GFCI electrical panel

Alright, guys! At inspection yesterday and it is new construction. Testing the exterior outlets, no GFCI, testing the bathroom outlets, no GFCI, testing the kitchen outlets at the sink, no GFCI. Well the wonderful seller/builder who informs me is a contractor tells that the whole house is wired with ground fault protection. Not with GFCI breakers or outlets, the entire panel. Well obviously I am not educated b/c I didn’t such a thing existed and told him in my six years inspected I had not seen such a thing. Playing dumb, what in the hell is he talking about? :roll: THANKS!

well all I can say is…you inspected the panel I am sure and did you see a panel full of GFCI breakers…chances are NOT…lol…

For a dwelling…I would not get near the downstream SMOKE of what that contractor is smokin…:slight_smile:

But hey…maybe it is just me who has never installed a whole house GFCI system…lol

In Great Britian, they do use GFCI mains, called “RCD’s”. I’ve never seen it in the US, and if it existed at a 5ma level as would be required here, it would nuisance trip with great regularity. I’m agreeing with Paul… that builder’s sorely misinformed.

Thanks, guys! I knew this guy was trying to cover his butt for not installing the GFCI’s.

lol…tell the contractor to get his head out his…and buy some freakin $ 9.00 GFCI’s and feel good at night about saving a few lives.

Is this your contractor?

It is easy to call his bluff. Plug your tester into a grounded outlet and push the button. It should get real quiet in there. The proper response is “what’s that noise?”

I would go further.

Trip a receptacle (fi you can) and when the whole house goes dark, have him call his “electrician” and find out where the reset button is located. :mrgreen:

That way, you educate (and humiliate) them both.

Let us know what happens. PLEASE!!!


I’m playing devil’s advocate here…

What about a split style panel, with a 2-pole GFCI sitting at the position that feeds the convenience circuits at the lower half of the panel?

Hokey, maybe. Stupid, maybe. But do-able?

Isn’t this what is planned for AFCI protected convenience circuits in the ENTIRE dwelling? Isnt something like this being discussed for the 2008 NEC?

Of course, we’re not speaking of what may or may not be installed in this particular dwelling; but the question goes to whether a house’s circuits can ALL be GFCI protected, and how many GFCIs would, theoretically, be required.

Okay, sparkys… jump in anytime.

There are tiny leakages in most every electrical device. The more equipment on the same GFCI, the more tiny leakages that will add and quickly get to the 5ma trip threashold. Code wise, it would be compliant. Design wise, it would be a complete disaster, as the nuisance tripping would be unbearable.

I don’t think you can still get a split bus panel can you?

Hey a regular breaker has ground fault protection. Maybe that’s what he meant.


Was the panel labeled like this?
ALLAN 089 (Small).jpg
Sure beats those crappy nuisance paper legends that peel off all the time! :shock:


Firstly I have to agree with Marc on this as it would be a disaster the way it is setup right now. Sure, you could have a entire panel on GFCI and be code complaint…take a pool panel that is fed from lets say a 60A s-pole breaker…entirely possible.

Not the case in THIS situation as this is why I said in the original post the OP would have inspected the panel FIRST to determine anything weird like this.

Second, It was a new construction and a someone stated a split buss setup is not going to happen…so it makes that question moot.

Third, The AFCI on all the circuits is still being ironed out as when I spoke with Eaton on this they said they are still doing testing in regards to the questions me and greg had on the heat issues…they admitted and I am sure the other manufacturers have as well that they are still testing this issue…the jury is still out on the 2008 ROC…at the last minute it could be ratified…who knows really until the final draft is out…and I am not sure it is yet but I could be wrong.

But I guess the issue is in the OP’s original question…no room to play the DEVIL in that one fella…lol…it is just a contractor filling his head with mumbo jumbo…:slight_smile:

HOWEVER…since I told the OP that he would know by looking in the panel…You can’t have a GFCI setup unless you have a way to TEST the function and RESET the function so a simple look in the panel and in this case if you go by what the contractor stated ( giving him/her the benefit of the doubt here ) do you see those two items on the main breaker…?

These are great but you need very good wiring. A scratch in the insulation has been known to trip these because of the tiny level of leakage. Our wiring puts US wiring to shame.

Not to mention the benefits of 240V. Gas dryers? Why?

Ian, we have plenty of 240v equipment, basically anything more than about 1500w. We don’t have those 240v tea kettles but a household water heater will be 240, as will most fixed electric heat and A/C units, except the small window shakers.

My father-in-law explained that your whole system is 240, but for some strange reason you normally only take 2 phases to the house from the 3 apparently available on the power line. He was also surpised to see that there was no fuse between the panel and the main supply line. And was concerned that most houses appear to have 100 amp power lines feeding them, when I see on here and in my neighbor’s house 200 amp panels.

In the UK, homes (of any size) are not allowed more than a 60 amp supply. Why, therefore, the concern on this board that a 100 amp panel in a home may not be enough? Granted we have twice the voltage, but 100 amps is as close to 120 as damn is near to swearing. I do not think I will update my 100 amp panel when finishing my basement. 100 amps is a lot of juice.

The US minimum is 100a at 240v. 200a is becoming the standard. Big houses have 400a. They don’t really take 2 of the 3 phases on the pole. We have the street distribution at 4100 to 13,000 volts and there is a transformer that takes one primary (plus a ground) and makes 240v centertapped for 2-3 homes. They bring 3 conductors to the service disconnect (2 hots and the centertap which is grounded/earthed). We get the 120 by using one hot and neutral (the centertap). You are right, the first overcurrent device is at the house. The primary of the transformer has a fuse but that only protects the transformer.