GFP/GFC circuits and surge protectors

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ThomasL, Jan 5, 2003.

  1. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Does anyone know of any issues with plugging surge protectors into GFP circuits - the ones typically used in kitchens, bathrooms and basements? The way I understand it is that they monitor hot and neutral and when it detects a voltage differential between the two (because some of the voltage potential is being taken away to ground somewhere), it trips the cicruit. I know this is meant to protect me when I'm standing outside in the rain running my power saw [​IMG] so I don't become a nice connection to ground for the circuit. But will surge protectors that shunt excess voltage to ground interfere with these?
    thanks,
    --tom
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    i give up, why are you doing this?
     
  3. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Not sure what you're asking Chu. I have a house with various GFC circuits and I also have electronics/equipment hooked up to these one of these circuits by necessity (tv/vcr/dvd/treadmill). Since the GFC doesn't offer surge protection, it's smart to have a surge protector and actually, it's almost impossible to buy a power strip that is not some type of surge protector these days. Anyhow, I believe I've found my answer out there on the web which is that a surge protector shunting current from hot to ground could cause the GFC circuit to trip if its greater than 5 milliamps but if its a decent surge protector, it's going to react much faster than the GFC circuit (
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    i see [​IMG] my gfi's are in the bathroom, outside, and in a couple of spots in the garage and basement. didn't realize you were hooking some of the audio components along with the treadmill. personally, i'd have kept that treadmill on it's own circuit, away from the HT stuff, but I understand we live with certain constraints by necessity. yup it's sure hard to find a surge protector without some kind of emi/rfi filtering. i've heard conflicting stories regarding the combination of the two so i can't really offer a take it to the bank opinion. probably one of those max units from panamax ought to do just fine in that situation (mov based) or something like the DPS Plus series (silicon avalanche diode) from www.transtector.com should work equally well. The latter, fwiw, has a theoretically faster response time. price about 85 direct from the company.
     
  5. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Chu.
    Yes, it's the workout area in the basement so it's not the "home theater" room but the reality is, if we didn't have the tv/vcr/dvd setup (no speakers just the tv) down with the treadmill, no one would ever use the treadmill [​IMG] And my wife has just discovered workouts on dvd and the joy of dvd's random access (not having to rewind the tape to do a scene over). I'm just going to give the setup some better (i.e. better than $10 Walmart variety) surge protection just in case. Unfortunately there are only two sets of outlets in the basement both on the same GFC circuit. Perhaps one day, I'll have someone put in another outlet on its own circuit since this same circuit also handles at various times of the year a dehumidifier and a sump pump - but I always make sure if we're getting spring time water in the basement that everything else gets unplugged anyhow so we've never had an issue with overloading the circuit by trying to run everything at once. I'm thinking of going with the Panamax Max2 and Max8 units at www.discountpanamax.com if they are a reliable e-tailer.
    cheers,
    --tom
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Tom, I thought you might find this article of interest. It deals with some governmental agency's findings on the combination of GFI/surge protector combination and suggests an interesting solution. Probably one that you could implement yourself by heading down to your local building supply center or local electrical supply house. I think the idea of a four outlet, 2 of which are GFI, the other two which aren't is really an elegant solution.
    http://pasadena.wr.usgs.gov/office/galetzka/GFI.html
    now tell me you've got a good homeowners policy that'll cover you for full equimpment replacement [​IMG] I would never rely on the attached equipment warranty to cover my stuff as I'm not sure i've got that many years left to live! hope you also consider the whole house unit too [​IMG] best of luck.
    other thoughts might be to replace the GFI with a normal, aww hell, get an industrial or hospital grade one!, and simply run a GFI extension cord to the treadmill and toss the surge suppresor on the other outlet.
     
  7. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Chu. That was an interesting read. I ordered a MAX2Coax from discountpanamax.com for $30 and am going to set it up where the cable comes into the house and into the cable booster (which I'll also plug into the MAX2 since an electrical surge has a direct line to the cable lines via the cable booster). If I have problems with the GFI tripping frequently, then I'll have to revaluate things. It'll be easy to know when it's tripped since the cable stops working! [​IMG] I also plan to look into the whole house systems at some point. It seems to me that with the advent of so many electrically based appliances in households that a new generation of codes are needed that perhaps specify full house surge suppression along with smarter GFI circuitry.
    cheers,
    --tom
     

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