistive load (lights) on the end of that line, less current was able to go through, hence it didn't hurt your hand, but was more like a massage

It would have been painful if you did a direct hot-neutral bond with your hand :O

I'm not sure if I'm correct with the above assumption.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to mattmag

said by mattmag:

said by severach:

I tried to trip one by pulling the plug out a bit and short from hot to ground with finger and thumb (with shoes and other body parts for certain not grounded). It didn't trip.

Bet ya' you went Neutral to Ground....

If the skin is dry then the current is very low. A GFCI trips around 5mA.


AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1
reply to robbin

said by robbin:

said by yahtzee:

I have a refrigerator in my garage. It's been plugged into a GFI outlet for the past 7 years

Just a thought here but that puts your house at least 7 years old. If the house isn't more than about 20 years old and the electrical hasn't been changed in the garage then you may have an outlet somewhere that is not GFCI protected. Electric code on this item changed from the 2005 to 2008 code meaning your house could have been built under a code which allowed a single outlet for a freezer.

My c.2005 built townhouse has two outlets in the garage, a GFCI and a single outlet to plug in the water pipe insulating electrical wrapping. The outlet is non GFCi and runs to its own breaker in the box. In the summer the outlet services my electric grill and vacuum cleaner.
--
--Standard disclaimers apply.--


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
reply to alkizmo

said by alkizmo:

said by DarkLogix:

it actually felt pretty good, though enough power to even light the lights didn't pass through.

Ah so you completed the path to the lights with your hand. I think since there was a resistive load (lights) on the end of that line, less current was able to go through, hence it didn't hurt your hand, but was more like a massage

It would have been painful if you did a direct hot-neutral bond with your hand :O

I'm not sure if I'm correct with the above assumption.

Well at the time the load was 4x 100w incandescent bulbs and a ceiling fan, and the amount that passed wasn't even enough to dimly light the lights.

However upping the resistance by using a finger from the other hand made it much more painful. (though using the other hand like that is a bad idea.


linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
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reply to yahtzee

The really simple solution is to get a dedicated circuit for the refrigerator. End of problem. There should not be garage lights or garage remote or any other jack/switch or appliance on that circuit. If you want two electrical items on that circuit then the electrician will install a circuit with greater amperage - it it is needed.

If you continue to have the same problems it is time to rethink your options.
--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

Dedicated circuit doesn't fix this as any new dedicated circuit must be on a GFCI according to current code.



nunya
Premium,MVM
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O Fallon, MO
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reply to linicx

A dedicated circuit also doesn't fix the fact that there is something wrong with the appliance. The OP has already "proved" that it has a ground fault.
Blaming the GFCI for doing it's job is silliness. Moving it to a non-GFCI receptacle could end badly.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



linicx
Caveat Emptor
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join:2002-12-03
United State
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reply to yahtzee

A separate circuit is for that outlet only. The GFCI is still necessary because of the location. If the device if failing, the GFCI is the guard dog growling.

The separate circuit is not a bad idea. It won't be overloaded. If the device is faulty the owner needs to take action. First things first.
1- Unplug the device if you do not want a fire. NOW!
2- Fix or replace it. It is cheaper than rebuilding your house.
3- Don't play with a ticking bomb - unless you know exactly what date and time it will explode. I submit you do not.

Now is better than too late.
--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside



yahtzee
Premium
join:2000-12-03
Richmond, VA
reply to ke4pym

said by ke4pym:

said by severach:

I vote to remove the GFCI, or at least move the GFCI down the line so most of the garage outlets are protected.

I'm not impressed with GFCI anyways. I tried to trip one by pulling the plug out a bit and short from hot to ground with finger and thumb (with shoes and other body parts for certain not grounded). It didn't trip.

I''d replace it with a regular socket in a heartbeat and not give it a second thought. But that's just me.

Exactly what I did. Thanks.
--
If ever offered a breath mint - take it.


nunya
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O Fallon, MO
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reply to yahtzee

Sometimes I just have to wonder about people.


whizkid3
Premium,MVM
join:2002-02-21
Queens, NY
kudos:9

No need to wonder. The OP was not looking for the right or safe solution; rather he was looking for someone to justify his solving it improperly and unlawfully and as cheap as possible regardless of the risks. There will always be some buffoon that will come along and propose a stupid and dangerous, but cheap and easy, solution.

