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Every outdoor outlet should be on a ground fault protected circuit breaker. Basement outlets, and any outlet near a kitchen or bathroom sink should also be protected.

A ground fault happens whenever electricity escapes the confines of the wiring in an appliance, light fixture, or power tool and takes a shortcut to the ground. When that short cut is through a human, the results can be deadly. About 200 people in the U.S. alone die of ground faults each year, accounting for two-thirds of all electrocutions occurring in homes.

To prevent such accidents, Charles Dalziel, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of California, invented the ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), in 1961.
More....

Before Home depot started selling commercially available Ground Fault Protected extension cords, I made a couple of my own. It changes a single outlet extension cord into a duplex ground fault protected one. Really handy for using more than one tool or for playing the radio while working with electricity. I also use one with my outdoor lighting decorations etc.

can you tell the difference between mine and the commercially available one?

That's right... mine has been used a lot more. :rolleyes:
 

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Good advice Poppy.
I had an issue with a sump pump that kept tripping a GFCI oulet. Thought the outlet was bad, so I tried the pump on an unprotected outlet. Yep, just what I thought....the pump worked! No issues noted.
Ummm, well it worked for a while anyway. About 20 minutes later when we smelled the windings burning, and saw the plastic melting we realized that the pump was failing, and ready to start a fire!

The GFCI had given early warning of a fault.
I will trust GFCI's a little more now...
 

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I am an electrician by trade, I got my journeyman's card 30 years ago this year. I would like to add that all 120 volt garage and shop receptacles (with only one or two exceptions) are required to be protected by Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI's.) They can be either circuit breakers or receptacles, like "Poppy" pictured. Concrete is a conductor, and you do NOT want to be lying on the garage floor if the drill or grinder you are using faults, and there is no ground fault protection.

Great thread, Poppy!
 

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I agree this is a great thread...like Loomis Ive been handling power both low and high voltage for a while. One word of warning on the GFI protected extension cords...you need to test the outlet your plugging into to make sure the ground is good or the GFI wont protect you! Those 5 dollar test plugs with the LED lights that detect faulty outlet wiring are a great and fast way to test that everything is good to go.
 

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Can you tell the difference between mine and the commercially available one?
And your has that nice "open face", air cooled design !

I know the problem. I just rewired a garage last year using those same galvanized steel 4x2 "handy boxes". They look real nice in a garage with the matching galvanized steel covers !

Of course I was done, I found out that GFCI are now required on all circuits in a garage. I have 2 circuit (first lights, then other everything else) so I spliced in 2 GFCI outlets (every outlet after a GFCI is protected by that GFCI !). The problem is finding those nice steel covers with a "Decora" cutout.

They do make them, but I can't seem to find them. (Loomis, do you know a source ?)

Or you could just go to a 4x4 steel box and then use a cover like a Raco 808c.

Professionals, what is you opinion ?
 

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Those 5 dollar test plugs with the LED lights that detect faulty outlet wiring are a great and fast way to test that everything is good to go.
ABSOLUTELY !

And if your going to "play" at being an electrician, spend the $10-$20 and get your self a "ringer" (a pen like device that rings/blinks if a wire or outlet is hot). I can be a life saver !
 

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I'll look for a plate. An alternative would be to buy a Stainless Steel wall plate--they are readily available for decora. Nylon (as opposed to phenolic plastic) would also last longer--you just have to ask for them.
 

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I just completed wiring my barn. 100 amp underground service. I've been doing wiring for quite a few years, but could still learn a few things.
One trick, if you will, is wire all your overhead lights and garage door openers, with #14, or 15 amp Romex. You don't need GFCI protection on those circuits. Then run #12, 20 amp, for all your outlets, using GFCI type breakers. Those seem to be better than the receptacle type. I've had a number of the receptacle types trip when there was no apparent problem. What happens is that those are more susceptible to moisture, and will trip where a circuit breaker type won't.
If IRC, any reachable fixture in a garage, barn, shed, exterior, etc has to be GFCI protected.
Now, say you have a welder that needs 50 amp going to it. You don't have to GFCI protect that circuit, since it's a dedicated circuit. Much like having a freezer in the garage. If you were to use just a single outlet, rather than a duplex, it doesn't require GFCI either. The older GFCI's, like in the handybox, were terrible for tripping when you plugged in a drill, or other portable power tool in, and tried running it. The newer ones are a bit better.
Don't get me wrong, when dealing with "lekturk", err on the safe side. And if you have any doubt, STOP, let someone that knows what they're doing take over. That stuff can kill ya'.:smilewinkgrin:
 
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