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Go Colts
Fort Wayne, IN

1 recommendation

reply to Chinabound

Re: Before I Rip This MF'ing Wire Out

said by Chinabound:

My house is 35 years old. Pictured is a GFCI breaker, which our seller mentioned to me this morning is not the normal set up anymore. In my garage and kitchen, for example, a GFCI breaker isn't being used, but every outlet in those two spaces are GFCI outlets.

Outlets in damp or wet locations such as outside, bathrooms, garages, unfinished basements, kitchens, etc are required to be protected by a GFCI. There are three types of GFCI:
-inline, like that are often found on curling irons and hair dryers
-outlets, like what it sounds like you have in your garage
-breakers, just the outlets, but installed at the panel instead of the outlet.

There isn't an difference really between the last two other than location. They both preform the same. The breaker can be more convenient if you aren't sure how your outlets are wired or if adding a single GFCI outlet wouldn't protect all the outlets that need it, requiring additional GFCIs purchased. The outlet can be nice if you only need to protect a portion of a circuit or know that all the outlets are downstream of a single outlet.

A GFCI works by comparing the current on the hot and neutral wires. If it differs by more than 5 or 6ma, it trips. Since it needs to measure the current on the neutral, the circuit's neutral has to go through the device. The white wire that you indicated is the completion of that circuit. It's attached at the factory and isn't removable. If that wire comes out or is loose, you'll need to get a new GFCI breaker. Or at least every GFCI breaker I've ever seen was non-serviceable that way.