In this case, its unlawful and dangerous. But there are people in this world who think they are smarter than everyone else, and will actually put the lives of their family and friends on the line to prove it. Disabling a GFCI receptacle because an appliance is failing and actually beginning to short to ground is as stupid as it gets. God forbid someone gets electrocuted; or dies in an ensuing fire. But to some people saving a few bucks - in this case unlawfully - via stupidity is worth if if they don't have to spend money on having an appliance repaired. I can understand if one really doesn't have the funds. Then unplug it and scrap it.


MrIcehouse

join:2006-02-07
Saint Petersburg, FL
reply to yahtzee

Did you try replacing the outlet first?



cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to linicx

said by linicx:

The really simple solution is to get a dedicated circuit for the refrigerator. End of problem. There should not be garage lights or garage remote or any other jack/switch or appliance on that circuit.

Really bad idea. A failure may remain unnoticed until there is a weird smell coming from the basement...


XBL2009
------

join:2001-01-03
Chicago, IL
reply to yahtzee

I feel so bad reading this thread, my old house had no GFCI's and the fuse box was actually a fuse box.

New house only has GFCI's in the bathrooms.



yahtzee
Premium
join:2000-12-03
Richmond, VA
reply to whizkid3

I have a feeling that you think what I did is unlawful. Love how it starts to get borderline personal with folks on forums. Name-calling, armchair building inspectors, psychics, etc.

I will call an electrician today to see what he recommends. Thanks.
--
If ever offered a breath mint - take it.



SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
Reviews:
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reply to DarkLogix

said by DarkLogix:

Well at the time the load was 4x 100w incandescent bulbs and a ceiling fan, and the amount that passed wasn't even enough to dimly light the lights.

If you think you're going to get enough current through your fingers to light an incandesent light you better keep your hands in your pockets.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3

said by SparkChaser:

said by DarkLogix:

Well at the time the load was 4x 100w incandescent bulbs and a ceiling fan, and the amount that passed wasn't even enough to dimly light the lights.

If you think you're going to get enough current through your fingers to light an incandesent light you better keep your hands in your pockets.

I was a kid back then and thought they might glow a little.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to yahtzee

said by yahtzee:

I have a feeling that you think what I did is unlawful. Love how it starts to get borderline personal with folks on forums. Name-calling, armchair building inspectors, psychics, etc.

I will call an electrician today to see what he recommends. Thanks.

What he's saying is you're ignoring a real problem.
What you're doing (replacing with non GFCI) is simply silencing the "alarm".

The reason it became "personal" is because you made a thread asking for advice when you weren't willing to follow a professional's advice if it wasn't convenient for you.


yahtzee
Premium
join:2000-12-03
Richmond, VA

I have spoken to numerous other homeowners in my neighborhood that had non-GFCI outlets installed in their garage specifically for a refrigerator. I understand that it's against code. What I gather from the advice on here is that I dont even need to check with anyone - just go pick up a new refrigerator, right? I can do that - it just seemed odd that a 6-7 yr old refrigerator would go bad. Also, if I bought a new refrigerator and put it on the same outlet how am I supposed to know if the fridge gets to the point that this one is supposedly at (faulty)?
--
If ever offered a breath mint - take it.



yahtzee
Premium
join:2000-12-03
Richmond, VA
reply to MrIcehouse

I replaced it with a non-GFCI outlet....think I may try to replace it with a GFCI outlet and see if that is the issue.
--
If ever offered a breath mint - take it.



DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3

Replace it with a properly working fridge.



yahtzee
Premium
join:2000-12-03
Richmond, VA

said by DarkLogix:

Replace it with a properly working fridge.

You have zero doubt that the refrigerator is bad?
--
If ever offered a breath mint - take it.


nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
reply to yahtzee

You said your very self that you plugged the fridge into 2 different GFCI outlets, and they both tripped.
So did they or not?
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
reply to yahtzee

said by yahtzee:

said by DarkLogix:

Replace it with a properly working fridge.

You have zero doubt that the refrigerator is bad?

I would at minimum get a repair man to look a the fridge and see if he can fix it.

I would highly doubt the GFCI would be the problem.